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  #1  
Old 01-24-2006, 07:21 PM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
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Rural People and Incest.

Rural people are often satirized as taking part in incest, esp. incestuous (or near-incestuous) marriages. It's a very common insult, so I'm sure I don't need a cite. Where did this insult originate? And like many insults and jibes, does it have some basis in truth .

Thank you in advance to all who reply
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2006, 07:34 PM
Nic2004 Nic2004 is offline
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The Master Speaks
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:44 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I don't think the origin is that much of a mystery. People in really rural areas were often isolated geographically especially in the days when travel was difficult. Someone looking for a mate or just a romantic release would be much more likely to find a suitable partner in someone that happened to be related to them. Family relations could spread out like cobwebs through rural areas after many generations and it may have been hard to even keep it all straight. Cities simply had more people to diffuse those effects and associations.
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Old 01-24-2006, 08:16 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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Further reference from Straight Dope columns for additional reference:

Inbreeding in rural areas:
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a980724.html
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/051028.html

Cousin Marriage:
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/041001.html) (Nic2004's link)

The germ of the idea arises from the very real issue that if you are in a small, isolated rural (or insular) community, unless you have vigorous migration after a few generations everybody will be some degree of cousin to everybody else. Look up also the case of the inhabitants of isolated Pitcairn Island, all descended from a handful of HMS Bounty mutineers.

Now, what constitutes "incest" is culture-dependent(*) -- and depending on the culture there are many degrees of cousinhood or nephew/niecehood that may be fair game. In many cultures "first cousins" are entirely fine and dandy as potential mates. Siince in that culture, it's NOT "incest" to do your cousin, the problem if any is not of prevalent "incest" but of inbreeding -- a depleted gene pool. You throw into that also the association of "hill people" villages with "old country" traditions or religions that promote endogamy, i.e. marriage within the group. If the group is not too big, again... This was a bigger potential problem before advances in transportation and access, when it could be a major endeavor to travel to the nearest decently-sized town and a particular valley could be cut off all through the winter or the flood season. Still, you do not need a situation of massive less-than-4th-degree-of-consanguinity pairings to cause a noticeable inbreeding effect -- and NEITHER does that sort of pairing guarantee ill effects.

(which is not to say there may be social environments where what the culture itself calls incest has a higher frequency: Jerry Springer keeps finding cases of Dad/Daughter, Son/Mom, Bro/Sis, Sis/Sis, Mom/Daughter, etc. "happy couples"... but they are not necessarily from the hills and hollers, some are from in-town)

Cecil does hint, in the column on the source of social oprobium and bans upon 1st-cousin marriage, that the use of this as a stereotype put-down of rural people (and in the USA, of even not-quite-so-rural so-called "Trailer Trash" What the hell does the trailer have to do with it anyway?) derives from a belief in the moral superiority of the urban, cosmopolitan lifestyle brought about by "progress". It correlates with the old idea of "degeneracy", wherein those deprived of the favorable influences of progress (or of wiser elites) will become "degenerate" and that will include their morals.

(*"Incest", traditionally, is sex between two people who due to degree of consanguinity are forbidden to mary one another; in modern times it was adjusted to refer to specific degrees in its own right. You can imagine how much that may vary in time and location. Many believe the ban, anthropologically, arose not so much to combat inbreeding as to ensure that no romantic rivalries or favoritisms will arise between people who have to maintain obligations as family/clan members, and that there will be a pool of eligible mates to marry members of other clans so as to strengthen the tribe's bonds. Any inbreeding ill-effects would be seen as a "smiting" for violating the rule.)

[edit at poster's req. P.S., report a post (any post), we're more likely to see it. --G]

Last edited by Gaudere; 01-24-2006 at 11:54 PM..
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2006, 08:18 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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OK, I implore a MOD to correct the misplaced [/b] in my next-to-last paragraph to a [/sub]
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2006, 08:43 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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At least we're not seeing bumper stickers that say, "You can take my incest when you pry my cold dead figners from around it!"
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2006, 09:21 PM
roshia roshia is offline
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Now that the question has been answered, I just have to share this story. A few years back, my great aunt and uncle were having a family reunion in celebration of their 75th wedding anniversary. One of my cousins, let's call her Amy, had just arrived.

Amy: So, are there any hot guys here?
Me:
Amy:
Me: Uh, Amy... you do know this is a family reunion, right?
Amy:
Me: No big deal. This is Alabama.


No, I'm not letting her live that one down.
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2006, 09:26 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roshia
...snip...
No, I'm not letting her live that one down.
Don't ever let her live that down. Priceless.

Jim B.: There was a study done on the Pine Barrens of NJ around 1880. The locals had inbred to a point where the Doctor doing the research thought he had discovered an offshoot of the human race. It was merely inbreeding and within 2 generations and with roads into the Barrens the worst of it was gone.

