Incest is sexual intercourse between family members and close relatives. The term may apply to sexual activities between: individuals of close "blood relationship"; members of the same household; step relatives related by adoption or marriage; and members of the same clan or lineage. The incest taboo is and has been one of the most common of all cultural taboos, both in current nations and many past societies. Most modern societies have laws regarding incest or social restrictions on closely consanguineous marriages. In countries where it is illegal, consensual adult incest is seen by some as a victimless crime.

In some societies, such as those of Ancient Egypt and others, brother–sister, father–daughter, and mother–son, cousin-cousin, uncle-niece, aunt-nephew, and other permutations of relations were practiced among royalty as a means of perpetuating the royal lineage. In addition, the Balinese and some Inuit tribes have altogether different beliefs about what constitutes illegal and immoral incest. However, parent-child and sibling-sibling unions are almost universally forbidden.

Children born of close incestous unions have greatly increased risk of congenital disorders, death and disability at least in part due to genetic diseases caused by the inbreeding.

Read more about Incest:  Terminology, Prevalence and Statistics, Inbreeding, Animals, In Popular Culture, Laws

Other articles related to "incest":

Laws Regarding Incest - Africa - South Africa
... In South Africa, incest is a statutory crime according to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 ... The act defines the offence of incest as sexual penetration between persons who are related lineally, that is, if one person is a direct descendant of the other ... Prior to the passing of the act, incest was a common law offence which extended to the same degrees of relationship but applied only to vaginal intercourse ...
Sheffield Incest Case
... The Sheffield incest case concerns the conviction in November 2008 in Sheffield Crown Court of a 54-year-old English businessman who, undetected over a period of 25 years, committed incestuous ... After this and a similar incest case in Swindon in 2003, independent inquiries were set up to examine the way in which the case was dealt with by local authorities, the medical profession ...
Incest - Religious Views - Buddhist
... Most variations of Buddhism decide locally about the details of incest as a wrongdoing, according to local cultural standards ... Buddhist monks and nuns strictly forbid any type of sexual misconduct but incest is not specifically defined as sexual misconduct, and therefore depends on the culture of the area ...
Laws Regarding Incest
... Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives ... Incest laws may also vary between individual states or provinces within a country, depend on the age and sex of those involved and often extends to marriage between said individuals ... When incest involves an adult and a child, it is usually considered to be a form of child sexual abuse ...
Laws Regarding Incest - North America - Canada
... Under Canadian law, incest is defined as having a sexual relationship with a sibling (including half-sibling), child/parent or grandchild/grandparent while knowing the ... A person who commits incest with someone under the age of 16 is liable to a minimum imprisonment of 5 years ... A conviction for incest also places the offenders on the Sex Offenders Registry for the rest of their life ...

Famous quotes containing the word incest:

    As long as fathers rule but do not nurture, as long as mothers nurture but do not rule, the conditions favoring the development of father-daughter incest will prevail.
    Judith Lewis Herman (b. 1942)