Fiche mise à jour le 7 mai 2018
Edward WestermarckAutre titre :
Titre de l'ensemble: IncestPrésentation de l'éditeur :
This chapter discusses the views and studies of Edward Westermarck. Westermarck stands nearly alone in his belief that incest is instinctually avoided. Although Westermarck was repeatedly attacked by leading anthropologists, he stood behind his ideas until he died. His late papers were published in 1934 as Three Essays on Sex and Marriage. Westermarck was considered the enfant terrible of European social science at the turn of the century. Coming to London in 1887 from the University of Helsingfors, Finland, to work on his doctorate, Westermarck jumped into the stormy sea of academic inquiry into the human family and its origin. Westermarck's basic theoretical framework is Darwinian. He claims that marriage and the family evolved as natural selection channeled the human male to invest heavily in his offspring. Westermarck, like many of his contemporaries, did not distinguish between sex and marriage. Relying heavily on Darwin and Wallace, Westermarck explains the hazardous consequences of inbreeding.