Close Is Too Close: What

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

The only recognized form of incest taboo is among the berdeche. While for the Jews there is no differentiation between siblings as it is a mandate for the members of the group to marry within the inner circle instead of outside regardless of the consequences.

One also observes the fact that incest taboo according to western standards is justifiable as it promotes genetic deformity. According to studies siblings' marriage is considered a taboo because of the biological consequences. The unification of the same genes often results in psychological defects which in turn result in deteriorated characters in a person. As a result social ills like rape, further incest and murder becomes common among that culture. Since violent behaviors and obsessions are considered to be genetic, inheritance of such genes could mean that a particular cultural group will become prone to violence, rape, murder or illegal sex.

Given the above scenario, the chances of recurring violent behavior as in the case of the Jews are expected. One also expects that a certain cultural groups to be dangerous to the other groups because of the genetic transference of violent behaviors. If evidence of such trends is proven, then one can safely assume that incest taboo is dangerous with relevance to social progression.

American culture compared

Compared to the above cultural dimensions, incest among the Americans is strictly prohibited. Marriage among cousins even is considered to be a negative social alliance so much so that even the law prohibits such illegal sexual acts. Furthermore, it has been observed that American culture is leaned towards the Christian orthodoxy which prohibit inter-group marriages. The resultant is that Americans have been able to ally with groups outside its social circle as well as expand its "kinship" with other cultures easily. Incest taboo therefore considered to be the cause of social deterioration rather than social integration. Unlike the Jews, Native Americans and the Malagasy, the American people however are not close with regards to family bonding and relationship building as a result of their distancing attitude and discrimination of incest behaviors.

Conclusion

From the above discussion it is clear that incest taboo is a relative term and varies from cultures to cultures. There are advantageous as well as disadvantageous consequences to the practice of incest. Although it has been acknowledged that incest has been an aged old norm but its condemnation is a relatively new phenomenon. This is because in the olden days social groups were more concerned about the preservation of their groups and generational progression but today with scientific discoveries people are more conscious of the genetic inheritance through incest. As a result people are abandoning their traditions to follow the Western cultures. Yet in some cultures the practice is still inherent as they feel that they need to preserve their cultural values. In such social cultures it has been observed that relationships of such incestual nature are harmful for the society as the genetic inheritance through the offspring of such relationships often recur violent and deviant behaviors.

References

Sander L. Gilman Sibling incest, madness, and the "Jews." Social Research Summer, 1998.

J. Shepher, Incest: A Biosocial View, New York: Academic, 1983.

Kottak, Conrad P. Cultural Anthropology, 9/e University of Michigan, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2002.

Williams, Walter L. The Spirit and the Flesh, Sexual Diversity in the American Indian Culture. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

Gunther, Hans F.K., Rassenkunde des judischen Volkes (Munchen J.F. Lehmann, 1930), p. 134.

Bloch, Maurice. Commensality and Poisoning. Social Research Spring, 1999.

Finney, Gail, "Self-Reflexive Siblings: Incest as Narcissism in Tieck, Wagner, and Thomas…