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Old 09-26-2020, 04:46 AM
 
191 posts, read 58,105 times
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I know that in ancient/medieval times incest was very prevalent, but...by god, how could ANYONE have sex with their sister/mother/aunt/cousin and NOT think it's all kinds of disgusting? I get the whole "wanting to keep it in the family", and going on modern times, but no matter how "pressured" I was, I'd rather shoot myself than any of that. Do you really think even in ancient/medieval times you would have to be an incredibly mentally ill person to think having sex with your mom/sister/cousin would be awesome?
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Old 09-26-2020, 05:01 AM
 
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Relations with relatives, and let's take linear relatives, not cousins and so forth, is legal in RI but in CO and VA the punishment is severe.

When it comes to cousins, there is no great stigma. Charles Darwin and Einstein married their first cousins. Tsar Nicholas II was a second cousin of his wife through their great grandmother. Queen Mary of England was a first cousin of Phillip II of Spain (once removed). The Hapsburgs married their relatives so much, the Hapsburg Jaw is attributed to it. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip are third cousin descending from Queen Victoria.

It was not outlawed, from what I can find, in the American colonies until Massachusetts outlawed it in 1692.

Last edited by webster; 09-26-2020 at 05:15 AM..
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Old 09-26-2020, 05:48 AM
 
Location: The North Star State
2,923 posts, read 897,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
I know that in ancient/medieval times incest was very prevalent, but...by god, how could ANYONE have sex with their sister/mother/aunt/cousin and NOT think it's all kinds of disgusting? I get the whole "wanting to keep it in the family", and going on modern times, but no matter how "pressured" I was, I'd rather shoot myself than any of that. Do you really think even in ancient/medieval times you would have to be an incredibly mentally ill person to think having sex with your mom/sister/cousin would be awesome?
As far as comparing the 21st century in, say, Western culture, I don't know that consensual adult incest within the immediate family is any more or less common. I imagine it would be very difficult to gauge such a thing.

Considering somewhat more distant relatives - say, cousins - it was just a matter of practicality. The masses living in villages somewhere in Europe a thousand years ago would have faced a fairly small pool of prospective mates. Most such villages were small - say, three hundred people or fewer. Eliminating immediate relatives, those of the wrong age (there was more age-mixing than now, but age differences still played a role), those out of one's social strata, and you're left with a fairly small pool, a relatively sizeable portion of which would be cousins of some sort. Given the primitive state of travel, one would rarely come into contact with a potential mate from elsewhere (and those travelling to a peasant's village would likely ne of the wrong social status - ie, one with the means to travel. Simply put, today, with population densities and the ease of both travel and communication, our pool of potential partners is orders of magnitude larger. We can afford to be far more selective.

As for 'disgust'? That's a social product. Where societies did not (or do not) frown upon sexual relations with first cousins, there will not be disgust at the prospect of such relationships. Quite a lot of medieval life would be disgusting (and all other sorts of unpleasant adjectives) to our 21st century sensibilities. The omnipresent filth and stench comes to mind.
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Old 09-26-2020, 08:22 AM
 
19,174 posts, read 58,262,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
I know that in ancient/medieval times incest was very prevalent, but...by god, how could ANYONE have sex with their sister/mother/aunt/cousin and NOT think it's all kinds of disgusting? I get the whole "wanting to keep it in the family", and going on modern times, but no matter how "pressured" I was, I'd rather shoot myself than any of that. Do you really think even in ancient/medieval times you would have to be an incredibly mentally ill person to think having sex with your mom/sister/cousin would be awesome?
You would have enjoyed living in Geneva Switzerland during the Calvinist period. People who were adulterers or with any sexual deviancy were sewed into a bag and thrown in the river.
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Old 09-26-2020, 08:41 AM
 
Location: NYC
3,674 posts, read 2,008,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
I know that in ancient/medieval times incest was very prevalent, but...by god, how could ANYONE have sex with their sister/mother/aunt/cousin and NOT think it's all kinds of disgusting? I get the whole "wanting to keep it in the family", and going on modern times, but no matter how "pressured" I was, I'd rather shoot myself than any of that. Do you really think even in ancient/medieval times you would have to be an incredibly mentally ill person to think having sex with your mom/sister/cousin would be awesome?
It depends on how big or isolated your village was. Simply put young men are going to have sex no matter what.. whether it's girls, boys, family members, farm animals or just by themselves. It's a defining feature of being a male I'm afraid & only one's own "tribe" sets the limits. Look at the amount of incest in the Bible for men we are told are prophets or something else virtuous. It's difficult to judge other cultures especially in ancient times, they had different issues to consider than we do.
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Old 09-27-2020, 04:00 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
16,645 posts, read 19,444,594 times
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"Ancient/medieval times" is a pretty broad time range of thousands, even tens of thousands, of years, encompassing hundreds of cultures across such an immense time span.