Jim
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2006, 09:32 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Visiting adult bookstores purely and strictly for fighting-ignorance purposes, I have noticed that there are several "letters" publications that are all about incest. Family Affairs, stuff like that. So apparently there are some people (enough to constitute a target market) who fantasize about incest and find the idea arousing. Maybe rural people (assuming there is anything to the stereotype) just have more opportunities to do it and keep it quiet.

(I've never seen any incest-themed adult videos. Probably because there's no way to make it convincing -- you could just pair up any two performers of the same apparent ethnicity and say they're brother and sister or whatever.)
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2006, 11:08 PM
Serket Serket is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
(I've never seen any incest-themed adult videos. Probably because there's no way to make it convincing -- you could just pair up any two performers of the same apparent ethnicity and say they're brother and sister or whatever.)
I haven't seen it, but you could try Close My Eyes (1991) directed by Stephen Poliakoff.
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2006, 11:26 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious
Cecil does hint, in the column on the source of social oprobium and bans upon 1st-cousin marriage, that the use of this as a stereotype put-down of rural people (and in the USA, of even not-quite-so-rural so-called "Trailer Trash" What the hell does the trailer have to do with it anyway?
The trailer is a form of house that is nearly guaranteed to decrease in value over time. (It is also widely known as Tornado Snacks.) When you compare it to a real, tied to the ground house, you will see how ignorant buying a trailer home is. That's what the trailer has to do with it. It's foolish.
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2006, 11:45 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AskNott
The trailer is a form of house that is nearly guaranteed to decrease in value over time. (It is also widely known as Tornado Snacks.) When you compare it to a real, tied to the ground house, you will see how ignorant buying a trailer home is. That's what the trailer has to do with it. It's foolish.
And cheap.

"Trailer Trash" usually refers to those on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale - those without much money are more likely to settle for a trailer home if they can't afford a house with a foundation and don't have the economic prospects to mortgage one.

...and it's how we say "White Trash" on the Dope without getting accused of racism.
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2006, 11:50 PM
John Carter of Mars John Carter of Mars is offline
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You might be a redneck if:

Your favorite place to score chicks is the annual family reunion.

Second cousins are fair game, right? RIGHT???
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2006, 11:58 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AskNott
The trailer is a form of house that is nearly guaranteed to decrease in value over time. (It is also widely known as Tornado Snacks.)
Which is why rednecks are a/k/a "tornado bait."
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2006, 01:06 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit?
Jim B.: There was a study done on the Pine Barrens of NJ around 1880. The locals had inbred to a point where the Doctor doing the research thought he had discovered an offshoot of the human race. It was merely inbreeding and within 2 generations and with roads into the Barrens the worst of it was gone.
You mean the Jukes and Kallikaks? That study was used as an argument for eugenics (sterilizing the poor) in the early 20th century. An offshoot of the human race, like in The Truth About De-Evolution? "Oh Gramps, we're all devo!"
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  #16  
Old 01-25-2006, 01:09 AM
Odesio Odesio is offline
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Marrying your cousin typically falls into two categories. Parallel cousin (children of parent's sam sex sibling, mother's sisters kid) marriages are typically found in matrilineal societies and cross cousin (children of parent's opposite sex simbling, father's sister's kid) marriages are typically found in patrilineal societies. Obviously the cultures that practice these kinds of marriage, many Arabs for example, don't consider it incest. If you have a large enough population you don't have to worry to much about inbreeding with these customs.

Marc
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  #17  
Old 01-25-2006, 01:38 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
I've never seen any incest-themed adult videos. Probably because there's no way to make it convincing
Actually, there is a brother-sister movie that did find a way to make it convincing. It took the whole plot long of the movie to set it up so that it was thoroughly convincing, and the incest was revealed only at the very end as a surprise shocker twist, they hadn't known they were brother & sister. Talking about this movie in this thread, to tell its title would be the spoiler. Don't look at the title within this spoiler unless you want the surprise ending given away...
SPOILER:
Lone Star.
But the sex in this movie, while very romantic, is not nude or very explicit.
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:14 AM
Obsidian Obsidian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit?
There was a study done on the Pine Barrens of NJ around 1880. The locals had inbred to a point where the Doctor doing the research thought he had discovered an offshoot of the human race. It was merely inbreeding and within 2 generations and with roads into the Barrens the worst of it was gone.
I had a friend from college who grew up deep in the pine barrens whose family had lived in the same community for 250 years. He had a family member get into geneology, and told me once that 100 years ago his family was as inbred as pedigreed dogs.

