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Laws regarding incest

Laws regarding incest (i.e. sexual activity between family members or close relatives) vary considerably between jurisdictions, and depend on the type of sexual activity and the nature of the family relationship of the parties involved, as well as the age and sex of the parties. Besides legal prohibitions, at least some forms of incest are also socially taboo or frowned upon in most cultures around the world.

Incest laws may involve restrictions on marriage rights, which also vary between jurisdictions. When incest involves an adult and a child, it is usually considered to be a form of child sexual abuse.[1] [2]

Degrees of relationship

Laws regarding incest are sometimes expressed in terms of degrees of relationship. The consanguinity (but not affinity) relationships may be summarized as follows:

Degree of relationship Relationship Coefficient of relationship (r)
Inbred strain 99%'
0 identical twins; clones 100%[3]
1 parent-offspring[4] 50% (2−1 )
2 full siblings 50% (2−2 +2−2 )
2 3/4 siblings or sibling-cousins 37.5% (2−2 +2⋅2−4 )
2 grandparent-grandchild 25% (2−2 )
2 half siblings 25% (2−2 )
3 aunt/uncle-nephew/niece 25% (2⋅2−3 )
4 double first cousins 25% (2−3 +2−3 )
3 great grandparent-great grandchild 12.5% (2−3 )
4 first cousins 12.5% (2⋅2−4 )
6 quadruple second cousins 12.5% (8⋅2−6 )
6 triple second cousins 9.38% (6⋅2−6 )
4 half-first cousins 6.25% (2−4 )
5 first cousins once removed 6.25% (2⋅2−5 )
6 double second cousins 6.25% (4⋅2−6 )
6 second cousins 3.13% (2−6 +2−6 )
8 third cousins 0.78% (2⋅2−8 )
10 fourth cousins 0.20% (2⋅2−10 )[5]

The degree of relationships is calculated by counting the number of generations back to a common ancestor. Most laws regarding prohibited degree of kinship concern relations of r = 25% or higher, while most permit unions of individuals with r = 12.5% or lower. In some US states, cousin marriages are prohibited. Also, most laws make no provision for the rare case of marriage between double first cousins. Incest laws may also include prohibitions of unions between biologically unrelated individuals if there is a close legal relationship, such as adoption.

Africa
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Consensual incest between adults is legal in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).[6]

South Africa

In South Africa, since 2007, incest is the sexual penetration between persons who are related as follows:

  • lineally, that is, if one person is a direct descendant of the other.
  • within the first degree of consanguinuity, that is, where one person is a direct descendant of a parent of the other; this category includes siblings as well as an uncle or aunt with a niece or nephew.
  • within the first degree of affinity, that is, where one person is the direct ancestor or descendant of the spouse of the other person.
  • as adoptive parent and adopted child.[7]

Before 2007, incest was a common law offence which extended to the same degrees of relationship but which applied only to vaginal intercourse.[8]

Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, all forms of incest are punishable by death, including cousins as far as fourth cousins.[9]

Asia
China

Barring the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, which have separate legal codes, consensual incest between adults is legal in the People's Republic of China.[6]

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, it is illegal to have sexual intercourse with certain close relatives, even if they are consenting adults. The prohibited relationships are grandfather-granddaughter, father-daughter, brother-sister and mother-son. Punishment is up to 20 years' imprisonment for male offenders and up to 14 years' imprisonment for female offenders.[10] The law does not cover sexual intercourse with more distant relatives, such as an aunt, uncle, niece, nephew and cousin. It only addresses male-on-female and female-on-male sexual intercourse, and it appears that consensual same-sex incest is not illegal. The law makes an assumption that a female below the age of 16 has no ability to consent to sexual intercourse, therefore a female below 16 cannot commit incest.

Macau

According to Macau's civil code, people in direct line kinship or in the second degree of collateral kinship cannot marry each other.[11]

Iran

According to the Article 82 of Iran's Penal code, incest is forbidden and its punishment is up to death penalty.

India

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) does not contain any specific provision against incest, but there are general provisions relating to sexual abuse of children by their custodian, such as a parent or teacher.[12] [13] More over the rule of kinship or marriage is governed by the different marriage laws.

Malaysia

In Malaysia, it is incest to have sexual intercourse with a person who under the law, religion, custom or usage that applies to the person he or she is not permitted to marry on account of their relationship.[14]

In addition to whipping, persons convicted of incest face a minimum sentence of 6 years' imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment. It is a defense against the charge if the person did not know the relationship was not permitted or if the sexual intercourse was done without his or her consent. Girls below the age of 16 and boys below the age of 13 are deemed to be incapable of giving consent. (The age of consent for sex in Malaysia is 16 for both sexes.[15] )

While it is unclear to which family members the incest law applies, a verdict from the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak in 2011 provided some indication about the sentencing guidelines. It described incest as a "heinous crime" but that the degree of kinship between the parties dictates the "level of repulsion" which the court translates into a sentence imposed. The verdict said the worst on such a scale is incest committed by a father to his biological daughter or a brother to his biological sister, and that such offenders should receive the harshest sentence. It said an uncle and his maternal niece committing incest is not on that same level and, if there was no violence involved, the length of the sentence should reflect it.[16]

There are more severe sentences for those who commit incest through rape. The offence of incestuous rape is punishable with not less than 8 years' imprisonment and not more than 30 years' imprisonment. In addition, those convicted receive not less than 10 strokes.[17]

Malaysian law also considers sexual intercourse with the stepfamily to be incestuous.[18]

Pakistan

The legal code of Pakistan defines incest as marriage (consortion) between a male and either his:

  • wife or former wife of father, grandfather and further ancestors
  • Mother, grandmother and further ancestors
  • Daughter, granddaughter and further descendents
  • full or half sister
  • parents' sisters, grandparents' sisters and further ancestors' sisters
  • daughter, granddaughter and further descendent of full or half sibling
  • suckling ancestor
  • suckling sister
  • Mother, grandmother and further ancestors of wife or former wife
  • Daughter, granddaughter of wife or former wife
  • Wife or former wife of true son or grandson and further descendents
  • Sororal polygyny
  • Cousins (Sixty Percent of Marriage in Pakistan are Cousin Marriages.)

Both participants are guilty if they commit the above acts and are charged with Zina.

Philippines

The Philippine Family Code specifies that marriages between collateral blood relatives whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil degree shall be void from the beginning.[19]

Singapore

Section 376G of the Penal Code specifies that "a male, of or above the age of 16, having sexual relations with his grand-daughter, daughter, sister, half-sister, mother or grandmother, with or without consent, shall be guilty of an offence. Any woman of or above the age of 16 years who, with consent, permits her grandfather, father, brother, half-brother, son or grandson (whether such relationship is or is not traced through lawful wedlock) to penetrate her in the manner described in subsection (1)(a) or (b), knowing him to be her grandfather, father, brother, half-brother, son or grandson, as the case may be, shall be guilty of an offence."[20]

Taiwan

In Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), Article 983 of the Civil Code prohibits marrying any lineal relative by blood or by marriage, collateral relative by blood if is within the sixth degree of relationship (except relative by adoption who is of the same rank), or if collateral relative by marriage is within the fifth degree of relationship of a different rank. Relatives by marriage or adoption are prohibited marriage and cannot marry even after the marriage or adoption has ended. The degree of relationship is calculated vertically, therefore a sibling is within the second degree of relationship. The Judicial Yuan Interpretation No.32 and No.91 allows marriage between siblings by adoption when the adoption was intended for the marriage. When the interpretation was made, it was not uncommon for parents to adopt a child so that their own child can marry the adopted child when both children have grown up. Article 230 of the Penal Code prohibits sexual intercourse between any lineal relatives by blood or collateral relatives within the third degree of relationship by blood. Violators may be imprisoned for up to 5 years.

