Anthropology Answer Writing Practice - Week 3 - Question 5

90 Days Anthropology Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 22-Dec-2017

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.

2. Experts will provide their feedback in reply.

3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page next day.

4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.

5. All the Best.

22-Dec-2017 - Question 1

Write a note on Incest Taboo (2006)(10marks 150 words)

Model Answer


The word incest is a word which means sexual intercourse with the closely related persons of one s family like brother and sister, mother and son etc. Taboo refers to the prohibition intercourse, especially on religious and moral bases. So, incest taboo means the prohibition of sexual intercourse or marriage between the close related persons of the family.

In every society, there are some limits of prohibitions of sexuality. However, in some other societies incest, taboo is permitted like in ancient Egyptians. They practised marriage between brother and sister in the royal families. This is also practised in Saha Tribe of Columbia and North America. Islam gives the permission of marriage cross and parallel cousins but in other societies, it is prohibited considered them as siblings.

Theories of incest Taboo

Following are the various theories of incest taboo given by different anthropologists.

Psychoanalytic Theory

This theory is presented by Sigmund Freud. According to this theory, a strong sexual relationship exists between two persons of a closely related family like mother and son, and father and daughter. But during the process of socialization, these sexual feelings of children are depressed due to fear from parents. Although the sexual attraction continuously exists between them. So, incest taboo is a way to control the sexual line or it is necessary for the defence against the sexual relations between these persons.

Childhood familiarity Theory

This theory was presented by Edward Wester in 1920. According to this theory, People who have brought up together from very each others like siblings. These people would be not sexually attached to each others. To test the hypothesis, a study was conducted on a family of Israel, in which the married pair born a child and was kept in a separate centre where other children of the same age were present. They were nourished and reared in that centre and had no relations with parents. When they reached maturity, it was observed that among 125 pairs of male and female, there was no single case of sexuality with other group members.

Cooperation Theory

This theory was presented by an eminent anthropologist E-B-Taylor. According to him, incest taboo is necessary for co-operation and healthy relationships among family members. Incest taboo accelerates cooperation among the members and if there is no restriction of sexual relations, it would lead to suspicious and hostility among members. Incest taboo enforces a person to marry outside one s family and if he performs exogamy, he attached to another family. So, in this way, the bond of cooperation with that family will be strengthened.

Note: The model answer is only for your reference and not an ideal answer for the question
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