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Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsZoology · 1 decade ago

Do Pedophilia and Incest exist in the Animal Kingdom?

I spend most of my time studying how microbes behave, and this is not a common concern in the realm of germs.

These two things go on in the human race, but are there parallels elsewhere in the animal kingdom? I am interested to know.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Yes. Bonobos are a good example - each individual regularly mates with all members of its group, regardless of age or sex. This is a form of social bonding for them, helping them resolve conflicts without the need for violence. It is obviously not done for reproduction, since they mate with individuals of the same sex and those too young to breed.

    In stoats, males will enter nests of newborns whilst the mother is absent and mate with all the females in the litter. Their eggs are fertilised, but do not implant and complete development until the females have grown up and left the nest. This is a way of getting a head start on breeding for a small, vulnerable animal that often does not live very long.

    Many species have social systems that have evolved to prevent or at least minimize incest, as this is usually detrimental. For example, male lions leave the pride they were born into when they reach sexual maturity, and attempt to take over another, unrelated pride - this prevents them mating with their female relatives. Females remain in the pride they were born into all their lives, but the tenure of males is usually only two to three years, so by the time they reach sexual maturity their father will have been overthrown by new males, thus preventing them breeding with him.

    That said, incest certainly does occur in the animal kingdom. Many animals will mate with their relatives if no other mate is available - indeed, humans commonly mate related animals for the purpose of selective breeding, where they wish to 'fix' a particular characteristic in the animals. In some species, incest is actually the normal method of reproduction - in certain species of wasp, for example, males mate with their sisters as soon as they have hatched.

    Source(s): I used to be a zookeeper and have studied animals all my life.
    • Very interesting answer thank you!

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  • 3 years ago

    Incest In Animals

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  • 1 decade ago

    I would think it pretty difficult to study sexual behavior in asexual reproducing organisms.

    Yes, there is a parallel to incest (which is thought to be a main form of speciation if you stick to the strictest of human definitions) in the animal kingdom. But most species have some sort of optimal inbreeding mechanism in place and it is only when this is interupted that incest occurs.

    Pedophelia is much harder to intepret since there is not true definition of a sexual behavior that is not also a social one in some aspect.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Incest, definitely. Many animals will have a single male leader that will mate with any female in heat, whether he is related or not. Since he IS the leader, he usually is related.

    I know rape exists as well -- I've seen a group of mallard drakes do that to a hen and it was horrendous to watch.

    But pedophilia is one I don't think would happen, since most animals have a cycle when they can mate -- and usually don't mate unless they are in that cycle.

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  • Lisa
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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    Some people lump everything they don't do or they don't like into one big category called "other." Some people want to force everyone into a narrow, hetero-monogamous slot. I say, how about instead of trying to come up with convoluted schemes for which adults get their rights and which don't, why not support the rights of ALL adults? The same-gender freedom to marry will be a reality in most of the world soon. Most people who engage in consensual incest and polygamy are heterosexual. Let's not forget that part. BUT, I do know of some triads and quads and brother couples who would marry if they could. Consensual adult incest is legal in a few US states and many modern countries, and there hasn't been a problem. I'm only referring to CONSENTING ADULTS. Last I checked, children and other species were not able to legally consent through our broad legal structure. Minor changes in the law should be made so that an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, should be free to share marriage with any and all consenting adults, without prosecution, bullying, or discrimination. Some people only care about monogamist gay rights, not the rights of anybody else. There were African-American civil rights supporters who didn't care about Latino-Americans, and vice-versa. This is nothing new. There are polygamists who support gay rights and polygamists who don't. People typically try to pin pedophilia on gays, polygamists, and those involved in incest, but I'm addressing CONSENTING ADULTS only. I support FULL marriage equality. That includes 30-year-olds marrying 60-year-olds. That includes African-Americans marrying Anglo-Americans.That includes two men marrying, even if they are brothers. That includes one women marrying two men. It is ridiculous that in most of the US, it is perfectly legal for a woman to love, have sex with, and have children with two men at the same time, but she isn't free to legally marry both at the same time even though they all agree. Equality just for some is not equality. Don't like it? Don't do it. As with interracial, adult intergenerational, or gay sex/marriage, there is no rational reason for keeping laws or taboos against polyamorous or consanguineous sex or marriage. Personal disgust or religion is only a reason why one person would not want to personally engage in polyamory or consanguinamory, not why someone else shouldn't do it. Some people try to justify their prejudice against consanguineous sex and marriage by being part-time eugenicists and saying that such relationships inevitably lead to “mutant” or “deformed” babies. This argument can be refuted on several fronts. 1. As I noted, some consanguineous relationships involve only people of the same gender. 2. Not all mixed-gender relationships birth biological children. 3. Most births to consanguineous parents do not produce children with significant birth defects or other genetic problems; while births to other parents do sometimes have birth defects. 4. We don’t prevent other people from marrying or deny them their reproductive rights based on increased odds of passing along a genetic problem or inherited disease. For example, it is legal for someone with Huntington's Disease to marry and have children. Look that one up. Some say "Your sibling should not be your lover." That is not a reason. It begs the question. Many people have many relationships that have morethan one aspect. Some women say their sister is their best friend. Why can’t their sister be a wife, too? Some say “There is a power differential.” This applies least of all to siblings or cousins who are close in age, but even where the power differential exists, it is not a justification for denying this freedom to sex or to marry. There is a power differential in just about any relationship, sometimes an enormous power differential. To question if consent is truly possible in these cases is insulting and demeaning. Some say “There are so many people outside of your family." There are plenty of people within one’s own race, too, but that is no reason to ban interracial marriage. So, this isn't a good reason either. Yes, there are patriarchal societies that have gender inequality and allow religion-based polygyny only, and people cite problems in those societies, but the problems are not caused by polygamy. They are caused by sexism and gender inequality under the law. All the paperwork issues can be resolved. And if paperwork issues could be an excuse to deny fundamental rights, we wouldn't have the Americans With Disabilities Act. Victims of abuse and coercion would be MORE likely to work with law enforcement if we had relationship rights for all adults. Let consenting adults love each other!

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago
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