Thailand

Incestuous relations between adults (over 18 years old) are not prohibited by law. Incestuous marriage is prohibited by law.

Vietnam

Incest between people of direct blood line is illegal in Vietnam and is punishable by sentencing to between six months and five years of imprisonment.[21]

Europe

Most European countries prohibit incest;[22] apart from those listed below, these include: (all articles refer to the Penal Codes) Albania Article 106,[23] Ukraine Article 155 Paragraph 2,[24] Slovenia Article 195,[25] Slovakia Section 203,[26] Serbia Article 197,[27] Poland Article 201,[28] Norway Article 197 and 198,[29] Bosnia and Herzegovina Article 201,[30] Hungary Article 199,[31] Bulgaria,[32] Croatia Article 198,[33] and Cyprus Article 147.[34]

Countries which allow incest between consenting adult siblings include France, Spain, the Benelux and Portugal.[35]

Austria

In Austria, incest between lineal ancestors and descendants and between full siblings is prohibited. It is punishable by up to nine years in prison.[36]

Denmark

In Denmark, incest is sex between lineal ancestors and descendants and between full siblings. Sex with a descendant is punishable by up to 6 years' imprisonment. Sex between siblings is punishable by up to 2 years' imprisonment.[37] [38]

Estonia

Incest is not criminally prohibited in Estonia except as part of the general protection of adolescents from sexual abuse.[39]

Finland

In Finland, sexual acts between one's full sibling (but not half-sibling), ancestor or descendant is punishable from a fine up to 2 years in prison for "sexual act between close relative". But it will not be punished if the person in question has been under 18 years old when have performed the sexual act with parent or grandparent or the person have been forced or illegally persuaded to perform the sexual act.[40] The marriage law defines, that marriage between one's sibling, half-sibling, ancestor or descendant is forbidden.[41]

France, Belgium and Luxembourg

The 1810 penal code promulgated by Napoleon I and adopted throughout most of Europe abolished incest laws in France,[42] Belgium and Luxembourg. On 27 January 2010, France reinstated laws against incest. The new law, however, defines incest as rape or sexual abuse on a minor "by a relative or any other person having lawful or de facto authority over the victim".[43] Incest between consenting adults is not prohibited.

Germany

In Germany, incest is legally defined as vaginal intercourse between lineal ancestors and descendants (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren) and between full and half siblings.[44] The penalty is a fine or up to 3 years of prison. Incest between relatives who are minors (below 18 years old) at the time of offence is not punishable but remains a crime, therefore aiding and abetting of incest between related minors is punishable.[45]

Regarding marriage, the same rules apply and prohibit marriage between aforementioned relatives.[46]

The criminal liability of incest among consenting adults is disputed in Germany. In the case of Patrick Stübing, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 2008 that the criminalization of incest is constitutional in a 7:1 vote with one judge dissenting.[47]

In September 2014 the German Ethics Council recommended that the government abolish laws criminalizing consensual incest between adult siblings, arguing that such bans impinge upon citizens.[48]

Greece

Article 345[49] of the Greek Penal Code as modified by Article 2, Paragraph 8 of Law 3625/2007[50] and Article 3 Paragraph 10 of Law 3727/2008[51] prohibits incestuous relations between relatives of both ascending and descending line, and between half or full siblings, and imposes (1) for the ascending relative (for example father, uncle, grandfather etc.): at least 10 years' imprisonment if the descending relative is under 15 years old, imprisonment if 15 but not 18 years old, and maximum 2 years' imprisonment if 18 years and older; (2) for the descending relative (for example child, nephew etc.) maximum 2 years' imprisonment; (3) for half or full siblings maximum 2 years' imprisonment. Paragraph 2 of Article 345 Penal Code also states that if the descending relative and the half or full siblings were under 18 years old, they might be cleared of any charge.

Also, Article 1357[52] of the Greek Civil Code prohibits the marriage of relatives of direct blood line in totality, and up the four degrees of consanguinity of the secondary blood line (for example you can marry the first cousin of your mother / father, but not your first cousin). Article 1358 of the Greek Civil Code also prohibits the marriage of relatives in law totally in direct blood line, and up the third degree of the secondary blood line.

Iceland

Article 200[53] of the Icelandic Penal Code prohibits incestuous relations between relatives of both ascending and descending line, and between half or full siblings, and (1) imposes for the ascending relative (for example father, uncle, grandfather etc.): imprisonment up to a maximum of 12 years if the descending relative is between 15 and 17 years old, imprisonment up to a maximum of 8 years if 18 years and older; (2) for siblings a maximum 4 years' imprisonment – if the half or full siblings were under 18 years old, they might be cleared of any charge.

Republic of Ireland

Incest is illegal in the Republic of Ireland under the Punishment of Incest Act 1908,[54] which pre-dates the foundation of the state.

It is illegal for a male to have sexual intercourse with his granddaughter, mother, daughter or sister (including half-sister); and for a female (over sixteen years of age) with her grandfather, father, son or brother (including half-brother). The act does not refer to other familial relationships (such as grandson-grandmother), or same-sex relations.[54]

It is punishable by up to seven years' imprisonment for a female and up to life imprisonment for a male.[55] The maximum sentence for males was increased from seven years to twenty years by the Criminal Justice Act, 1993;[56] and further increased to life imprisonment by the Criminal Law (Incest Proceedings) Act, 1995.[57]

The maximum sentence for females has never been increased from the seven years specified in the original 1908 act. A private members' bill introduced in 2012 by Denis Naughten TD attempted to redress this inequality in sentencing by increasing the maximum sentence for females to life imprisonment. However, during a speech made during the second stage reading of the bill in March 2014, Justice Minister Alan Shatter TD stated that while he was not opposed to the bill in principle, a sexual offences bill announced by the government on 17 December 2013 will "include measures to equalise upwards the penalties for incest by male and female offenders" and also "take a more comprehensive approach to reform of the law in this area".[58]

Occasionally, offenders convicted of incest will be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Italy

Incest is illegal in Italy only if it provokes public scandal, according to Article 564 of the Penal code and punishable from 2 to 8 years' imprisonment, open to more years for the older person if the other was under aged.[59]

Latvia

Incest is not criminally prohibited in Latvia except as part of the general protection of adolescents from sexual abuse.[60]

Lithuania

Incest is not criminally prohibited in Lithuania except as part of the general protection of adolescents from sexual abuse.[61]

Netherlands

Consensual incest between adults is legal in the Netherlands.[6] Marriage is forbidden between ancestors and descendants or between siblings, although the Minister of Justice may grant dispensation in the case of siblings by adoption. Marriage is also forbidden between blood relations of the third and fourth degree, unless both partners have signed a declaration of consent. (Dutch civil law book 1, articles 41 and 42.[62] )

Poland

In Poland, incest is defined in Article 201 of the Penal Code as sexual intercourse with an ancestor, descendant, guardian, ward, brother, or sister, and is punishable by imprisonment for no less than 3 months and no more than 5 years.

Portugal

Incest is not specifically prohibited under Portuguese law.[63]

Romania

Incest is defined in the Penal Code as "consensual sexual relations between lineal relatives or between siblings" and is punished by 1 to 5 years in prison.[64]

Russia

In Russia, consensual sex between adults, including incest, is not a crime.[6] [65] However, under the Family Code of Russia, persons who are related lineally, siblings, half-siblings, and a stepparent and a stepchild may not marry.[66]

Spain

Consensual incest between adults is legal in Spain.[6]

Sweden

Incest with a descendant or a full sibling is prohibited by law in Sweden.[67] Half-siblings can marry, but require special approval by the government.

