Incest Is Best?

hallybods

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#1
Slacker said:
BTW I read (sorry, but I think it was in Bizarre) that GPs in some areas are noticing a lot of health problems due to, shall we say, the limited gene pool on certain estates. Evidently the problem is that no-one can think of a tactful way of bringing this issue to the attention of their local patients.
I've a friend who briefly went out with a girl from the Isle of Wight, she told him that it was common for a doctor to ask a pregnant patient whether they were a blood relation to the father.
 

rynner2

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#2
I think there's been a certain amount of inbreeding in many of the smaller places round here, but Cornwall also attracts many incomers (like me) who are also weird (like me). But I'd better not describe any of these folk - they might well be board members (like me)!

I have found myself acting as a 'weird-magnet' too, but less so as I've grown older - nowadays if people approach me in the street they generally want to know the way to somewhere. Often they'll stop their cars to ask, but with all the one-way systems around here I'm not sure how much of my replies they understood! They probably drove off saying, "He's weird, let's ask someone else..."
 

JurekB

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#3
My girlfriend, who is from North Wales, swears blind that Blaenau Ffestiniog has the highest rate of incest in the country.
Have to agree with Outlaw Angel about Stoke. Up until recently the local bus company was called PMT though I believe it has now changed to First PMT.
 

harlequin2005

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#4
According to legend... which is often a prelude to superstitious nonsense...

There are certain villages in Hereford 'where the hills rise wild, and where there are woods where no axe has ever fallen' that are intensly in-bred communities, quite hideous deformities are common and quitely disposed of to pigs, and the village girls are violently discouraged from fraternising with 'in-comers'. This was told to me as truth, but since it opens up vistas of horror I don't *want* to dwell upon, I prefer to regard it as UL.

There are probably similar ULs about Cheshire, the Peaks or any other place where there are isolated communities.

BTW, as a point of record, and this attitude STINKS as a self proclaimed Fortean, if I am wrong and it is actually true... I DON'T WANT TO KNOW :D



8¬)
 

FelixAntonius

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#5
Lots of villages were like that (?at one time), harlequin.

At Codicote, in Hertfordshire, where the locals were known as:"Codicote Cutthroats", closely related marriages were known as "Codicote Cousins".

While in the next village the people were known as "Graveley Grinders", as if the local lads caught a foreign lad, (from a neighbouring village), courting a Graveley girl, they would sit him astride the big 4' grindstone at the local smithy & turn it untill he screamed for mercy & promised never to return to the village!!!!!

I can also, remember trying to explain racial violence to an old "fen tiger", to whom a foreigner was someone from the next village.

He said that he fought: "A couple of foreign blokes once...".

I asked: "Were they locals?"

He replied: "Well they weren't Fenlanders, or I wouldn't be here now!!!!"
 

rynner2

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#6
A long article from the Guardian about the strong passions people feel for their long-lost siblings or other family members.
"I knew Rita was my sister," he says now. "I didn't choose to fall in love with her, or expect to feel sexual desire. It just happened. Even in front of my wife, I made no attempt to hide my adoration, I just buzzed whenever she was around. It was as if no one else existed. The two biggest mistakes I made were deluding myself that I could become all-important in her life, a brother and a surrogate lover, even though she didn't desire me, and then believing I could control and resolve the problem by myself."

...In the past year, Lytton says, he came close to wrecking his marriage, having a complete nervous collapse, even committing suicide. What saved him was his sister's emotional detachment, his wife's extraordinary patience and understanding - and, most crucially, learning about a little-known phenomenon called genetic sexual attraction (GSA), increasingly acknowledged by post-adoption agencies to be a common feature of reunions between blood relatives who have never before met. "I seem to have contracted this condition, GSA, in its severest form," he declares, as if describing a virus. "Now that I know there is a condition, and why it occurs, I feel I have reached a turning point and will be able to work towards building a normal, balanced relationship with my sister." If, as seems possible, he comes through the crisis with his marriage, mental stability and relationship with his sister intact, Lytton will be in a fortunate minority.

The term GSA was first coined in the US in the late 1980s by Barbara Gonyo, the founder of Truth Seekers In Adoption, a Chicago-based support group for adoptees and their new-found relatives. The emergence of GSA both in the US and the UK coincided with the relaxation of adoption laws in the mid-1970s, which gave adopted children easier access to their records and led to an increase in the number of reunions between adoptees and their blood relatives.