Also, incest can mean anything from relations between siblings and parent-child, both of which were extrordinarily rare across the board and hardly considered normal except in some royal power consolidation concepts and mythological stories, to marriage between 2nd cousins which has been pretty normal almost everywhere in the world until the industrial age.

There is no one way to address this topic with such wide parameters.
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Old 09-27-2020, 04:09 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
86,045 posts, read 79,200,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
I know that in ancient/medieval times incest was very prevalent, but...by god, how could ANYONE have sex with their sister/mother/aunt/cousin and NOT think it's all kinds of disgusting? I get the whole "wanting to keep it in the family", and going on modern times, but no matter how "pressured" I was, I'd rather shoot myself than any of that. Do you really think even in ancient/medieval times you would have to be an incredibly mentally ill person to think having sex with your mom/sister/cousin would be awesome?
We don't even have to go back to medieval times. Freud and others of his era uncovered rampant abuse of girls by older males in the family, including fathers. This discovery turned out to be so controversial, challenging the morality of many "pillars of society", that Freud backtracked a bit, and came up with the theory of the child's "Oedipus complex". This resulted in blaming the victims for seducing their parents. It was not a bright moment in the evolution of Western Civilization and mental health care.
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:07 PM
 
342 posts, read 185,588 times
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Actually, it was pretty prevalent in England among cousins if you read great literature. Cathy, the daughter of Heathcliff's great love, married both of her first cousins (serially) in WUTHERING Heights.. Similarly, Elizabeth in Price and Prejudice was proposed to by her cousin, Mr. Collins. She turned him down.

At least in Great Britain, cousins marrying cousins was a way to keep property in the family given the laws that said women couldn't inherit. Properties were often entailed, which meant that it could only go to a male relative, even if it was a distant one.
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:22 PM
 
57,267 posts, read 45,347,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
I know that in ancient/medieval times incest was very prevalent, but...by god, how could ANYONE have sex with their sister/mother/aunt/cousin and NOT think it's all kinds of disgusting? I get the whole "wanting to keep it in the family", and going on modern times, but no matter how "pressured" I was, I'd rather shoot myself than any of that. Do you really think even in ancient/medieval times you would have to be an incredibly mentally ill person to think having sex with your mom/sister/cousin would be awesome?
As you learn more and more about other cultures and history you'll come to find out that there any number of them can find certain practices perfectly fine while others see it has horrible.

Cannibalism? Slavery? Incest? Wearing brightly colored clothing? Human sacrifice? Prostitution? Tatoos?

So to answer your question, no. Absolutely not insane to think that's perfectly ok, it was a cultural norm of that era and society.

I'd highly recommend getting hold of some *serious* history books that they'd never ever ever be allowed to have you read in highschool. A great one would be "The Way of the Gladiator" by McMannis...you can get a copy dirt cheap off Amazon etc. it's an old book.

It talks all about the gladiatorial games from inception to what went on in them to stuff like political and environmental impacts (yep extinctions).

Frankly that book will blow your mind if incest bothers you...buckle up, it's quite a read.
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Old Yesterday, 04:52 AM
 
Location: The North Star State
2,923 posts, read 897,343 times
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This question is ultimately answered by recognizing the fact that much of constitutes our sensibilities and our morality is comprised of ever-shifting social norms. Our reactions to things are often not inherent but taught.

In the case of the United States, for example, well under a century ago, the notion of sex between members of different races would have engendered widespread disgust. Today, not so much (but still some, it must be admitted - change is slow). Not so long ago you'd be hard-pressed to find many Americans who didn't think eating raw fish was disgusting. Now, restaurants serving sashimi and poke and ceviche are common. Such fare is even commonly found in supermarkets delis and cafeterias.

Ideas change. So it goes.
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