Switzerland

Article 213 of the Swiss Penal Code prohibits incest. Intercourse among siblings or other persons related by blood in direct line is punishable by up to three years' imprisonment.[68] The federal government proposed to abolish this prohibition in 2010, arguing that in the few cases where persons were convicted of incest (three since 1984), other sexual crimes such as child sexual abuse were also committed.[69]

Turkey

Sibling marriage and avunculate marriage is prohibited, while cousin marriage is legal.[70] Marriage between parents and offspring is also prohibited, even when there is no blood relationship, i.e. adoptive parent or parent-in-law.[70]

United Kingdom

Legislation regarding sexual offences in the United Kingdom is devolved. Sex with an adult who is related as parent (including adoptive parent), grandparent, child (including adopted child), grandchild, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece, is illegal. In England and Wales the offence is against the Sexual Offences Act 2003[71] which effectively replaced the offence of incest with two new wider groups of offences: familial child sex offences (sections 25–29) and sex with an adult relative (sections 64–65). These laws are intended to protect the rights of people, so as to avoid potential violation. However, these laws still outlaw consensual sexual relationships between family members, even if they are fully willing and knowledgeable to the potential consequences.[72] There has been some debate surrounding the rhetoric used by the Sexual Offences Review Team. Roffee discusses how the language used manipulates the reader to deem consensual familial sexual acts as illegal to the point of immoral.[73] In Northern Ireland similar offences are against the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008.[74]

In Scotland the offence is against the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995,[75] the provisions of which effectively replaced the Incest and Related Offences (Scotland) Act 1986[76] (although the 1986 Act was not actually repealed until 2010).[77] Prior to the 1986 Act the law was based on the Incest Act 1567 which incorporated into Scots criminal law Chapter 18 of the Book of Leviticus, using the version of the text of the Geneva Bible of 1562.[78] In January 2016 a petition calling for “Adult Consensual Incest” to be decriminalised, was submitted to the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee but the petition was not debated and no change was made to the law.[79]

North America
Canada

Under Canadian federal law, incest is defined as having a sexual relationship with a sibling (including half-sibling), child/parent or grandchild/grandparent while knowing the existence of the blood relationship. It is punishable by up to 14 years' imprisonment. A person who commits incest with someone under the age of 16 is liable to a minimum imprisonment of 5 years.[80]

United States

Laws regarding incest in the United States vary widely between jurisdictions regarding both the definition of the offense and penalties for its commission. The Laws regarding incest in the United States article summarizes these laws for individual U.S. States and the District of Columbia.

In the United States, the District of Columbia and every state and inhabited territory have some form of codified incest prohibition. In most states, sexual activity between a lineal ancestor and a lineal descendant (parent, grandparent with child or grandchild), siblings (brother-sister) and aunt-nephew, uncle-niece is penalized as incest. However, individual statutes vary widely. Rhode Island has repealed its criminal incest statute,[81] and only criminalizes incestuous marriage.[82] Ohio "targets only parental figures",[81] and New Jersey does not apply any penalties when both parties are 18 years of age or older.[6] [81] Massachusetts punishes incest with up to 20 years in prison and the states of Nevada, Montana, Idaho and Michigan provide a penalty of up to life imprisonment for incest.

In some states, sex between first cousins is prohibited (see cousin marriage law in the United States by state for cousin sex, as well as cousin marriage, being outlawed in some states). Many states also apply incest laws to non-blood relations, including stepparents, stepsiblings, in-laws and people related through adoption.[83]

South America
Argentina

In Argentina, incest is legal if both individuals are over the minimum age of consent.[84] Marriage between 3rd degree relatives and beyond is allowed, with the exception of marriage involving lineal ancestors and descendants, which is considered null and void disregarding the degree of separation (parent/offspring, grandparent-grandchild).[85]

Brazil

Brazil has no criminal punishment if the involved are over the age of 14 (the clear age of consent in force; before 2011, though, sex with people as young as 12 and as elder as 17 was in a legal grey area, with legal guardian-reported sex with those aged 12 and 13 being prosecuted as statutory rape, but unlike as with those aged 11 and younger not directly prosecuted by the State without a report by either the legal guardians or the adolescents themselves – unlike now, where the police forces prosecute all statutory rape-related cases without distinction –, and legal guardian-reported sex with those aged 14, 15, 16 and 17 being prosecuted as corruption of minors, but prosecution as corruption of minors for non-commercial consented sexual activity between people out of a defined hierarchy fell), capable of acting upon their legal rights, and that consent means that the relationship is absent of any kind of coercion or fraud.

First cousin marriages, once fairly common in some regions in the 19th century, are allowed on demand as all other marriages, while avunculate ones (those between uncles or aunts and nephews or nieces), the preferred by some Amazonian Amerindian tribes, and those between half-siblings, are allowed provided that those contracting it have a health check.[42] [86] [87] Marriages between parents and their children (both consanguineous and adoptive) or between siblings (both consanguineous and adoptive) are invalid, but, as stated above, non-rape sexual relationships between persons older than the age of consent are likely otherwise treated legally as all others, irrespectively of consanguinity (information over the possibility or validity of uniões estáveis in such situations are nevertheless unclear or unexistent, but since those in these relationships are already consanguineous and thus inherently inside a legal family entity, the rights offered by such unions – recognizing a family entity between unrelated single persons – are most likely pointless, with the exceptional cases being only the remote possibility of people who were adopted contracting a relationship with a biological close family member).

Brazilian law, by the Article 1521 of the Civil Code, also extends the invalidity of marriage between parents and children to grandparents and grandchildren or any other sort of ascendant-descendant relationship (both consanguineous and adoptive), parents-in-law and children-in-law even after the divorce of the earlier couple (see affinity), as well as to stepparents and stepchildren, and former husbands or wives to an adoptive parent who did this unilaterally (regarded as an equivalent, in families formed by adoption, to stepparents and stepchildren); and extends the invalidity of marriage between siblings to biological cousin-siblings.[86] [87] It also formerly prohibited the avunculate marriages and extended the prohibition for marriage between siblings to half-siblings, both cited above, but the Decrete Law 3.200/1941 made marriage possible for those non-ascended/descended in consanguinity of third degree (25%) provided both have health checks.[86] [87]

Brazilian law never held marriages between double first cousins as a reason for invalidity, even though those have a consanguinity as strong as that of half-siblings, and those, as other first cousins, are not asked health checks to marry, doing so in the same way as non-related people. Also legally treated much like non-related people are stepsiblings, while those who are stepsiblings and half-siblings (that is, those who have a half-sibling who is also child of a latter married spouse of one's parent) are treated like half-siblings who are not stepsiblings, being demanded health checks before marrying.

Chile

In Chile, incest between lineal ancestors and descendants and between full siblings is prohibited. It is punishable by up to one year in prison.

Australia

In Australia, under federal law, sexual conduct between consenting adults (18 years of age or older) is legal,[88] [89] and state incest laws are subject to the overriding federal law. Federal law prohibits marriage to an opposite-sex ancestor and descendant or sibling (including a sibling of half-blood), including those traced through adoption.[90] [91]

Subject to conflicting Commonwealth laws, incest is a crime in every Australian jurisdiction,[92] but definitions and penalties vary.

In all jurisdictions except New South Wales, incest is sexual intercourse between a lineal ancestor and a lineal descendant. In New South Wales, incest takes place between "close family members", which are "parent, son, daughter, sibling (including a half-brother or half-sister), grandparent or grandchild, being such a family member from birth".[93] Incest generally only applies in cases where a participant is aged 16 or over (the age of consent in that state); and where the participant is aged between 10 and 16 years of age an older participant would generally be charged with sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16, while cases in which a participant is under 10 an older participant would generally be charged with sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10.

