Why it's gross to kiss your sister


sanctus
#1


By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

Researchers who wanted to find out why it is not only taboo to kiss your sister, but also disgusting, said on Wednesday they have discovered why in a discovery that challenges some basic tenets of Freudian theory.
The instinct evolved naturally and cannot be taught, John Tooby and Leda Cosmides of the University of California Santa Barbara wrote in their report in the journal Nature.
Spending time in the same household and watching your mother care for your brother or sister is all it takes. This is
all subconscious, of course, reported the researchers, who worked with Debra Lieberman of the University of Hawaii.
"We went in search of a kin detection system because some of the most important theories in evolutionary biology said such a thing should exist," Cosmides said in a telephone interview.
"It should regulate both altruism and incest disgust."
Humans have an inbuilt system that does both, they found.
"This data shows that the degree to which we feel those things is governed by these cues that, for hunter-gatherers, predict whether somebody is a sibling. And it works regardless of your beliefs -- who you are told who your siblings are," she
said.
Cosmides and her colleagues tested 600 volunteers, asking them all sorts of questions jumbled together so they would not know what was being studied.
"We asked them how many favors did you do for this particular sibling in a month. We asked if this sibling needed a kidney, how likely would you be to donate this sibling a kidney."
FORBIDDEN FRUIT
And they asked about all sorts of ethical dilemmas, including questions about sexual relationships with siblings.
Among the volunteers were people who had never shared a home with their siblings -- for instance, full- or half-siblings born 10 or even 20 years apart.
What determined incest disgust and altruism was the same --
how much time an older sibling spent watching his or her mother care for a younger one, or how much time the two spent together in the same household.
"If you co-resided with them for a long time as a child, you'd treat them as you'd treat any full sibling. This seems to
operate non-consciously," Cosmides said.
Especially strong was the effect of watching one's mother care for a younger child. "They would be very altruistic toward
that baby and they'd be grossed out at the idea of sex with that baby as an adult," Cosmides said.
Women are especially sensitive to this, added Cosmides, a cognitive psychologist. "One whiff of possible siblinghood and that's it for you if you are a woman," she said.
The study contradicts the teachings of Sigmund Freud, who described Oedipal urges and conflicts, Cosmides said.
"He thought you are attracted to your relatives and your siblings and parents and it takes the force of culture and society to keep you from committing the incest that is in your heart," she said.
Cosmides said Freud had a possible reason for his own feelings -- he had a wet nurse who cuddled and breastfed him: "Who their brain thinks is mom is different from who they consciously believe is mom. For them it is quite reasonable that they have an attraction to their mothers."






Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

 
darleneonfire
#2
I read "My Secret Garden" by Nancy Friday.
I was amazed how many women's fantasies centred around
their fathers and brothers.
 
hermanntrude
#3
i have met people online who have had all sorts of experiences with their siblings. If i meet another I'll see if i can find out if they grew up together, and whether one saw the other as a baby.
 
AmberEyes
#4
Was freud the guy who thought everybody's deepest desire was to sleep with their mom?

Can't say I've ever wanted to sleep with a relative. I've certainly found some of my cousins attractive, but I wouldn't ever sleep with them. I'm not against people who want to do that, I just wouldn't want to myself.
 
tanakar
#5
Sigmund 'Fraud' probably would have trampled over his mother to ****-rape his grandmother.

Self-obsessed pseudo-scientific BS. Psychiatry is the biggest non-empirical hoax ever perpetrated upon a gullible populace.

Cash-cow for the 'self-chosen'.
 
tracy
#6
I need to show this article to every idiot who has ever told me I could sleep with my brother since we're adopted and not genetically related.
 
karrie
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by darleneonfireView Post

I read "My Secret Garden" by Nancy Friday.
I was amazed how many women's fantasies centred around
their fathers and brothers.

My personal experience, is that most fantasies and fetishes these days arise out of a feeling of 'wrong'. Half those women, if you told them they could, that it was perfectly reasonable and okay to sleep with their relatives, would probably have no true desire to do so. The feeling that arises of pondering on something naughty, something bad, is what excites them.
 
thomaska
#8
This has the "gross" ometer pegged to the right as well...

PORTLAND, Ore. An 84-year-old woman who confessed to having sex with an 11-year-old boy in her foster care reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted sex abuse, officials said.

www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,252379,00.html (external - login to view)
 
karrie
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by thomaskaView Post

This has the "gross" ometer pegged to the right as well...

PORTLAND, Ore. An 84-year-old woman who confessed to having sex with an 11-year-old boy in her foster care reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted sex abuse, officials said.

www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,252379,00.html (external - login to view)

yeah, that article already has its own thread.
 
CanadianMatt
#10
this is sick and degusting...all i have to say.
 
ShepherdsDog
#11
Why is it??? It just is. Now let's talk about something else that doesn't want to make most people hurl.
 
karrie
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by CanadianMattView Post

this is sick and degusting...all i have to say.

