History of incest

History of incest

Antiquity

In ancient China, first cousins with the same surnames (i.e., those born to the father’s brothers) were not permitted to marry, while those with different surnames (i.e., maternal cousins and paternal cousins born to the father’s sisters) were.

According to the Biblical Book of Genesis, the Patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah were half-siblings, both being children of Terah (Ge 20:12).

The fable of Oedipus, with a theme of inadvertent incest between a mother and son, ends in disaster and shows ancient taboos against incest as Oedipus is punished for incestuous actions by blinding himself. In the “sequel” to Oedipus, Antigone, his four children are also punished for their parents having been incestuous.

Incest appears in the commonly accepted version of the birth of Adonis, when his mother, Myrrha has sex with her father Cinyras during a festival, disguised as a prostitute.

Incest is mentioned and condemned in Virgil’s Aeneid Book VI: hic thalamum invasit natae vetitosque hymenaeos; “This one invaded a daughter’s room and a forbidden sex act”.

It is generally accepted that sibling marriages were widespread among all classes in Egypt during the Graeco-Roman period. Numerous papyri and the Roman census declarations attest to many husbands and wives being brother and sister. The most well known of these relationships were in the royal family, 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. Greek law allowed marriage between a brother and sister if they had different mothers. For example, some accounts say that Elpinice was for a time married to her half-brother Cimon

Incestuous unions were frowned upon and considered as nefas (against the laws of gods and man) in ancient Rome. In AD 295 incest was explicitly forbidden by an imperial edict, which divided the concept of incestus into two categories of unequal gravity: the incestus iuris gentium, which was applied to both Romans and non-Romans in the Empire, and the incestus iuris civilis, which concerned only Roman citizens. Therefore, for example, an Egyptian could marry an aunt, but a Roman could not. Despite the act of incest being unacceptable within the Roman Empire, Roman Emperor Caligula is rumored to have had sexual relationships with all three of his sisters (Julia Livilla, Drusilla, and Agrippina the Younger).Emperor Claudius, after executing his previous wife, married his brother’s daughter Agrippina the Younger, and changed the law to allow an otherwise illegal union. The law prohibiting marrying a sister’s daughter remained. The taboo against incest in Ancient Rome is demonstrated by the fact that politicians would use charges of incest (often false charges) as insults and means of political disenfranchisement.

In Norse mythology there are themes of brother-sister marriage, a prominent example being between Njörðr and his unnamed sister (perhaps Nerthus), parents of Freyja and Freyr. Loki in turn also accuses Freyja and Freyr of having a sexual relationship.

Middle Ages

Many European monarchs were related due to political marriages, sometimes resulting in distant cousins (and even first cousins) being married. This was especially true in the Habsburg, Hohenzollern, Savoy and Bourbon royal houses. Incestuous marriages were also seen in the royal houses of ancient Japan and Korea. Half-sibling marriages were found in ancient Japan such as the marriage of Emperor Bidatsu and his half-sister Empress Suiko. Japanese Prince Kinashi no Karu had sexual relationships with his full sister Princess Karu no Ōiratsume, although the action was regarded as foolish. In order to prevent the influence of the other families, a half-sister of Korean Goryeo Dynasty monarch Gwangjong became his wife in the 10th century. Brother-sister marriages were common during some Roman periods as some census records have shown.

Which Country has the highest incest rate?

High Incest Activity Countries

That is a hard question to answer. Several countries share the spot for having the highest incest rate. The problem is that this information is rarely tracked by third world countries. In developed nations, the case of sexual abuse, will always be naturally under reported. In the case of consensual incest, the topic is still taboo, but due to the nature of consent, we have a better picture.

Plausible Assumptions

  • Countries with the least amount civil liberties and individual rights for women and children will have the fewest checks in place to dissuade victimization by incestuous predators. In countries with regimes that women and children do not have a voice, are most likely to engage in non-consensual or cultural incest.
  • Under the premise that those under the average age of consent is 14 world-wide; Western counseling agencies reports that around 78% of women and children (males and females) coming from the most repressive country regimes such as UzbekistanAfghanistanTurkmenistan, and Chechnya have experienced on-going or initiative non-consensual incest.
  • Africa as a continent is an enigma. There are not lots of information regarding incest in Africa. The other problems there are so vast, that incest flys below the radar. It can be assumed, that the statistics would be similar to those of the Middle East. No major Incest Community groups consider any country in Africa a destination to practice and engage with others who practice consensual incest.
  • When you combine poverty with alcoholism, the pervasiveness of both consensual incest and violent based dramatically increases within any given society, culture, and country. In the United States, while incest is not statistically high, certain regions suffer from quadruple the rate of incest; such as many of those from the poverty-alcoholism stricken region of the Appalachian Mountains and the swamps or backwoods of the Deep South. It is so commonly known, that this has become part of American cultural fabric often referenced in literature, theater, movies, art, and music. following are a list of countries which suffers from the highest poverty-alcoholism rate in the world; were high levels of incest is plausible although, may or may not be backed by data. Although the following countries may not be poor due to the extreme wealth of some of their major cities, the gap is evident by the percentage of poor in the country.
    • Republic of Croatia
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Russian Federation (with the exception of Moscow and St. Petersburg)
    • Georgia
    • Poland
    • Slovakia
    • Hungary
    • Czech Republic
    • Bulgaria
    • The Slavic and Balkan Regions particularly
    • ChinaCultural or Witnesses Based Observation (Well known in the Incest Community)High Rates of non-consensual incest as chronicled by some organizations:
  • India | RAHI (Recovering and Healing from Incest) Foundation, Cultural
  • Russia, Romania, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary | Major Consensual Incest Porn Production Industry, Consensual Incest Tourism Destination, Family Sex Trafficking Businesses (non-consensual). There are several porn production companies which run and star in family sex business without its overseas customers being aware. Russia is the largest producer of family porn.
  • Brazil, Columbia | Major Consensual Incest Tourism Destination, Consensual Incest Porn Production Industry, Cultural
  • Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, NetherlandsSwedenFinland | Cultural Incest is high particularly in Japan and Holland. The organization CHRIS in Holland reports one-in-seven people have practiced incest for a prolonged period of time. These places are major destinations for Consensual Incest Tourism.
  • Middle East, Afghanistan, Turkey | In Afghanistan, it is common for boys experience incest or sexual abuse by males with the knowledge of their fathers, up to the age of 13 when the technically become men. It is seen as a rite of passage. Based on the account women and girls, 78% have been exposed to prolonged incestuous contact. Women and children often time are beaten or killed if they would dare complain, in honor killings. They keep silent and at some level engage as something normal because of its cultural pervasiveness. This has also been observed by NGO’s and military personnel. According to Turkish government reports of the documented abuse cases;18% of minors have been documented as victims of sexual abuse in Turkey. Social Services and Child Protection Agency (SHÇEK). Consensual incest is widely accepted to be a very high figure.Permissive Governments and Havens for Consensual Incest
  • Regarding Russia, India, Japan, Belgium, France, Brazil, Portugal, Holland (Netherlands), Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Israel; consensual Incestuous Families have for long, favored these countries as places to meet up with others who practice the same. Brazil, Spain, Holland, and France has become a popular destinations for those who practice incest to move to.