In Queensland, unlawful incest includes sexual intercourse between an uncle or aunt with their niece or nephew, although here its application is curtailed by the effect of the federal Marriage Act 1961, as the Queensland Criminal Code states that the crime of incest does not apply to “persons who are lawfully married or entitled to be lawfully married”. Thus it is not incest for a niece aged 16 or over to engage in sexual intercourse with their uncles and a nephew aged 16 or over may engage in sexual intercourse with their aunts, but same-sex uncle-nephew and aunt-niece sexual intercourse may be unlawful even in the case of consenting adults, as the Marriage Act does not allow same-sex marriage.

In all other jurisdictions, incest can also arise where one of the parties is below the age of consent, but this does not exclude the possibility of bringing the more general charge of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10 (New South Wales and Northern Territory), 12, 16 or 17 (South Australia and Tasmania) as the case may be. This is particularly relevant where a certain form of sexual conduct between related persons falls outside of the legal definition of incest in a particular jurisdiction.

In no Australian state or territory is consent a defense to incest. The maximum penalty for incest varies: eight years' imprisonment in New South Wales;[93] 10 years' imprisonment in South Australia; 20 years' imprisonment in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory; 25 years' imprisonment in the Northern Territory, Victoria and Tasmania; and life imprisonment in Queensland. After one conviction for incest, the offender's name is placed on the sex offender registry for 15 years, while any offender with two or more convictions for incest has their name placed on the Register for the remainder of their life.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, incest is sexual connection between a parent and child (both biological and adopted), grandparent and grandchild (both biological and adopted), and full and half siblings.

It is a defence if the person was unaware of the relationship at the time of the act (i.e. accidental incest). A conviction for incest attracts a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment.[94] Incest is the only sexual crime punishable by 7 years or more imprisonment that is not subject to the country's "three-strikes" law.[95]

It is also illegal in New Zealand to have a sexual connection with a dependent child under 18; this includes step-children, foster children and wards. A conviction for having a sexual connection, or attempting to have a sexual connection, with a dependent child attracts a maximum penalty of 7 years' imprisonment.[96]

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Laws regarding incest in the United States

topic

Laws regarding incest in the United States vary widely between jurisdictions regarding both the definition of the offense and penalties for its commission. The table below summarizes these laws for individual U.S. States and the District of Columbia . In all but two states, incest is criminalized between consenting adults. In New Jersey and Rhode Island, incest between consenting adults (16 or over for Rhode Island, 18 or over for New Jersey) is not a criminal offense, though marriage is not allowed in either state. New Jersey also increases the severity of underage sex offenses by a degree if they're also incestuous, and criminalizes incest with 16-17 year olds (the normal age of consent in New Jersey is 16). As of 2010 cases of incest involving consenting adults are often not revealed to outside parties, and therefore prosecutions of these cases do not frequently occur. Cases of parent-adult child incest exposed to law enforcement are usually uncovered by another parent. Laws regarding incest in the United ...more...



Laws regarding incest

topic

Laws regarding incest (i.e. sexual activity between family members or close relatives) vary considerably between jurisdictions, and depend on the type of sexual activity and the nature of the family relationship of the parties involved, as well as the age and sex of the parties. Besides legal prohibitions, at least some forms of incest are also socially taboo or frowned upon in most cultures around the world. Incest laws may involve restrictions on marriage rights, which also vary between jurisdictions. When incest involves an adult and a child, it is usually considered to be a form of child sexual abuse . Degrees of relationship Laws regarding incest are sometimes expressed in terms of degrees of relationship. The consanguinity (but not affinity) relationships may be summarized as follows: Degree of relationship Relationship Coefficient of relationship (r) Inbred strain 99%' 0 identical twins; clones 100% 1 parent-offspring 50% (2 ) 2 full siblings 50% (2 +2 ) 2 3/4 siblings or sibling-cousins 37.5% (2 +2⋅2 ...more...



Sibling relationship

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Siblings play a unique role in one another’s lives that simulates the companionship of parents as well as the influence and assistance of friends . Because siblings often grow up in the same household, they have a large amount of exposure to one another, like other members of the immediate family . However, though a sibling relationship can have both hierarchical and reciprocal elements, this relationship tends to be more egalitarian and symmetrical than with family members of other generations. Furthermore, sibling relationships often reflect the overall condition of cohesiveness within a family. Siblings generally spend more time with each other during childhood than they do with parents or anyone else, and sibling relationships are often the longest-lasting relationship in individuals’ lives. Incest between siblings is most often short-term innocent sexual experimentation by children, but has been an intentional practice among some historical ruling families . Cultural differences The content and context ...more...



Incest

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Roman fresco depicting the wedding of Jupiter and Juno , 1st century AD Incest is sexual activity between family members or close relatives . This typically includes sexual activity between people in a consanguineous relationship (blood relations), and sometimes those related by affinity , stepfamily , those related by adoption or marriage , or members of the same clan or lineage . The incest taboo is and has been one of the most widespread of all cultural taboos , both in present and in many past societies. Most modern societies have laws regarding incest or social restrictions on closely consanguineous marriages. In societies where it is illegal, consensual adult incest is seen by some as a victimless crime . Some cultures extend the incest taboo to relatives with no consanguinity such as milk-siblings , stepsiblings, and adoptive siblings. Third-degree relatives (such as half-aunt, half-nephew, first cousin) on average share 12.5% genes, and sexual relations between them is viewed differently in va ...more...



Cousin marriage law in the United States by state

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Cousin marriage acceptance differs from one U.S. state to another ranging from being legal to a criminal offense. State First cousin marriage allowed Sexual relations or cohabitation allowed First-cousin marriages void Out-of-state marriages by state's residents void All out-of-state marriages void Sterility requirement to marry cousin First-cousin-once-removed marriage allowed Half-cousin marriage allowed Adopted-cousin marriage allowed Alabama Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Alaska Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Arizona Only if at least one is unable to reproduce No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Arkansas No Yes Yes No No No Yes Unknown Unknown California Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Colorado Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Connecticut Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Delaware No Yes Yes Yes Unknown No Yes Unknown Unknown District of Columbia Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Florida Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Georgia Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Hawaii Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Idaho No Yes ...more...



Incest in the Bible

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Incest in the Bible refers to sexual relations between certain close kinship relationships which are prohibited by the Hebrew Bible . These prohibitions are found predominantly in Leviticus 18:8-18 and 20:11-21 , but also in Deuteronomy . The biblical categories of prohibited relationships does not entirely match the modern definitions of prohibited incestuous relations in force in various countries or of the various Christian denominations. (see Affinity (canon law) and Laws regarding incest .) A few books of the Bible , particularly the early parts of the Torah , contain narratives in which certain individuals, from the same family as one another, engage in sexual intercourse together; while this could be construed as incest , endogamy is an alternative interpretation. The Bible does not, for example, forbid cousins from marrying, but it does prohibit sexual relations with several other close relatives. Definition In ancient times, tribal nations preferred endogamous marriage  – marriage to one's relatives ...more...



Prostitution law

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   Prostitution legal and regulated    Prostitution (the exchange of sex for money) is legal, but organized activities such as brothels and pimping are illegal; prostitution is not regulated    Illegal to buy sex, legal to sell sex    Prostitution illegal    No data Prostitution law varies widely from country to country, and between jurisdictions within a country. Prostitution or sex work is legal in some parts of the world and regarded as a profession , while in other parts it is a crime punishable by death . In many jurisdictions prostitution —the commercial exchange of sex for money, goods, service, or some other benefit agreed upon by the transacting parties— is illegal , while in others it is legal , but surrounding activities, such as soliciting in a public place, operating a brothel , and pimping , may still be illegal. In many jurisdictions where prostitution is legal, it is regulated, in others it is unregulated. In most jurisdictions which criminalize prostitution, the sex worker is the party subjec ...more...



