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Anthropology: Incest Taboo - Essay Example

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The author examines incest taboo, a social norm that forbids sexual relationships between culturally specified relatives. To simply put it, this provision states that we must choose our mating partners outside the nuclear family, both consanguine and legal associations …
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Anthropology: Incest Taboo
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Download file to see previous pages Social scientists draw a parallel line between human sciences and natural sciences by means of interspersing Darwinian’s model of natural selection into the realm of an intricate human facet of life. These new hybrids of the sciences are termed sociobiology, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral genetics. Proponents of the Darwinian model contend that incest taboo is the inevitable result of inbreeding avoidance. The incest taboo is considered by social scientists as a part of human behavior and just like species is similarly subjected to natural selection. Products of prohibited sexual unions are often inferior in nature and despicable in appearance. Following Darwin’s natural selection theory, if this is the case, then logically inbreeding will be outlived by outbreeding, thus favoring incest taboo.
Adversaries of sociobiology, the socio-environmentalists, challenge that incest taboo is a practical solution for problems of human social life. As communities progress, the structure of the family also changes. From preindustrial to postmodernism, and to go along with that, from extended to the nuclear family. Alongside with these developments come setbacks. Survival becomes blight when industrialism kicked in, which developed into the intensification of the incest taboo. To assure the survival of a decent group, children were obliged to find mates outside their lineage; this is to accrue economic responsibility and military alliance from the other party which will be made possible by an exogamous sexual union.
Sigmund Freud, a renowned psychoanalyst, interestingly declared that incest taboo is a product of regret of the sons who involuntarily developed a craving for a sexual relationship with their mothers. These sons planted seeds of hatred for their fathers because of jealousy. Yet, these sons are fearful of their fathers’ reprisal and fatal competition between the sons themselves.    ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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