Definition of incest in English English dictionary
Sexual relations between close relatives (too closely related to be legally married), usually considered taboo, and a crime in many jurisdictions
sexual relations between people who may not legally marry, especially between close relatives
Incest is the crime of two members of the same family having sexual intercourse, for example a father and daughter, or a brother and sister. sex between people who are closely related in a family (incestum, from castus ; CHASTE). Sexual relations between persons who, because of the nature of their kinship ties, are prohibited by law or custom from intermarrying. The incest taboo is generally universal, although it is imposed differently in different societies. Usually, the closer the genetic relationship between two people, the stronger and more highly charged is the taboo prohibiting or discouraging sexual relations. Some sociobiologists consider that inbred populations have diminished reproductive success and become gene pools for hereditary disorders. Some cultural anthropologists argue instead that the incest prohibition, with the corresponding rules of exogamy, acts to require males to seek sexual and marital partners outside the group, thereby establishing useful alliances. Other theories emphasize the need to control sexual jealousies within the family or to prepare children to function with restraint in adult society. No single explanation seems satisfactory, causing some to question whether incest should be treated as a unitary subject. Most cases of incest that come before criminal courts concern sexual intercourse between fathers and relatively young daughters (see child abuse)
sexual intercourse between persons too closely related to marry (as between a parent and a child)
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