Incest in film and television

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Incest in film is portrayed in various mediums. Film Incestual families The American horror films The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original series 1974–1994 and remake series 2003–2006), and Wrong Turn (2003) feature villains who are the product of inbreeding . In the musical The Rocky Horror Show and the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Riff Raff ( Richard O'Brien ) and Magenta ( Patricia Quinn ) are revealed to be brother and sister who have a sexual relationship. In the unproduced sequel Revenge of the Old Queen , it is implied that Dr. Frank-N-Furter had been incestuously involved with his own mother, the "Old Queen" of the planet Transsexual (in the galaxy of Transylvania ); she later dies in the throes of seducing her own grandson. The sequel to Richard O'Brien 's The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a musical called Shock Treatment which meets Brad and Janet some time after their adventure with Frank 'n' Furter. In this film, brother and sister Cosmo and Nation McKinley are clearly displayed as havin ...more...



Incest in popular culture

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Incest is a popular topic in English erotic fiction ; there are entire collections and websites devoted solely to incest , and there exists an entire genre of pornographic pulp fiction known as "incest novels". Incest is sometimes mentioned or described in mainstream, non-erotic fiction. Connotations can be negative, positive, or neutral. Mediums Incest in film and television Incest in literature Incest in entertainment Sculpture A 1857 statue by American sculptor Harriet Goodhue Hosmer of Beatrice Cenci , who was accused of patricide in retaliation for incest, stands at the Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Beatrice Cenci by Hosmer The National Academy Museum presented a sculptural series by Tess O'Dwyer on the subject of incest entitled "Remnants of Violence"; the work suspended dozens of tricycle seats with bronze figures of sexually molested children and their headless abusers as a site specific work in the museum's rotunda in May 2014. Music In the "Weird Al" Yankovic song, "A C ...more...



Rick Santorum's views on homosexuality

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Rick Santorum Former Republican U.S. Senator and 2012 and 2016 U.S. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is opposed to homosexual behavior, seeing it as antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family. Santorum does not believe the right to privacy under the United States Constitution covers sexual acts, and criticized the US Supreme Court ruling in the case of Lawrence v. Texas that ruled to the contrary. Santorum has stated that the U.S. military 's " Don't ask, don't tell " policy, which ended in 2011, should be reinstated and has voiced his opposition to same-sex parenting . Santorum's views provoked criticism from Democratic politicians and other groups, but have been supported by some conservative Christians. 2003 interview In the interview by Associated Press reporter Lara Jakes Jordan, when asked for his position on the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal , Santorum said that the scandal involved priests and post-pubescent men in "a basic homosexual relationship" (rather than child sexual ...more...



Jewish views on incest

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Jewish views on incest deal with the sexual relationships which are prohibited by Judaism and rabbinic authorities on account of a close family relationship that exists between persons. Such prohibited relationships are commonly referred to as incest or incestuous, though that term does not appear in the biblical and rabbinic sources. The term mostly used by rabbinic sources is " forbidden relationships in Judaism ." In the Bible The Hebrew Bible sets out several lists of relationships which it regards as incestuous. One list appears in Deuteronomy , and two lists appear in the Book of Leviticus . These lists only mention relationships with female relatives; excluding lesbianism , this implies that the list is addressed to men. Since the lists would then describe women with whom it is forbidden for a man to have a relationship, they also indirectly imply a list of men with whom it is forbidden for a woman to have a relationship. These lists then compare as follows    Forbidden for men    Forbidden for women   ...more...



Laws regarding rape

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Rape is a type of sexual assault initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent . The act may be carried out by physical force, or where the person is under threat or manipulation, or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. It is the name of a statutory crime in jurisdictions such as England and Wales , Northern Ireland , Scotland , California , and New York , and is a legal term of art used in the definition of the offence of sexual violation in New Zealand . Definitions of rape vary, and though rape is usually dependent upon whether or not consent was present during the act, the term "consent" varies as well. Minors , for example, are often considered too young to consent to sexual relations with older persons (see statutory rape and age of consent ). Consent is also considered invalid if obtained under duress , or from a person who does not have the ability to understand the nature of the act, due to factors such as young age, mental disability, or s ...more...



Sex and the law

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Sex and the law deals with the regulation by law of human sexual activity . Sex laws vary from one place or jurisdiction to another, and have varied over time, and unlawful sexual acts are also called sex crimes . Some laws regulating sexual activity are intended to protect one or all participants, while others are intended to proscribe behavior that has been defined as a crime. For example, a law may proscribe unprotected sex if one person knows that he or she has a sexual disease or to protect a minor; or it may proscribe non-consensual sex, or because of a relationship between the participants, etc. In general, laws may proscribe acts which are considered either sexual abuse or behavior that societies consider to be inappropriate and against the social norms . Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual contact between two or more adults or two or more minors , and, depending on laws with regard to age of consent , sexual contact between an adult and a minor. Definitions Sex crimes are forms of human sexual behavior t ...more...



Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance Regarding the Healthy Development of Youths

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The Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance Regarding the Healthy Development of Youths ( 東京都青少年の健全な育成に関する条例 Tōkyō-to Seishōnen no Kenzen na Ikusei ni Kansuru Jōrei) is a prefectural law passed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in 1964. Its purpose is to promote the healthy development of people under the age of 18 by restricting their access to published material that is considered inappropriate. The restrictions are primarily carried out through self-regulation by the publishing industry. The Ordinance was controversially revised in December 2010 to expand the definition of "harmful publications" and to give the Metropolitan government greater powers to enforce the law's provisions. Introduction According to Michiko Nagaoko, director of a non-profit organization in Kyoto called Juvenile Guide, founded in 2003, approximately half of the 2,000 pornographic animation titles distributed in Japan every year, including films and video games, feature schoolgirl characters. On 11 March 2008, UNICEF Japan issued a statement ...more...



Ten Commandments in Catholic theology

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The Ten Commandments are a series of religious and moral imperatives that are recognized as a moral foundation in several of the Abrahamic religions , including Catholicism . As described in the Old Testament books Exodus and Deuteronomy , the Commandments form part of a covenant offered by God to the Israelites to free them from the spiritual slavery of sin . According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church —the official exposition of the Catholic Church 's Christian beliefs—the Commandments are considered essential for spiritual good health and growth, and serve as the basis for Catholic social justice . A review of the Commandments is one of the most common types of examination of conscience used by Catholics before receiving the sacrament of Penance . The Commandments appear in the earliest Church writings ; the Catechism states that they have "occupied a predominant place" in teaching the faith since the time of Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430). The Church had no official standards for religious i ...more...



Pornography by region

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World map of pornography laws:    Fully legal    Partially legal, under some restrictions, or ambiguous status    Illegal    Data unavailable The production and distribution of pornographic films are both activities that are lawful in many, but by no means all, countries so long as the pornography features performers aged above a certain age, usually eighteen years. Further restrictions are often placed on such material. Africa Botswana The possession of "Indecent and obscene material such as pornographic books, magazines, films, videos, DVDs and software" is prohibited in Botswana . Possession or import of such material is illegal and punishable by a fine or up to 4 years imprisonment. Egypt The distribution of pornography is illegal in Egypt and its possession and import are offences. Unlike numerous African nations which have no laws against child pornography, Egypt blocks child pornography websites and dealing in child pornography carries a minimum sentence of five years and fines of US$29,000. In 2009 ...more...



