TWO IMPORTANT TOPICS ADDRESSED BY PSYCHOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS • Incest avoidance and the incest taboo • Enculturation and the sex drive
UNDERSTANDING INCEST AVOIDANCE AND THE INCEST TABOO: • widespread avoidance • Oedipus complex • “primal parricide” • incest involves sexual relations or marriage between certain relatives • Incest Avoidance: refers to the rejection of sexual relations and marriage between certain relatives.
Incest avoidance is found universally, incest taboos are not • Marriage and sex between parent and child or brother and sister are prohibited almost in all societies
BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS OF INCEST AVOIDANCE • Old view • genetic defects • problems
MARITAL ALLIANCE AND THE INCEST TABOO • a shift from biology to culture • “Marry out or be killed out” • Problems with Tylor’s explanation • Malinowski:
CHILDHOOD FAMILIARITY HYPOTHESIS • Biological tendency • Arthur Wolf (1970) • “minor marriage” • Kibbutzim in Israel • Yonina Talmon (1964) • Second generation of Kibbutzim
INCEST AVOIDANCE: INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVES • variety of reasons • exogamy helps create alliances • Melvin Ember (1975) • biological tendencies along with sociocultural factors
FAMILIARITY HYPOTHESIS • Paul Roscoe (1994) • interactionist explanation of incest avoidance. • “kinship amity”
ENCULTURATION AND THE SEX DRIVE • Codes of Sexual Behaviour • -permissive or restrictive • (Lindholm 1980) • Inis Beag Islanders of Ireland • John Messenger (1971) • Homosexual Behaviour • -third genders • Unni Wikan (1991): Xaniths • Serena Nanda (1990): hijras
Discussion questions • What are some of the methods of enculturation used in your society? Give an example of how your own personality has been affected by enculturation. • Describe a pattern of human behaviour that you believe to be “normal” for your society but might be considered “abnormal” in another.