Pineys are odd ducks, though, even in this day and age. This guy and every single one of his friends were all built like linebackers. It don't think I've ever met a non-burly native piney. My friend swore it's all the iron in their water. Secretely I wondered if this was some kind of upside to all that inbreeding.
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  #19  
Old 01-25-2006, 03:58 AM
Fern Forest Fern Forest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
(I've never seen any incest-themed adult videos. Probably because there's no way to make it convincing -- you could just pair up any two performers of the same apparent ethnicity and say they're brother and sister or whatever.)
There may have been a brief fad about it in the early 80s as I know of several movies from that time that played with the idea. In fact one of those is one of the more famous adult movies from that time and starred the more famous actors. But I don't know any from the last 15 years. Of course none of these were meant to be thought of as real, they were all actors playing family members.
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  #20  
Old 01-25-2006, 05:14 AM
Martiju Martiju is offline
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Originally Posted by Serket
I haven't seen it, but you could try Close My Eyes (1991) directed by Stephen Poliakoff.
I have seen it, and there is no way it can be described as an adult movie. It is well worth seeing though, if you fancy a harrowing film where emotions are taken to the extremes.
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  #21  
Old 01-25-2006, 07:46 AM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGibson
Marrying your cousin typically falls into two categories. Parallel cousin (children of parent's sam sex sibling, mother's sisters kid) marriages are typically found in matrilineal societies and cross cousin (children of parent's opposite sex simbling, father's sister's kid) marriages are typically found in patrilineal societies. Obviously the cultures that practice these kinds of marriage, many Arabs for example, don't consider it incest. If you have a large enough population you don't have to worry to much about inbreeding with these customs.

Marc
Just a note- first cousin mating is totally allowed in the Bible.
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  #22  
Old 01-25-2006, 07:56 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern Forest
But I don't know any from the last 15 years.
Probably the result of the same chilling-effect in the mid-late 80s to avoid being associated with "endorsing" criminal conduct, as did away with "rape" scenes and"high school" settings (the latter specially after the Traci Lords brouhaha) in American porn.

The market self-regulates to a point, if haphazardly.
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  #23  
Old 01-25-2006, 08:54 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna
You mean the Jukes and Kallikaks? That study was used as an argument for eugenics (sterilizing the poor) in the early 20th century. An offshoot of the human race, like in The Truth About De-Evolution? "Oh Gramps, we're all devo!"
Possible, I read about the report in a book about the Pine Barrens as opposed to the report itself. The report was generally considered very bad science.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsidian
I had a friend from college who grew up deep in the pine barrens whose family had lived in the same community for 250 years. He had a family member get into genealogy, and told me once that 100 years ago his family was as inbred as pedigreed dogs.

Pineys are odd ducks, though, even in this day and age. This guy and every single one of his friends were all built like linebackers. It don't think I've ever met a non-burly native piney. My friend swore it's all the iron in their water. Secretly I wondered if this was some kind of upside to all that inbreeding.
I have several friends that are {self called} Piney's. A few of them are skinny.
They are umpteenth generation. But yes, the are a little odd, both his sisters are somewhat horsed face. They seem very out of place culturally in Urban/Suburban NJ. Most people don't realize how much of NJ is still Rural. Unfortunately it grows less every year.

The book was The Pine Barrens by John McPhee,. There is alos a reference to the report in Weird New Jersey.
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  #24  
Old 01-25-2006, 12:42 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Well, if you're an Ozarks hillbilly whose family tree does not fork, cheer up, things could be worse. You could have been brought up on a small farm in Georgia!
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  #25  
Old 01-25-2006, 12:53 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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A good friend of mine got married in Western Virginia, where she and her fiance were students at Virginia Tech.

To set the stage, the female half of the couple is from a fairly upper-middle-class family from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The male half is British with a quite noticable posh-type British accent.

They go to get their marriage license and the following scene ensues:
Clerk: Are ye kin?
Male half: Are we what!?
Clerk: Kin. Are ye kin?
Female half: No, we are not "kin."

They were still laughing about this incident years later.
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  #26  
Old 01-25-2006, 12:53 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Hey, I'm a native-born "piney" (but both parents immigrated from outside South Jersey). I did have childhood friends and classmates who were nth-generation pineys, and they definitely had pretty intricately interrelated clan structures, but I don't remember any talk about serious inbreeding to the extent of non-forking family trees. (I also don't remember any general linebacker-build tendencies.) Of course, my friends weren't in the really remote backwoods piney communities that John McPhee describes as existing in the region even into the 1960's, either.

Hmm, this post doesn't actually contribute anything at all substantive to the debate, does it? Never mind, I'll post it anyway because it's about me. Forgive me, I usually try to be more substantive than this.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:03 AM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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Here's from the review of the McPhee book:

Quote:
-the Pineys, whose way of life has remained essentially unchanged since the 17th century.
Is this true? The book was published in the late '60s. Does this mean that they lived as Amish people--no phones, no lights, no motorcars? Or did they/do they "live off the land," etc., but embrace modern conveniences? I've never heard of this group; it's fascinating!
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:23 AM
tagos tagos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Carter of Mars
You might be a redneck if:

Your favorite place to score chicks is the annual family reunion.

