Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 9 years ago

Was incest ever common and/or accepted during the history of human existence?

Things that I think about.

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    In addition to the Ptolemaic period cited by bob (who I thumbs upped) and the polynesian royalty, there have been many cultures which accepted incest in royalty or rich families as a method of consolidating power, wealth and property within the family line. The Hapsburgs were known to have practiced close marriage, as well as the Medici family. Incest has also been a tradition in some patriarchal village societies in places like India and Pakistan. Most European royalty is no more than a few cousin steps apart.

    Currently, incest is "taboo" in all countries, which begs the question - would there be a need for rules against it, if it was not happening?

    Incest is, and has probably always been, much more common than people think. It is difficult to find accurate statistics on it today because of the stigma associated with reporting instances, but some estimates based on rape reporting state that close to one third of all sexual abuse is incest, and, since almost one in five women have been sexually abused by the time they reach college age, that means over twenty million cases of incest in this country alone among living women.

    That's just reported cases of abuse - it does not take into account consensual or hidden unreported incest. Only about sixteen percent of rapes ever get reported to the police.

    So even though it is not officially accepted anywhere today, it is common, and was just as likely to be common in most human societies of the past.

  • E
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Interesting question. But is there really a grassroots movement of brother-sister or father-daughter or mother-son incestuous couples lobbying for legalization of their sexual relationships? I mean, is this really a serious issue?? If so, I've never heard of it. Or is this just a variation on the "slippery slope" arguments so favored by the anti-gay-marriage crowd -- "if we let 2 men or 2 women marry, next thing ya know, some guy will be wanting to marry his sheep......or his 13-year-old neighbor.....or his sister!!" Is that the point you're trying to make here? The point of civil marriage is to create a legally recognized next-of-kin family relationship between 2 people who would otherwise be legal strangers to each other, so that they can take care of each other "in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer", etc, etc. A brother and sister are ALREADY legally recognized next-of-kin. A father and daughter are ALREADY legally recognized next-of-kin. A mother and son are ALREADY legally recognized next-of-kin. What more do you think they should have?

  • xyzzy
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    It is generally accepted that sibling marriages were widespread at least during the Graeco-Roman period of Egyptian history. Numerous papyri and the Roman census declarations attest to many husbands and wives being brother and sister.Some of these incestuous relationships were in the royal family, especially the Ptolemies; The famous Cleopatra VII was married to her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII. Her mother and father, Cleopatra V and Ptolemy XII, had also been brother and sister. In Ancient Greece, Spartan King Leonidas I, hero of the legendary Battle of Thermopylae, was married to his niece Gorgo, daughter of his half brother Cleomenes I.

  • A. T.
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Yes, it has been common throughout history, but because of the taboo nature of incest, it is often hidden. It is an interesting subject, and one that many think about, and a subject that has seen some research.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Egyptian Royalty in the time of the Pharaohs.

  • 9 years ago

    the Polynesian royal families were always brothers and sisters, until the Christian missionaries came along and stopped them

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