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Sexual attraction and childhood association : a Chinese brief for Edward Westermarck

Author: Arthur P Wolf
Publisher: Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In 1891, the anthropologist Edward Westermarck proposed that early childhood association inhibits sexual attraction and that this aversion was manifested in custom and law as the basis of the universal incest taboo. Then, in 1910, in the essays later published as Totem and Taboo, Sigmund Freud challenged the "Westermarck hypothesis" on the ground that "the earliest sexual excitations of youthful human beings are
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Named Person: Edward Westermarck; Edward Westermarck
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Arthur P Wolf
ISBN: 0804724261 9780804724265
OCLC Number: 32508147
Description: xxiii, 561 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: 1. History of the hypothesis 2. A Chinese laboratory 3. The laboratory in time and space 4. Thirteen exemplary subjects 5. Form of marriage and adultery 6. Form of marriage and divorce 7. Form of marriage and fertility 8. Form of marriage and premarital pregnancy 9. Relationships between the variables 10. Age at adoption and adultery 11. Age at adoption and divorce 12. Age at adoption and fertility 13. Age at adoption and rebelliousness 14. The differences between men and women 15. The differences among individuals 16. Alternative explanations: adoption 17. Alternative explanations: poverty 18. Alternative explanations: health 19. Alternative explanations: prestige 20. Alternative explanations: age at marriage 21. Alternative explanations: sibling rivalry 22. Alternative explanations: mistaken identity 23. Brothers and their wives 24. Other evidence: monkeys 25. Other evidence: apes 26. Other evidence: human beings 27. Inhibition and incest 28. Aversion and attachment 29. Westermarck and Freud 30. Westermarck and the incest taboo.
Responsibility: Arthur P. Wolf.
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Abstract:

Contrary to the Freudian claim that "an incestuous choice is in fact the first and regular one," this book demonstrates that sexual attraction is permanently inhibited by association during the first  Read more...

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"Wolf has written a definitive anthropological study of several social and scientific controversies. His work is based on more than two decades of research." -- <I>Choice Read more...

 
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Primary Entity

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   schema:description "Freud's challenge carried the day and became the standard view throughout the social and biological sciences. Consequently, the question was: why do all societies repress this natural inclination? Biologists argued that the incest taboo protected us from dangers of inbreeding; sociologists argued that it was necessary to prevent sexual rivalry that would destroy the family; and anthropologists saw the real purpose of the taboo as forcing families to exchange women in marriage."@en ;
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   schema:description "The book uses a wide range of research - from studies of nonhuman primates to reports of incestuous child abuse - from African divorce practices to animal behavior - to demonstrate that Westermarck was right and Freud wrong. It shows that there is a critical period in human development - approximately the first thirty months of life - during which association permanently inhibits sexual attraction. It concludes that the incest taboo is unnecessary and cannot be explained in functional terms, and that encouraging early association between father and daughter is probably the best way of preventing sexual abuse."@en ;
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