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Incest, inbreeding, and their consequences

Bittles, A.H. (2015) Incest, inbreeding, and their consequences. In: Wright, J.D., (ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier, pp. 725-729.

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The global human population can be divided into societies in which legal marriage between close family members traditionally has been favored and practiced, and those in which it is avoided or precluded. Consanguineous unions are mainly chosen on social and economic grounds, whereas the reasons for their avoidance are based on religious teachings and the prevention of adverse health effects. Incest is the closest form of sexual relationship; currently it is a criminal offense in almost all the societies. Given the stringent legal prohibitions, information on the prevalence and adverse genetic effects of incest is scarce, and most of the available data are significantly biased.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Other Information: 2nd Edition
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