(noun) Sexual relations between certain members of a family.
Example: Sexual relations between a father and daughter.
Audio Pronunciation: (in·cest)
Download Audio Pronunciation: incest.mp3
- Called the incest taboo, a prohibition against incest exists in all societies but the particular relationships prohibited varies. The most common is a child and a parent or two siblings such as a brother and sister.
- Type: adelphogamy
- Also called inbreeding.
- Incest used in a sentence: Rule against incest vary across societies and cultures.
- Sexual relations between a mother and son are (adjective) incestuous.
- “Violation of taboos is punishable by the group or even, according to certain belief systems, by a supernatural force. The incest taboo which prohibits sexual or martial relations between certain categories of kin, is an example of a nearly universal taboo” (Kendall 2006:56).
- Family and Kinship Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “incest” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Arens, W. 1986. The Original Sin: Incest and its Meaning. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Bell, Vikki. 1993. Interrogating Incest: Feminism, Foucault and the Law. London: Routledge.
- Endsjø, Dag Øistein. 2011. Sex and Religion: Teachings and Taboos in the History of World Faiths. London: Reaktion.
- Forward, Susan, and Craig Buck. 1988. Betrayal of Innocence: Incest and its Devastation. New York: Penguin.
- Héritier, Françoise. 1999. Two Sisters and their Mother: The Anthropology of Incest. New York: Zone Books.
- Kuper, Adam. 2009. Incest & Influence: The Private Life of Bourgeois England. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Leavitt, Gregory C. 1990. “Sociobiological Explanations of Incest Avoidance: A Critical Review of Evidential Claims.” American Anthropologist 92(4):971–93. doi:10.1525/aa.1990.92.4.02a00070.
- Sumner, Colin, ed. 2004. The Blackwell Companion to Criminology. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
- Turner, Jonathan H., and Alexandra Maryanski. 2005. Incest: Origins of the Taboo. Boulder, CO: Paradigm.
- Westerlund, Elaine. 1992. Women’s Sexuality after Childhood Incest. New York: Norton.
- Wolf, Arthur P., and William H. Durham, eds. 2005. Inbreeding, Incest, and the Incest Taboo: The State of Knowledge at the Turn of the Century. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
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How to Cite the Definition of Incest
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “incest.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 20, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/incest/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
incest. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/incest/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “incest.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 20, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/incest/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“incest.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 20 May. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/incest/>.