Laws regarding child sexual abuse

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Laws against child sexual abuse vary by country based on the local definition of who is a child and what constitutes child sexual abuse . Most countries in the world employ some form of age of consent , with sexual contact with an underage person being criminally penalized. As the age of consent to sexual behaviour varies from country to country, so too do definitions of child sexual abuse. An adult's sexual intercourse with a minor below the legal age of consent may sometimes be referred to as statutory rape , based on the principle that any apparent consent by a minor could not be considered legal consent . The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international treaty that legally obligates nations to protect children's rights. Articles 34 and 35 of the CRC require states to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. This includes outlawing the coercion of a child to perform sexual activity, the prostitution of children , and the exploitation of c ...more...



Conflict of marriage laws

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Conflict of marriage laws is the conflict of laws with respect to marriage in different jurisdictions. When marriage-related issues arise between couples with diverse backgrounds, questions as to which legal systems and norms should be applied to the relationship naturally follow with various potentially applicable systems frequently conflicting with one another. The choice of law The standard choice of law rules for adjudicating on issues relating to marriage represent a balance between the various public policies of the laws involved: Status and capacity Status and capacity are defined by the personal laws of the parties, namely: the lex domicilii or law of the domicile in common law states, and either the lex patriae or law of nationality , or law of habitual residence in civil law states). The personal laws will usually define status in rem so that it is recognised wherever the individual may travel subject only to significant public policy limits. Hence, for example, as an aspect of parens patriae , a st ...more...

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Child pornography in the Philippines

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Child pornography in the Philippines and the growing commercial sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines have resulted in moves to combat this. In 2016, UNICEF declared that the Philippines is one of the top sources of child pornography. UNICEF Manila study According to a book by Arnie Trinidad entitled Child Pornography in the Philippines published by UNICEF Manila, a prominent case happened in Pagsanjan , Laguna , a rural community South of Manila. The case, according to Trinidad, involved the victimization of 590 children and adolescents aged 7 to 17 years old, by 22 American and European pedophiles who were involved in the production of pornography, drug abuse, and the sexual abuse of children . The study, published in 2005, documents other cases perpetrated by both foreign and local pedophiles and includes in depth analysis of the ongoing problem, in the context of the social, economic and legal environment. The UNICEF Manila study states that social factors increase the propensity of children ...more...



Sodomy law

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A sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes . The precise sexual acts meant by the term sodomy are rarely spelled out in the law, but are typically understood by courts to include any sexual act deemed to be "unnatural" or immoral. Sodomy typically includes anal sex , oral sex and bestiality . In practice, sodomy laws have rarely been enforced against heterosexual couples. As of August 2016, 72 countries as well as five sub-national jurisdictions have laws criminalizing homosexuality, with most of them located in Asia and Africa . In 2006 that number was 92. In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a LGBT rights resolution, which was followed up by a report published by the UN Human Rights Commissioner which included scrutinisation of the mentioned codes. History Criminalization The Middle Assyrian Law Codes (1075 BC) state: If a man has intercourse with his brother-in-arms, they shall turn him into a eunuch . This is the earliest known law condemning the act of male ...more...



Conflict of divorce laws

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In modern society , the role of marriage and its termination through divorce have become political issues. As people live increasingly mobile lives, the conflict of laws and its choice of law rules are highly relevant to determine: the circumstances in which people may obtain divorces in states in which they have no permanent or habitual residence ; and when one state will recognize and enforce a divorce granted in another state The problems When people's lives were mostly confined to a single state, local court orders for maintenance and child support , and for contact with, and parental responsibility for, any children of the family were administered through a relatively trouble-free system. But, as the borders between states became increasingly porous, people moved in search of employment, to build businesses or, simply, because they could. The marriage of people with different nationalities or domiciles therefore became more common. This has produced serious problems for the parties and for the court syst ...more...



Accidental incest

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Accidental incest is sexual activity or marriage between persons who were unaware of a family relationship between them which would be considered incestuous . When two related people meet as adults and become sexually attracted , it is known as genetic sexual attraction . The laws of many jurisdictions void incestuous marriages , even if entered into without awareness of the kinship. If an incestuous relationship is suspected, DNA testing may be used. Some jurisdictions permit offspring of IVF donations access to donation records or to adoption records. Causes People may be unaware of a kinship relationship between them in a number of circumstances. For example, artificial insemination with an anonymous donated sperm may result in offspring being unaware of any biological relations, such as paternity or half siblings. To reduce the likelihood of accidental incest, fertility clinics usually limit the number of times that a donor's sperm may be used. Some countries have laws limiting the number of children a ...more...



Common-law marriage

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Common-law marriage , also known as sui iuris marriage , informal marriage , marriage by habit and repute , or marriage in fact is a legal framework in a limited number of jurisdictions where a couple is legally considered married , without that couple having formally registered their relation as a civil or religious marriage. The original concept of a "common-law marriage" is a marriage that is considered valid by both partners, but has not been formally recorded with a state or religious registry, or celebrated in a formal religious service. In effect, the act of the couple representing themselves to others as being married, and organizing their relation as if they were married, acts as the evidence that they are married. The term common-law marriage has wide informal use, often to denote relations that are not legally recognized as common-law marriages. The term common-law marriage is often used colloquially or by the media to refer to cohabiting couples, regardless of any legal rights that these couples m ...more...



Possession of stolen goods

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Officers of the Vancouver Police Department checking for stolen goods at a flea market Possession of stolen goods is a crime in which an individual has bought, been given, or acquired stolen goods anyway. In many jurisdictions, if an individual has accepted possession of goods or property and knew they were stolen, then the individual is typically charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the stolen goods. If the individual did not know the goods were stolen, then the goods are returned to the owner and the individual is not prosecuted. However, there are often exceptions, due to the difficulty of proving or disproving an individual's knowledge that the goods were stolen. Nature of offence by country Canada The Criminal Code specifies three offences: The basic definition for the possession offence (which is almost identical in wording for the trafficking offences) is as follows: 354 . (1) Every one commits an offence who has in his possession any property or thing or any proceeds of any ...more...



NARAL Pro-Choice America

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NARAL Pro-Choice America is a 501(c)(4) organization in the United States that engages in political action and advocacy efforts to oppose restrictions on abortion and expand access to abortion. NARAL is often used as a short form of the name. The organization was formerly known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws , then the National Abortion Rights Action League , and later the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League . NARAL has an associated 501(c)(3) organization, the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, and an associated political action committee , the NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC. Founded in 1969, NARAL is the oldest abortion rights advocacy group in the United States. History The precursor to NARAL was the Association to Repeal Abortion Laws (ARAL). ARAL was an expansion of the "Army of Three" which was made up of pro-choice activists Pat Maginnis , Rowena Gurner , and financial investor Lana Phelan . The Army of Three organized and distributed referral lists of ...more...



Grounds for divorce (United States)

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Grounds for divorce are regulations specifying the circumstances under which a person will be granted a divorce. Each state in the United States has its own set of grounds. A person must state the reason they want a divorce at a divorce trial and be able to prove that this reason is well-founded. Several states require that the couple must live apart for several months before being granted a divorce. However, living apart is not accepted as grounds for a divorce in many states. The United States allows a person to end a marriage by filing for a divorce on the grounds of either fault or no fault. In the past, most states only granted divorces on fault grounds, but today all states have adopted a form of no fault divorce. Fault and no-fault divorces each require that specific grounds be met. A no fault divorce can be granted on grounds such as irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, or after a period of separation, depending on the state. Neither party is hel ...more...