Second cousins are fair game, right? RIGHT???
Good lovin' is good lovin'.
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  #29  
Old 01-26-2006, 10:25 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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From what I recollect, Ellen, it's more the latter than the former. There was no deliberate religious/cultural renunciation of modern life among mid-20th-c. pineys, any more than there was among other comparatively isolated communities in, say, the Appalachians or the Ozarks. But the occasional importation of modern conveniences (when they could afford them) didn't do much to change their semi-survivalist rural-poverty lifestyle.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:39 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellen Cherry
Here's from the review of the McPhee book:



Is this true? The book was published in the late '60s. Does this mean that they lived as Amish people--no phones, no lights, no motorcars? Or did they/do they "live off the land," etc., but embrace modern conveniences? I've never heard of this group; it's fascinating!
It has changed a lot since the 60's. There is much more Electric available and many more kids have left to find work. When they return they advanced the area. Cell Phones are suppose to be very popular now, even for the residents of the occasional shacks without paint. Phones were rare in the past.
They had cars in the 60's, they were just used and old and somewhat rare.
The Piney's have little in common now with the inbred group of the 1880's however.

It is a fascinating book.

One more reason for the isolation was that many of the early inhabitants were outlaw Tories that worked for the Brit's directly throughout Monmouth & Ocean county and they retreated to the Pine Barrens. I guess when you are founded by what amounts to outlaws it might lead to some odd quirks.

One last note, keep in mind this area is just outside the commuting range to NYC and Philly. Suburban sprawl is bumping against it and so the area of the Pine Barrens is shrinking.

Jim {These comments are all from memory and visits of friends of friends in the Pine Barrens, I cannot speak as an authority}
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  #31  
Old 01-27-2006, 08:24 PM
Obsidian Obsidian is offline
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There are Pineys and then there are Pineys. There are rural communties branching off from the roads to the shore, and then there are people who live in cranberry bogs in unincorporated Burlington County.

What? You don't think people actually live in a cranberry bog? I swear, I have seen this with my own two eyes. Corrugated metal shack and no electricity. I could not believe this was 1999 and I was in New Jersey. (These were aquaintances of my college friend, who had a normal house) I didn't believe half the stuff he told me until I saw it myself.

The area, being a dense pine forrest intermixed with marshes and bogs (for the non-natives who have no idea what the pine barrens are), was extremely isolated for most of it's history, by both the terrain and outlaw thing. Once there was money to be made in peat iron, but that industry died and the people there basically fomented in isolation for generations, as the rest of the state exploded around them.

I think the Piney thing would not seem nearly as odd if it wasn't in New Jersey. It wouldn't shock anyone if we were talking about people living in the swamps on the mississippi delta. Most people think all of New Jersey looks like the area around Newark Airport.
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  #32  
Old 01-27-2006, 08:28 PM
saoirse saoirse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
(I've never seen any incest-themed adult videos. Probably because there's no way to make it convincing -- you could just pair up any two performers of the same apparent ethnicity and say they're brother and sister or whatever.)
Strictly in the interest of raising the tone here, I'd like to point out that Backside to the Future was an incest-themed adult video. Or so I am told.
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  #33  
Old 01-28-2006, 10:13 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit?
Cell Phones are suppose to be very popular now, even for the residents of the occasional shacks without paint. Phones were rare in the past.
I've been reading of comparable developments in Bangladesh. The Grameen Bank, I think, providing cell phones to rural women allowing them to run their own startup small businesses. They call it microentrepreneurship.
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  #34  
Old 01-28-2006, 05:10 PM
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Surely the "cousin marriage" issue is deviating from the point?

Regardless of its legality or otherwise in various US states, cousin marriage through a great deal of the world and throughout history has been widely practised. It's still the norm in a lot of societies today (bearing in mind that in these societies, such as conservative rural muslim ones, mixed gender cousins often do not mix at all as children).

Surely what we are talking about here is close-family incest: brother/sister, parent/child?
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  #35  
Old 01-28-2006, 06:13 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsidian
. Most people think all of New Jersey looks like the area around Newark Airport.
I think that you're giving the rest of the State too much credit.


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  #36  
Old 01-28-2006, 06:20 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
(I've never seen any incest-themed adult videos. Probably because there's no way to make it convincing -- you could just pair up any two performers of the same apparent ethnicity and say they're brother and sister or whatever.)
Well, there's always "She's my sister! [whack!] She's my daughter! [whack!] She's my sister! [whack!] She's my daughter!..."


Forget it, Brain. It's Chinatown.
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