What is Incest?
Incest is an illegal action which constitutes sexual intercourse between close relatives or immediate family members. The act of incest is socially taboo and illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place. The legal definition of incest will vary in society. Some jurisdictions consider incest to include sexual relationships between people who live in the same household or are of the same lineage, while others will consider incest to include sexual relations between blood relatives.
When incest occurs between adults and those under the age of consent, the act is considered a form of child sexual abuse. The predominant types of incest are as follows: sexual relationships between adults and children, sexual relations between childhood siblings, sexual relations between consenting adults, any relationships between cousins, incest defined through marriage, and any sexual relations between adult siblings.
The act is considered illegal in the majority of jurisdictions because of the implicit taboo characteristics attached and the threat of inbreeding, which is the offspring that results from intercourse between those individuals who are closely related.
Laws Regarding Incest
As stated before, incest is illegal in the majority of jurisdictions. The exact legal definition of ‘incest’ includes the nature of the relationship between persons and the type of sexual activity that takes place. These characteristics attached to the legal definition of incest will vary by country, individual state, and county.
Incest laws also extend to marriage between subject individuals. In some places, the act of incest is illegal regardless of the age of the consenting parties, while in other places an incestuous relationship between two consenting adults is considered legal.
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