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Overview

incest

Prohibited sexual intercourse between close relatives. See also incest taboo, genetic sexual attraction. [From Latin incestus incest, from in- not+castus chaste or pure]

incest

incest n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... n . Prohibited sexual intercourse between close relatives. See also incest taboo , genetic sexual attraction . [From Latin incestus incest, from in - not + castus chaste or...

incest

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
28 words

... Sexual relations within a family or kinship group, the taboo on which varies between societies. In many countries, incest is a crime that carries a prison...

incest

incest n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Nursing (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2017
Subject:
Medicine and health
Length:
18 words

...incest [ in -sest] n. sexual intercourse between close relatives, e.g. brother and sister or father and daughter....

incest

incest   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Law (9 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Law
Length:
20 words

...incest n. Sexual intercourse between family members. Familial sexual offences are now regulated under the Sexual Offences Act 2003....

incest

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A Dictionary of Law Enforcement (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Law
Length:
19 words

... Sexual intercourse between family members. Familial sexual offences are now regulated under the Sexual Offences Act 2003...

Incest

Incest   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
History
Length:
2,702 words

... . Incest is a transgressive marital or sexual relationship with a prohibited kin member. As such, it is the product of the incest prohibition, which has long been considered a universal rule of culture and society. Although it is unlikely that one could find a society without the incest prohibition, the great variety among cultures and throughout history belies this universality. Incest encompasses the articulation of family, marriage, kinship (consanguinity and affinity), endogamy and exogamy, sexuality (reproductive and nonreproductive), eroticism, and...

INCEST

INCEST   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Religion
Length:
184 words

... ( gillui ʿarayot ). The family relationships that constitute incest in the biblical view are specified in Leviticus 18.6–18. The list includes only primary relationships, such as parents and sisters-in-law. The rabbis added twenty additional relationships, including secondary relationships, such as a paternal grandmother and a son’s daughter-in-law ( Yev . 21a). Primary incest carries either the death penalty or karet . In some cases both penalties are prescribed ( Ker . 1.1). Only the product of primary incest is a mamzer . Whereas there can be no...

incest

incest   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
267 words

... From the 3rd to the 8th century, the early medieval church redefined incest to include social and spiritual as well as blood kin. By banning intercourse between individuals linked by ties of consanguinity (blood), affinity (marriage), or compaternity (spiritual affinity), the church greatly enlarged the domain of relationships that prohibited marriage. The church was also in the process of shifting from the Roman to the Germanic method of counting degrees of *kinship , which made incest increasingly difficult to avoid. The church’s rigorous emphasis upon...

Incest

Incest   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
1,073 words

... . Finding “incest” in women's writings depends upon the definition with which one begins. Since the late 1970s, feminists have been actively contesting and expanding definitions of incest and the meanings of incest have shifted dramatically in recent years. These shifts in meaning are both problematic and promising for explorations of the relationships between women's writing and incest. Incest has traditionally been narrowly defined as sexual intercourse between persons too closely related to marry. While this legal interpretation has dominated, many...

Incest

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The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
327 words

...toward incest was supported by the church fathers (for instance, Basil the Great , ep.160, ed. Y. Courtonne 2 [Paris 1961 ] 88–92, more closely defined by canon 54 of the Council in Trullo) and civil legislators; special attention was paid to consecutive marriages of a man to two sisters and a woman to two brothers as well as marriage to a niece. Though the threat of the death penalty appears in some laws (e.g., Constantius II in 342 — Cod.Theod . III 12.1), other legislators lessened the punishment. The extension of the concept of incest depended on...

Incest

Incest   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
1,020 words

... . It's not your fault. You didn't do anything to make it happen. You didn't ask for it. Whether it's your father, mother, brother, sister, or a close relative, no one has the right to treat you that way. Even though they live inside the fog of denial, those who live with incest long to hear these words. Feeling responsible for what happened, and caught between the guilt and self-blame, they wish to be found out. Invariably, those who are incested —a word I coin to mark the behaviors implicit in the sexual abuse of family members—want to end the violence...

