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An Examination of the Westermarck Hypothesis and the Role of Disgust in Incest Avoidance Among Fathers

Fiche mise à jour le 11 février 2022

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Date de publication : 26 mai 2019
Etendue : 12 p.
Liens internet : Texte intégral du document, DOI


Présentation de l'éditeur :

From an evolutionary perspective, incestuous behavior is puzzling. The goal of this study was to assess the tenability of the Westermarck hypothesis (1891, 1921)—that people who live in close physical proximity with one another during childhood will develop a sexual indifference or aversion toward one another—and the mediating role of disgust as an incest avoidance mechanism in father–daughter relationships. A sample of fathers with daughters (N = 632) from Canada and the United States were recruited by Qualtrics – a survey platform and project management company – to complete an online survey. The results from this study did not support the viability of the Westermarck hypothesis as a mechanism that facilitates incest avoidance for fathers. Physical proximity was not associated with incest propensity or disgust toward incest. Less disgust toward incest, however, was found to be associated with more incest propensity. These results indicate that physical proximity may not be a reliable kinship cue used by fathers to inform incest avoidance, but that disgust toward incest may still be a proximate mechanism that facilitates incest avoidance among fathers using kinship cues other than physical proximity.

Sommaire :

  • Kinship Cues and Incest Avoidance
  • The Westermarck Hypothesis
  • Disgust
  • Measuring Incest and Disgust
  • Antisociality
  • Hypotheses
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
    • Degree of Genetic Relatedness
    • Physical Proximity, Disgust Toward Incest, and Incest Propensity
  • Discussion

Mots clés SantéPsy :

Inceste, Évitement, Relation familiale, Relation père-fille

Mots clés Prisme :


Mots clés libres :

Hypothèse de Westermarck


Langue : anglais
Format : bibliographie
Numéro de fiche : 794
Type de fiche : Article de périodique
Création : 11/02/2022
Dernière modification : 11/02/2022
Statut : Publié