The unexpectedly high number of reported cases of men and women struggling with sudden and terrifying emotions after a reunion has surprised and perplexed most post-adoption agencies. So far, because of the taboos surrounding GSA and its variable and complex nature, the frequency of these cases is almost impossible to quantify, although some agencies estimate that elements of GSA occur in 50% of reunions. Growing awareness of its potentially devastating implications, especially in cases where relatives embark on a sexual relationship, has prompted some organisations to warn all clients attempting to trace a relative about the phenomenon, while also training counsellors to recognise the warning signs and to help adoptees and their families cope with the damage.
...
It wasn't until almost a decade later, when Gonyo became the director of Truth Seekers In Adoption and raised the issue of GSA, that others began plucking up the courage to confess their own "forbidden" attraction to a parent, adult child or sibling with whom they had been reunited. She vividly remembers the first time someone raised their hand in one workshop. A man in his 30s, he was the first person she saw stand up in a room full of people and speak the unspeakable. "He simply said, 'I slept with my mother. I was 21 when I found her. We were very much in love. After several years, it stopped.' His mother had ended the relationship because it was too painful for her; she felt guilty and was afraid of being discovered. That was more than 10 years ago, and he said he'd not only lost his lover but what was even more important: his mother. He said he had never regretted having sex with his mother, only that losing her was a high price to pay."
I found this interesting as my ex-wife and I share a relatively rare blood group - perhaps it's all down to smell, or 'chemistry'.
 

carole

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#7
Incest must be the biggest taboo of all. I suppose there is common sense behind this view, because any child of such a union stands a chance of having defects due to inbreeding.

But, I suppose that doesn't stop it happening. Things aren't black and white, there are many shades in between and in some cases it might be difficult to determine where 'brotherly' love ends and 'sexual' love begins. It must be truly anquishing for those who experience it.

There's a story line in the Casualty series on TV at present, where a half brother and sister are in love and have all the feelings of guilt. They know they mustn't carry on their love affair, but they appear to be truly in love with each other. I suppose this instance of incest is different, in that the pair have not been brought up as brother and sustger; they didn't even know they were siblings until the girl's mother revealed that she had given up the boy for adoption when he was a baby.

And there was a series of books a couple of decades ago - 'Flowers in the Attic' was one of them - on a similar theme.

Carole
 

escargot

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#8
My BF looks scarily like the men in my own family and I definitely had 'daddy' vibes from him when we met! We're not related though.

My neighbours didn't know I had a new man in my life- they thought my brother was popping round a lot!
I wonder what they think now they know. Hmmm.....
 

carole

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#9
I didn't change my surname when I married and on the top table at our wedding reception there was only one person with a different surname (my best friendm who was one of the bridesmaids). She told me later that one of the waitresses had sidled up to her and whispered, 'It's not one of them funny weddings, is it?'

Carole
 

stu neville

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#11
carole said:
She told me later that one of the waitresses had sidled up to her and whispered, 'It's not one of them funny weddings, is it?'

Carole
What, with all the guests on one side of the church? :D
 

Bullseye

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#12
When I first met one of my half-sisters at my full blood sisters wedding (I did'nt know we were related, nor did she) there was defininate attraction there,until my mother(who I did not know at the time) introduced us to each other. Bloody hell this sounds confusing, it certainly was at the time:eek!!!!: !!!!!!
 

Anome

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#13
Jared Diamond, in The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee, mentions studies showing that we tend to be attracted to people who in some way resemble the appropriately sexed parent. Often not in obvious ways (he cites the example of himself and his wife, and her resemblance to his mother in terms of the distance between their eyes, and things like that.) He also claims that studies with kibbitzum in Israel have shown that the "anti-incest" instinct is developed in the first 5 - 7 years. This is shown by the low number of intra-kibbitz (I'm probably mis-spelling that word) marriages. (The number in the study was one. And that involved a person whose family joined the kibbutz/kibbitz/whatever after they and their future spouse turned 7.)

Of course, such forbidden love is a staple of tortuous romances. The TV series Sons and Daughters started with it as their main plot. And it was a sub-plot on another local soap, Arcade. (I do not recommend either of these programs to anybody.) And according to Elaine Showalter (in Hystories), it's also a staple of the erotic fiction published by Black Lace (supposedly by and for women).
 

TheOriginalCujo

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#14
I remeber reading something about this. It seems that the incest taboo it built from constant close contact, as Anome says.

Unfortuantely we are often naturally attracted to people who are similar to us. We sense their mental and emotional simmilarities and these things tell us that our attraction may be reciprocated.

In these adult reunions the shared genes make for similar minds but they don't have the protection of familiarity.

Cujo
 

JamesWhitehead

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#15
I'm sure I read a piece of research - well a report about a piece of
research anyway - which claimed the incest taboo was based on a
distaste for the smell of our siblings. :confused: :cross eye
 
A

Anonymous

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#16
Radio 4 had a program recently on the subject.

While "close" incest - brother-sister, father-daughter, etc. - is genetically a bad idea, relationships between cousins are ideal. They are genetically disimilar enough not to cause problems, but close enough not to dilute the "family" genes.

I thought being attracted by someone's smell meant you were genetically different enough to have healthy children, so maybe that's why you're supposed to dislike your sibling's smell.

And as the article said, long-lost brothers and sister are often attracted physically by one another. Something to do with being overwhelmed with emotions and having a hard time identifying them.
They had a counselor on the program who said they routinely warned people of this, and althought the usual reaction was "it won't happen to me", at least when it did happen, the people involved knew they weren't freaks and could come back to discuss it.
 

carole

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#18
Don'[t breeders of pedigree dogs and cats (and probably other animals) breed children-parent and brother-sister animals under certain conditions?

