In law, a prohibited degree of kinship refers to a degree of consanguinity (blood relatedness) between persons that results in certain actions between them becoming illegal. Two major examples of prohibited degrees are found in incest and nepotism. Incest refers to sexual relations and marriage between closely related individuals; nepotism is the preference of blood-relations in the distribution of a rank or office.
An incest taboo against relations between mother and son is a cultural universal. Taboos against sexual relations between individuals of other degrees of close relationship vary between the world's cultures, but stigmatization of unions with full siblings and with direct descendants are widespread.
One example of criminalization of nepotism is in the US state of Texas, which restricts the appointment or hiring of relatives by public officials.
Famous quotes containing the words kinship, prohibited and/or degree:
“The spiritual kinship between Lincoln and Whitman was founded upon their Americanism, their essential Westernism. Whitman had grown up without much formal education; Lincoln had scarcely any education. One had become the notable poet of the day; one the orator of the Gettsyburg Address. It was inevitable that Whitman as a poet should turn with a feeling of kinship to Lincoln, and even without any association or contact feel that Lincoln was his.”
—Edgar Lee Masters (18691950)
“[Research has found that] ... parents whose children were baby altruists by two years firmly prohibited any child aggression against others. Adults not only restated their rule against hitting, for example, but they let the little one know that they would not tolerate the child hurting another.”
—Alice Sterling Honig (20th century)
“[F]or as Socrates says that a wise man is a citizen of the world, so I thought that a wise woman was equally at liberty to range through every station or degree of men, to fix her choice wherever she pleased.”
—Sarah Fielding (17101768)