What exactly is sick and disgusting? Because an article explaining how and why we develop an aversion to sibling relations seems pretty basic to me. There's not much about reseraching the issue which I find disgusting. It seems like a pretty key thing to check into. Do you feel they shouldn't research it? Or were you just talking about the topic of incest in general?
 
Dexter Sinister
#13
Obviously none of you people have seen my sisters...
 
#juan
#14
Isn't there a saying, "The family that plays together, stays together". I could be wrong...
 
eh1eh
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by ShepherdsDogView Post

Why is it??? It just is. Now let's talk about something else that doesn't want to make most people hurl.

The good and clean people post in the religious forums.
 
sanctus
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by eh1ehView Post

The good and clean people post in the religious forums.


So the rest of us aren't good and clean people, eh??? hah hah
 
ShepherdsDog
#17
I'm neither most of the time. Good and clean people aren't necessarily religious and people who claim to be religious aren't always good and clean people (I've worked at a Catholic school and some of the most duplicitous, mean spirited and downright immoral people I've ever met are Dominican nuns).
 
eh1eh
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by ShepherdsDogView Post

I'm neither most of the time. Good and clean people aren't necessarily religious and people who claim to be religious aren't always good and clean people (I've worked at a Catholic school and some of the most duplicitous, mean spirited and downright immoral people I've ever met are Dominican nuns).

Yo! What you said. We are working on new ranks right now, but there has been a suggestion for a sarcasm font. Watch for that poll soon. LOL
 
Kreskin
#19
I posted a while back about a study that looked at attraction and dna similarities. It concluded that even when the study group had no idea of the similarity/differences between their genes and those they were to pick as "most attractive" they were more likely to be attracted to those with more differences in dna. It suggested we could be biologically wired to find less attraction in not only those we know as family but even those we don't if they are too similar to us genetically, even when not conscious of that make up.
 
Curiosity
#20
Familiarity often breeds contempt too....

The experience of living with someone during the "formative" years might fixate one's desire level to outright repugnance..... brothers and sisters - may love each other in the traditional sense - but may know far too much about each other to have any future wish to cohabitate any longer than necessary..... but

The "taboo factor" has to do with genetic replication more than society's condemnation I think, because to combine two creatures from the same gene pool may produce not so fortunate babies....whether nature is responsible for the attraction indicator I don't know of any actual proof done by scientific study. It would however be a wise deterrent if it were working against any of us "falling in love" with a related sibling.

Anyway Fried (er Freud) and his sexual teachings are mostly a crock of his own personal unmet desires.
 
Kreskin
#21
Studies often bring up more questions than answers. They also often come to different conclusions. Here is one:

Opposites attract, genetic study finds


By Jamie Talan
Tribune Newspapers: Newsday
Published December 13, 2006


The term "opposites attract" has new meaning in a lab at the University of New Mexico, where scientists have discovered that women are more attracted to men who are genetically dissimilar to them. After studying 48 romantic couples, researchers found women were more apt to find their partners less sexually desirable and more likely to be unfaithful if they shared similar sets of certain genes.

The genes studied are called major histocompatibility complex, or MHC. They're part of the immune system responsible for recognizing things not part of the self, thus alerting the troops to fend off foreign invaders. MHC genes, it turns out, also are responsible for how a person smells, and how another person will interpret that smell.

Give these scientists a man and his T-shirt and they can tell whether a particular woman will be more attracted to him--merely based on a whiff of the T-shirt he wore and the genes in his MHC complex.

In this study, published in Psychological Science, Christine Garver-Apgar, Steven Gangestad, Randy Thornhill, Robert Miller and Jon Olp found that the genes did guide behavior. They genetically typed 48 romantic college couples who had been together an average of two years. They asked the women a series of questions about their sexual responsiveness toward their mate--and their unfaithfulness in the relationship.

Thornhill said they were interested in a woman's response to their main romantic partner and whether their MHC genes could help provide intimate details of this relationship across the menstrual cycle. The team's earlier work showed that women's sexual preference changes across a menstrual cycle.

The main question was this: Does your partner turn you on? They also asked the male partners about the female's sexual receptiveness to confirm their partner's response.

Then they looked at three MHC genes, each with two different varieties, and compared each partner's genetic makeup.

The more similar, the less sexually responsive they were to their partners. They also were more unfaithful. The genetically similar women reported more attraction, interest and fantasy toward other men prior to ovulation. When they were not in that phase of the cycle, they showed no sexual interest outside of their partner.

----------
www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...ationworld-hed (external - login to view)
 
tracy
#22
Oddly enough I saw a study recently that said a woman giving birth over the age of 40 was more likely to have a child with health problems than a woman giving birth to a baby conceived with her cousin. It seems to suggest that our disgust with such relationships isn't really because of genetic issues or we'd be equally disgusted with older mothers.
 
missile
#23
I must be part Puritan then; even shaking one of my sisters' hands is unthinkable!
 

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