When Cousins Do More Than Kiss

Submitted By CydBush
Words: 505
Pages: 3

When Cousins do more than kiss
After an in-law admits to kissing a cousin, anthropologist Anthony Lang is inspired to write an article over incest taboo. “When Cousins Do More than Kiss” addresses incest taboo in traditional and modern societies but also discusses the benefits that incest may bring to certain social situations. In the article, Lang first addresses the fact that in practically all cultures incest between father and daughter are strictly prohibited along with most sexual relations between siblings. In some states in the United States it used to be illegal for in-laws to marry, even though sexual relations with a brother in-law raises no inbreeding issues at all. While we have always been fairly strict about incest in the United States, some societies have made exceptions to incest in the past and in the present. An example are royal families out of Peru and Hawaii. In royal families they actually use to encourage incest to keep the blood in the family royal and to not dilute it.
Lang is adamant in the article in pointing out that incest taboos vary widely across cultures. Tribal cultures use to partake in incest, but due to the rise and preaching of recent Christian missionaries most no longer do. There have been stories over hemophiliacs that are caused by incest in the European civilization, however, Lang points out that we really do not have much biological information about incest because of the nature of the subject. In the United States we are made to believe that incest is bad because of the genetic and biological abnormalities. The author suggests that perhaps we are just retaining ancient tribal beliefs.
In ancient times we lived in hunter-gatherer tribes. Men of the tribe were encouraged to marry and find a mate outside of the tribe because this encouraged tighter bonds with other tribes to help maintain peace and sharing of food. This also extended general knowledge from one band to the…