Re: Incest taboos

Gil Hardwick (
Wed, 26 Apr 1995 06:02:15 GMT

In article <>, "Jason A. Ruiz " ( writes:
>although I'm pretty sure (I have yet to come across one that doesn't) all
>cultures have the incest taboo...they vary as to what that entails...some
>are more broad as to who is considered off limits while others only
>exclude a few members of the immediate family

In all cases the crime of incest includes quite specifically any form
of sexual liaison between any persons classified as close kin; that
is, son daughter sister brother father-in-law mother-in-law uncle
auntie, and so on.

It does not matter a jot how many so classified there happen to be,
nor whether the relationship is biological or merely just deemed to
be. Note that in all cases too, marriage can only be between two
persons classified as spouse.

To that extent all societies are divided between "them" and "us". In
the anonymous West "the few members of the immediate family" only
makes sense in terms of the "wider mass society". In other smaller
societies where everybody knows one another personally, "they" are
other people only as remote in kinship terms as the grandmother's
brother's daughter's family.

Is that clear enough?

He who refuses to qualify data is doomed to rant.
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