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Old 09-24-2012, 10:12 PM
njtt njtt is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: U.K.
Posts: 12,068
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
I don't think it's rather different. It seems clear to me that the incest taboo most likely arose from a moralization of the Westermarck Effect (i.e. "I would never want to mate with my sister, that's gross! No one else should, either!")
It is possible that the incest taboo arose this way, I suppose, and certainly it seems likely that it is intertwined with the Westermark effect in some way, but they are still not the same thing. They sometimes apply to different people: e.g., the Westermark effect will not apply to siblings raised apart, but the incest taboo still does; the Westermark effect, but not the incest taboo, applies to unrelated kibbutzim raised together.

Also, my impression is that the Westermark effect does not make the relevant relations seem disgusting so much as just uninteresting, whereas violations of incest taboo typically do evoke reactions of disgust (from third parties - presumably at least one of a pair violating the incest taboo will actually be enjoying it).