Carole
 
A

Anonymous

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#19
The Radio 4 program centered on the case of a man who had been found guilty of incest with his half-sister. One of the contributors pointed out that, although this type of relationship is illegal, sex between adoptive siblings is not... But less likely to happen, because of the kibbutz effect.

[EDIT]
I also found a July 2002 Radio 4 program about a book by a Mary Hamer, arguing that incest between consenting adult siblings is not necessarily damaging.
 

Rrose_Selavy

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#21
There may welll be a very strong hormonal element at work - For example the hormone Oxytocin plays a role in bonding the new mother with her child but is also implicated in bonding adult couples -
 

escargot

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#22
There was a plot in Ch 4's Brookside a few years ago about a 20-something sister-and-brother couple who'd been at it like knives since they were kids. (Were they called Georgina and Nathan?)

The point was supposed to be that, as Sally mentions, there is evidence that incest between consenting adults is sometimes not harmful.

The couple concerned were middle-class, well-spoken and physically attractive - not rednecks!- and had made plans for the bloke to have a vasectomy as they intended to stay together.
They seemed well-adjusted and mature, and the secret only came out when they were caught at it by one of their parents.

Seemed silly to me but the soap-mad ex took it very seriously!
 

Anome

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#23
Sally said:
I thought being attracted by someone's smell meant you were genetically different enough to have healthy children, so maybe that's why you're supposed to dislike your sibling's smell.
I've heard (from Dr Karl, no less) that the "smell" attraction is related to the immune system. IE: If someone smells attractive to you, it means that they have a complementary immune system, and any offspring you might have would benefit from a greater pool of immunity.

One of the problems with taking hormonal pills for birth control is that it changes the way people smell to you. So someone who might smell like your perfect life partner may end up smelling like week-old socks when you get around to the business of trying to breed with them.
 
A

Anonymous

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#24
There was a study a short while ago that claimed that women choose differnt partners while on birth control pills. As I remember while they were on the pill they were attracted to rugged, masculine types but once off were more attracted to baby-faced sensitive types......the article I read rather dangerously linked the rise in birth control to the rise in divorces as women found themselves lumbered with partners they no longer found attractive.

My ex and myself were often mistaken for brother and sister (no real similarity but both dark-haired). My great aunt almost married a first cousin that she only found out was a cousin by a chance comment. Her family were horrified and broke the relationship up despite the fact that the man in question was good and kind and loved her and her estranged husband was a brute and in prison on a fraud charge. They made her go back to him and suffer another 30 years of misery............
 

MrRING

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#25
Now that I have your attention :D ...

I know that humans are prone to birth defects if incestuous relations are had in the species. I'm pretty sure, though, that not every animal species sufferes like humans do in the regard, and can and do produce healthy offspring through incest (especially when that animal is close to extinction - everybody in that organism is a kissin' cousin at that point).

If this is true, then why does human incest produce birth defects when in other species it's not important? Is it because humans are the most complex animals on Earth and even little defects that won't effect other animals are devistating in a human? Or that, say if an alligator was born with a defect, that it could still do just fine in nature because higher mental functioning isn't important?

Or is there a general corruption in the human DNA code that has more junk DNA than most other animals, hence the more birth defects? Does this set humans apart from all other animals, or are the other Great Apes similarly affected by incest? And what does it say about our evolutionary origins if we are unique in regards to incest?

Or do I have it wrong, and incest is a bad thing for all animals equally?
 
A

Anonymous

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#26
Incest dramatically increases the chances of recessive genes (good or bad, but mostly bad) showing up. Most animals have no medical help and the mutated ones probably die quite early on.
 

AMPHIARAUS

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#27
IIRC the offspring of incest in humans are not any more likely to have spontaneous birth defects.

If a serious defect already existed then of course it may be "locked in" by close.

pinched from web, no author ref:
It increases homozygotes. Only if the homozygote encodes a defect will the child be born with a birth defect. If children with defects were killed (as was the routine practice around the world in the pre-modern era), the practice of incest would actually result in fewer birth defects over time, as defective zygotes are bread out of the species.
 
A

Anonymous

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#28
Eventually, yes, the dangerous things would be bred out, but we'd end up like bananas, if you see what I mean.
 

AMPHIARAUS

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#29
Inverurie Jones posted:
Eventually, yes, the dangerous things would be bred out, but we'd end up like bananas, if you see what I mean.
Yup!

A bit like all the Rimmers on RimmerWorld, if you saw the Red Dwarf episode. Not a pleasant image.
 
A

Anonymous

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#30
There was a recent study done in Ireland that claimed that the tradition of marriage to first cousins, popular in the Traveller (Irish Gypsy) community, did not result in poorer health or genetic defects among the resulting children. Traveller children do have a higher than average rate of illnesses such as asthma, skin ailments, etc. but it was found that these were due to poor living conditions and nutrition.
 
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