Incest

Incest   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
669 words

... Different societies treat both marriage and unregulated intercourse between close kin in different ways. All ancient societies regarded parent-child sexual intercourse as incest, but other relationships, such as sex between siblings, met with various responses. The obvious instance from classical literature is the (unwitting) mother-son incest of Jocasta and Oedipus, which resulted in four children but was given various tragic outcomes: Jocasta, here called Epicaste, hangs herself in book 11 of the Odyssey ; Oedipus variously blinds himself and goes into...

Incest

Incest   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
522 words

... In the strict sense, incest designates sexual relations between a man and a woman linked by bonds of Kinship , a situation variously estimated according to times and places. The notion of incest held an important place in canon law and in medieval society, firstly because it was applied to a wide circle of kinship, but also because the incestuous character of a union was often alleged in order to have a marriage pronounced null, since the path of divorce was rejected by the Church, sole judge of matrimonial cases in the Middle Ages . In the name of...

incest

incest   Reference library

Mark Golden

The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
409 words

... , sexual intercourse or marriage with close kin, was restricted throughout classical antiquity. However, terminology and the particular relations prohibited varied with place and time. Though mētrokoitēs , ‘mother’s bedmate’, occurs in Hipponax, most of the Greek words referring to specific close-kin unions are much later in date and no general word for incest is found before the Byzantine period. Incestum , attested as a Latin technical term from the late republic, carries connotations of impurity absent from the Greek vocabulary. Sexual relations...

incest

incest   Reference library

Mark Golden

The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
476 words

... , sexual intercourse or marriage with close kin, was restricted throughout classical antiquity. However, terminology and the particular relations prohibited varied with place and time. Though μητροκοίτης, ‘mother's bedmate’, occurs in Hipponax , most of the Greek words referring to specific close-kin unions are much later in date and no general word for incest is found before the Byzantine period. Incestum , attested as a Latin technical term from the late republic, carries connotations of impurity absent from the Greek vocabulary. Sexual relations...

incest

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
120 words

... , sexual intercourse or marriage with close kin, was restricted throughout classical antiquity. However, the particular relations prohibited varied with place and time. Sexual relations involving parent and child were forbidden everywhere we have evidence; their occurrence in Greek myth generally evokes horror, yet the participants are sometimes marked as numinous by their transgression of the usual limits of human conduct ( see hero‐cult ). Siblings of the same father could marry at Athens , of the same mother at Sparta . Even marriages between full...

incest

incest   Reference library

Australian Law Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Law
Length:
158 words

...incest The criminal offence of an act of penetration (penetrating or allowing to be penetrated) between close family members, which generally includes a lineal ancestor, lineal descendant, sibling or half-sibling, and usually also a grandparent. In some jurisdictions it includes a niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, or a son or daughter of the spouse of the person. In one jurisdiction incest is restricted to penetration of the vagina, genitalia, anus, or mouth with a penis. In most jurisdictions age is not relevant (i.e. it is not necessary that a child be under...

incest

incest   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Animal Behaviour (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
208 words

... Sexual intercourse with close relatives. In all human cultures incest is taboo, and for a long time this was thought to be a learned * cultural adaptation, lacking any biological basis. Incest has genetically deleterious consequences and is disruptive of society. Therefore those societies that could ban incest would seem to be better off. Doubts about this type of sociological theorizing began to emerge in the 1970s. Incest inhibitions occur in a wide variety of animals, including some non-human primates. Moreover, it was observed as long ago as the 19...

incest

incest   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Public Health (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...incest Sexual intimacy between close blood relations; i.e., siblings, parent and child, uncle-niece, aunt-nephew. Incest has long been taboo in most societies and is the subject of myths, legends, and literature; e.g., Sophocles' Oedipus trilogy. In some communities it has been empirically associated with a high frequency of abnormal offspring. It was customary and approved in the families of the pharaohs in the Egyptian dynastic period. If an underage person is one of the partners, it is criminal sexual abuse. If incest leads to pregnancy and...

incest taboo

incest taboo  

Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference

...about the role of incest in human society. One of the fundamental questions has been—and continues to be—whether there exists a human propensity for incest that would require a strong cultural taboo. This negative model of the incest taboo as the prohibition of a natural desire is widespread, although anthropologists have disagreed about its origins. As early as 1877 , Lewis Henry Morgan proposed a functionalist explanation of the incest taboo, suggesting that it emerged out of an implicit understanding of the biological danger that incest poses over many...

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