United States federal probation and supervised release

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United States federal probation and supervised release are imposed at sentencing. The difference between probation and supervised release is that the former is imposed as a substitute for imprisonment, or in addition to home detention , while the latter is imposed in addition to imprisonment. Probation and supervised release are both administered by the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System . Federal probation has existed since 1909, while supervised release has only existed since 1987, when it replaced federal parole as a means for imposing supervision on releasees from prison. Some conditions of probation and supervised release, such as compliance with drug tests , are made mandatory by statute, while others are optional. Some terms are recommended by the United States Sentencing Guidelines for specific situations; for instance, a requirement of participation in a mental health program is recommended when "the court has reason to believe that the defendant is in need of psychological or psychiatric ...more...



Placement marriage

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The term placement marriage (also known as the law of placing ) refers to arranged marriages between members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church). Placement marriage is believed and practiced by members of the FLDS Church to show their commitment and obedience in order to obtain salvation for themselves and their parents; it might be considered “the most visible outward symbol of members’ devotion." Origin The Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint group is one of eight primary Fundamentalist Mormon groups; other well known groups include: Apostolic United Brethren , Latter Day Church of Christ (also known of as the "Kingston group"), Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days , and the Centennial Park group (also known of as "The Work of Jesus Christ" or just "The Work"). Placement marriage is a practice that uniquely belongs to the FLDS Church, although there may be some similarit ...more...



Fritzl case

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The Fritzl case emerged in April 2008 when a woman named Elisabeth Fritzl (born 6 April 1966) told police in the town of Amstetten , Austria , that she had been held captive for 24 years behind eight locked doors in a concealed corridor part of the basement area of the large family house by her father, Josef Fritzl (born 9 April 1935), and that Fritzl had physically assaulted , sexually abused , and raped her numerous times during her imprisonment. The abuse by her father resulted in the birth of seven children: three of them remained in captivity with their mother, one had died just days after birth, and the other three were brought up by Fritzl and his wife, Rosemarie, having been reported as foundlings . Elisabeth Fritzl's confinement Josef confined Elisabeth, tricking her into the basement, when she was 18 years old. Three of Elisabeth's children, born during her confinement, were imprisoned with their mother: 19-year-old (at time of release) daughter Kerstin and sons Stefan, 18, and Felix, 5. Another, ...more...



Abortion in the United States

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Abortion in the United States has been, and remains, a controversial issue in United States culture and politics. Various anti-abortion laws have been in force in each state since at least 1900. Before the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, it was already legal in several states, but the decision imposed a uniform framework for state legislation on the subject. It established a minimal period during which abortion must be legal (with more or fewer restrictions throughout the pregnancy). That basic framework, modified in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), remains nominally in place, although the effective availability of abortion varies significantly from state to state, as many counties have no abortion providers. In the United States, the main actors in the abortion debate are most often labeled either as " pro-choice " or " pro-life ", though shades of opinion exist, and most Americans are considered to be somewhere in the middle. A Gallup.com survey of 1014 adu ...more...



Child pornography laws in the United Kingdom

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Child pornography laws in the United Kingdom are covered by the Protection of Children Act 1978 , which made it illegal to take, make, distribute, show, or possess for the intent of showing or distributing an indecent photograph of someone under the age of 18. In the context of digital media, saving an indecent image to a computer's hard drive is considered to be "making" the image, as it causes a copy to exist which did not exist before. Indecency is to be interpreted by a jury, who should apply the recognised standards of propriety. This law is in force in England , Wales and Northern Ireland ; similar provisions exist in Scotland but the PoCA does not extend to there. The prohibition of content on the Internet that is potentially illegal under this law by British internet service providers is however self-regulatory , coordinated by the non-profit charity Internet Watch Foundation (who has partnerships with many major ISPs in the country). The 1978 Act was extended in 1994 (by the Criminal Justice and Pub ...more...



Child pornography laws in the United States

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Child pornography laws in the United States specify that child pornography is illegal under federal law and in all states. The Supreme Court of the United States has found child pornography to be " legally obscene ", a term that refers to offensive or violent forms of pornography that have been declared to be outside the protections of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution . Federal sentencing guidelines on child pornography differentiate between production, distribution, and purchasing/receiving, and also include variations in severity based on the age of the child involved in the materials, with significant increases in penalties when the offense involves a prepubescent child or a child under the age of 12. U.S. law distinguishes between pornographic images of an actual minor, realistic images that are not of an actual minor , and non-realistic images such as drawings. The latter two categories are legally protected unless found to be obscene , whereas the first does not require a finding o ...more...



Sperm donation laws by country

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Sperm donation laws vary by country . Most countries have laws on sperm donation and place limits on how many children a sperm donor may give rise to. Other laws include a prohibition on use of donor semen after the donor has died, or to the payment to sperm donors. Other laws may restrict use of donor sperm for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, which may itself be banned or restricted in some way, such as to married heterosexual couples, banning such treatment to single women or lesbian couples. Restrictions on sperm donations or the ability to obtain IVF treatment in some jurisdictions has given rise to women seeking such donations or treatments traveling to countries which do not impose such restrictions, in a practice called fertility tourism . Limitations on number of donations Most jurisdictions have laws that limit the number of children a sperm donor may give rise to. The main reason to limit sperm donations is the risk of accidental consanguinity or inbreeding between donor offspring . In some ...more...



Child abuse

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Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical , sexual , or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child or children, especially by a parent or other caregiver. Child abuse may include any act or failure to act by a parent or other caregiver that results in actual or potential harm to a child, and can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with. The terms child abuse and child maltreatment are often used interchangeably, although some researchers make a distinction between them, treating child maltreatment as an umbrella term to cover neglect, exploitation, and trafficking . Different jurisdictions have developed their own definitions of what constitutes child abuse for the purposes of removing children from their families or prosecuting a criminal charge . Definitions Definitions of what constitutes child abuse vary among professionals, and between social and cultural groups, as well as across time. The terms abuse and maltreatment are often used in ...more...



Debate regarding child pornography laws

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While laws criminalizing child sexual abuse now exist in all countries of the world, more diversity of views exists on questions like exactly how young those depicted in pornography should be allowed to be, whether the mere possession of child pornography should be a crime, or whether sentences for such possession should be modified. Specific laws In 1999, in the case of R. v. Sharpe , British Columbia's highest court struck down a law against possessing child pornography as unconstitutional. That opinion, written by Justice Duncan Shaw, held, "There is no evidence that demonstrates a significant increase in the danger to children caused by pornography," and "A person who is prone to act on his fantasies will likely do so irrespective of the availability of pornography." The Opposition in the Canadian Parliament considered invoking the notwithstanding clause to override the court's ruling. However, it was not necessary because the Canadian Supreme Court overturned the decision with several findings incl ...more...



Self-sacrifice in Jewish law

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Although rare, there are instances within Jewish law that mandate a Jew to sacrifice his or her own life rather than violate a religious prohibition. One of these prohibitions is that no life should be taken, including one's own. Many more ritual prohibitions exist as well, which means that under limited circumstances a Jew has to self-sacrifice when the greater good calls for breaking a more minor dictate. This practice reflects the practical and perhaps malleable nature of Judaic law. Overview In general, a Jew must violate biblically mandated , and certainly rabbinically mandated , religious laws of Judaism in order to preserve human life. This principle is known as ya'avor v'al ye'hareg (יעבור ואל יהרג, "transgress and do not be killed") and it applies to virtually all of Jewish ritual law, including the best known laws of Shabbat and kashrut , and even to the severest prohibitions, such as those relating to circumcision , chametz on Passover , and fasting on Yom Kippur . Thus, the Torah generally asserts ...more...



