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Is a prohibition of sex between family an example of eugenics?

distact for incest an example of eugenics?


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tacomancer

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This question has been on the back of my mind for a week or so. The most common argument against incest is that it has an increased chance of producing babies with defects. Alternatively, one of the principals behind eugenics is to breed out undesirable genetic traits, such as an inclination for cancer or heart disease. Given the similarity, are they examples of the same line of thinking or are they different somehow?
 

Korimyr the Rat

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It could be argued to be a form of eugenics on the grounds you've listed, but I believe that the justification for incest taboos has more to do with protecting the institution of family from instability than preventing birth defects.
 

MaggieD

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I don't see how eugenics has anything to do with the taboo. Incest, in various forms, has been taboo for thousands of years. Certainly the science of eugenics wasn't on the table. I agree with Korimyr that it had, in the historical past, more to do with the stability of family. Of course, now we know that inbreeding is very harmful so there's a further scientific reason not to engage in incestuous behavior. Even in the present day, I don't think eugenics correctly describes the reason that incest is taboo.
 

bicycleman

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I would participate in the poll but I don't know what "distact" is.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Of course, now we know that inbreeding is very harmful so there's a further scientific reason not to engage in incestuous behavior.
That's the thing. There's no higher risk of having birth defects in children conceived between first cousins than there is in a woman having her first child after the age of forty. The risk of birth defects simply does not justify the primal disgust that the violation of the incest taboo entails.
 

Aunt Spiker

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You suck for making me think of incest right now.

*vomit*

BOOOOOO
 

MaggieD

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I would participate in the poll but I don't know what "distact" is.
Ha! You wrote what I thought!!

@ Korimyr --
Did some Googling, and darned if you aren't right. I would have thought the risk between first cousins was much higher. It is indeed much higher with parent/child; but....talk about TABOO. Yikes.
 

Sov

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The children of older women are also more likely to be defective. Should the State also make it mandatory that women breed only before they reach "middle age?"
 

rivrrat

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Incestuous relationships were extremely common in Ancient Egypt and in Europe among the monarchs. Though in Europe is was generally cousins.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Incestuous relationships were extremely common in Ancient Egypt and in Europe among the monarchs. Though in Europe is was generally cousins.
And if I recall correctly the Hapsburgs were very inbred and had genetic problems from it
 

peepnklown

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Why don’t we allow the consenting adults to choose for themselves?
 

Gardener

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That's the thing. There's no higher risk of having birth defects in children conceived between first cousins than there is in a woman having her first child after the age of forty. The risk of birth defects simply does not justify the primal disgust that the violation of the incest taboo entails.
A very high percentage of Arabs are married to cousins or Uncles. There is no incest taboo in action, but rather the desire to extend the influence of the clan.
 

1069

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I don't think incest is actually illegal in most- if any- places in the US, as long as both parties are of age and consenting.
I think close relatives just aren't allowed to be legally married.
 

Sov

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That's the thing. There's no higher risk of having birth defects in children conceived between first cousins than there is in a woman having her first child after the age of forty.
Damn, I actually hadn't read this post before making my post about the heightened risk of birth defects for children of older mothers. You just had to beat me to it.
 

MKULTRABOY

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It is not an example of eugenics in culture. Incest is unnatural as far as Im led to believe as family members generally are not sexually attracted to each other. I dont think it qualifies.
 

spud_meister

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Incestuous relationships were extremely common in Ancient Egypt and in Europe among the monarchs. Though in Europe is was generally cousins.
and it was that incest in europe that started the russian revolution, through the inbreeding of carriers of the haemophilia gene.
 

rivrrat

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I don't think incest is actually illegal in most- if any- places in the US, as long as both parties are of age and consenting.
I think close relatives just aren't allowed to be legally married.
That would be correct. I mean, there may be some obscure laws on the books somewhere in some state, but it's more marriage thing than a sex thing.

It is not an example of eugenics in culture. Incest is unnatural as far as Im led to believe as family members generally are not sexually attracted to each other. I dont think it qualifies.
Depends on how close you're talking about. And, the only reason people may not find their close relatives sexually appealing is because they're told they shouldn't. If they didn't KNOW they were close relatives, they most certainly could/would. So, it's not a biological or "unnatural" thing at all. It's a social thing.
 

MKULTRABOY

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Oedipus style?
I wonder if Immediate family that had never met each other would be sexually attracted to each other. Without some sort of evidence one way or the other I wouldn't know. I assume they wouldn't be.
 

rivrrat

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Oedipus style?
I wonder if Immediate family that had never met each other would be sexually attracted to each other. Without some sort of evidence one way or the other I wouldn't know. I assume they wouldn't be.
Why wouldn't they? What would possibly prevent them from it?
 

1069

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Oedipus style?
I wonder if Immediate family that had never met each other would be sexually attracted to each other. Without some sort of evidence one way or the other I wouldn't know. I assume they wouldn't be.
Google "Genetic Sexual Attraction".
It's a well-documented phenomenon, which researchers have had more opportunity to study in recent years, since the advent of the internet made adoption reunions much more common.
When a child adopted at birth is reunited in adulthood with his or her biological family, apparently sexual attraction between family members is not uncommon.
Typically, these feelings are quite unexpected and unwelcome, and can be upsetting and disturbing to everyone involved.

Genetic sexual attraction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

MKULTRABOY

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Damn thats freakadelic, I assumed theyd have some sort of pheremonal olfactory response produced by similars or something that would prevent them from being attracted to one another. Weird.
 

1069

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It is not an example of eugenics in culture. Incest is unnatural as far as Im led to believe as family members generally are not sexually attracted to each other. I dont think it qualifies.
Not really; from an historical/anthropological perspective, or even a Biblical perspective, incest is quite natural and common.
We are all descended from tribal, indigenous people, and a tribe is nothing but a big extended clan or family, with only an occasional infusion of fresh blood, perhaps, when an outsider is brought in.
 
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MKULTRABOY

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Tribes, however are rarely isolated from one another and 'trade' would be spouses and arrange marriages. Also a tribe could not survive genetically with rampant incest in isolation. What is the rate of birth defect from incestuous reproduction? Would the offspring even survive?
 
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