George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford

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Arms of the Boleyn family of London, including Sirs Geoffrey, William and Thomas, great grandfather, grandfather and father of Anne Boleyn , respectively George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford (c.1503 /c. April 1504 – 17 May 1536) was an English courtier and nobleman, and the brother of queen consort Anne Boleyn . This made him the brother-in-law of King Henry VIII and the maternal uncle of Queen Elizabeth I of England . A prominent figure in the politics of the early 1530s, he was falsely accused of incest with his sister Anne during the period of her trial for high treason . They were both executed as a result. Early years and family George was the only surviving son of the courtier and ambassador Sir Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard , daughter of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk . Thomas and Elizabeth had a number of children, including two sons named Thomas and Henry who failed to reach adulthood. Three children survived: George, Mary and Anne . There has been much debate over the centuries as t ...more...



Parallel and cross cousins

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In discussing consanguineal kinship in anthropology , a parallel cousin or ortho-cousin is a cousin from a parent's same-sex sibling, while a cross cousin is from a parent's opposite-sex sibling. So a parallel cousin is the child of the father's brother (paternal uncle's child) or of the mother's sister (maternal aunt's child), while a cross cousin is the child of the mother's brother (maternal uncle's child) or of the father's sister (paternal aunt's child). Where there are unilineal descent groups in a society (i.e. matrilineal and/or patrilineal ), one's parallel cousins on one or both sides will belong to one's own descent group, while cross cousins will not (assuming descent group exogamy ). Role A chart showing family members in relation to a particular Subject (black triangle). The role of cross cousins is especially important in some cultures. For example, marriage is promoted between them in the Iroquois system . Parallel cousins are occasionally the subject of promoted marriage , such as the prefere ...more...



Legal status of drawn pornography depicting minors

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The legal status of drawn pornography depicting minors varies from country to country and concerns simulated pornography and child pornography . Some analysts have argued whether cartoon pornography depicting minors is a " victimless crime ". Laws have been enacted to criminalize "obscene images of children, no matter how they are made", for inciting abuse. An argument is the claim that obscene fictional images portray children as sex objects , thereby contributing to child sexual abuse . This argument has been disputed by the fact that there is no scientific basis for that connection as of 1999, and that restricting sexual expression in drawings or animated games and videos might actually increase the rate of sexual crime by eliminating an outlet for desires that could motivate crime. Currently, countries that have made it illegal to possess (as well as create and distribute) sexual images of fictional characters who are described as or appear to be under eighteen years old include Australia, Canada, the ...more...



Dolores Claiborne (film)

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Dolores Claiborne is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Kathy Bates , Jennifer Jason Leigh , and David Strathairn . It is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King . The plot focuses on the strained relationship between a mother and her daughter, largely told through flashbacks , after her daughter arrives to her remote hometown on a Maine island where her mother has been accused of murdering the elderly woman whom she cared for. The screenplay for Dolores Claiborne was adapted by Tony Gilroy , and the film was shot in Nova Scotia in 1994. Kathy Bates stated in a retrospective interview that her performance as the titular Dolores was her favorite performance she had ever given. In 2013, Time magazine named the film among the top ten greatest Stephen King film adaptations . Plot In 1995, Dolores Claiborne ( Kathy Bates ) works as a domestic servant on Little Tall Island in Maine . Dolores has a struggle with her elderly, paralyzed employer Vera Donov ...more...



Libellus responsionum

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The Libellus responsionum ( Latin for "little book of answers") is a papal letter (also known as a papal rescript or decretal ) written in 601 by Pope Gregory I to Augustine of Canterbury in response to several of Augustine's questions regarding the nascent church in Anglo-Saxon England . The Libellus was reproduced in its entirety by Bede in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum , whence it was transmitted widely in the Middle Ages , and where it is still most often encountered by students and historians today. Before it was ever transmitted in Bede's Historia, however, the Libellus circulated as part of several different early medieval canon law collections , often in the company of texts of a penitential nature. The authenticity of the Libellus (notwithstanding Boniface's suspicions, on which see below) was not called into serious question until the mid-twentieth century, when several historians forwarded the hypothesis that the document had been concocted in England in the early eighth century. It ...more...



Lizbeth Benacquisto

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Lizbeth Benacquisto is a Republican politician who has served as a member of the Florida State Senate since 2010. She currently represents the 27th district, which includes part of Lee County . She was a candidate in the 2014 special election for Florida's 19th Congressional District. History Benacquisto was born in Rockville Centre, New York in 1967 and moved to Florida in 1978, where she attended Palm Beach Atlantic University and worked as a realtor and marketing consultant. She served as a Wellington Village Councilwoman from 2002 to 2010. Florida Senate In 2010, incumbent Democratic State Senator Dave Aronberg opted against seeking another term in the State Senate, instead choosing to run for Attorney General of Florida . Benacquisto ran to succeed him, and narrowly defeated State Representative Sharon J. Merchant and Mike Lameyer in the Republican primary. In the general election, Benacquisto faced off against Kevin J. Rader , a State Representative and the Democratic nominee. The district spanned from ...more...



Felony waiver

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A felony waiver is special permission granted to United States military recruit with a felony on their criminal record . Some crimes that are considered to be misdemeanors according to respective state law may be, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice , considered felonies and thus would require a felony waiver. Occupations requiring high level security clearances are usually closed to individuals seeking felony waivers. They are increasingly being issued by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps to bolster forces that are strained by the demands of the ongoing War on Terror . This is a more common practice today than in the past, along with the usage of the stop-loss policy . US Representative Henry Waxman of California is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee . Upon releasing data focused on felony waivers, Waxman acknowledged public sentiment regarding the usage of felony waivers, stating that "Concerns have been raised that the significant increase in the recruitmen ...more...



Consanguine marriage

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Consanguineous marriage is matrimony between individuals who are closely related. Though it may involve incest , it implies more than the sexual nature of incest. In a clinical sense, marriage between two family members who are second cousins or closer qualify as having a consanguineous marriage. This is based on the gene copies their offspring may receive. Though these unions are still prevalent in some communities, as seen across the Greater Middle East region, many other populations have seen a great decline in family marriages. Prevalence and stigma Global prevalence of consanguine marriage, illustrating a higher prevalence of cousin marriage in the Middle East . Globally, 8.5% of children have consanguineous parents, and 20% of the human population live in communities practicing endogamy . Theories on the developments of consanguineous marriage as a taboo can be supported as being both a social, and a biological development. Social factors In a social perspective, the observed inclination to practice ...more...



Myrrha

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Marcantonio Franceschini - The Birth of Adonis, 1690 Myrrha ( Greek : Μύρρα ), also known as Smyrna (Greek: Σμύρνα ), is the mother of Adonis in Greek mythology . She was transformed into a myrrh tree after having had intercourse with her father and gave birth to Adonis as a tree. Although the tale of Adonis has Semitic roots, it is uncertain from where the myth of Myrrha emerged, though it was likely from Cyprus . The myth details the incestuous relationship between Myrrha and her father, Cinyras . Myrrha falls in love with her father and tricks him into sexual intercourse. After discovering her identity, Cinyras draws his sword and pursues Myrrha. She flees across Arabia and, after nine months, turns to the gods for help. They take pity on her and transform her into a myrrh tree. While in plant form, Myrrha gives birth to Adonis. According to legend, the aromatic exudings of the myrrh tree are Myrrha's tears. The most familiar form of the myth was recounted in the Metamorphoses of Ovid , and the story was t ...more...



Mike Cross (politician)

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Michael Aduron " Mike " Cross (September 8, 1944 – November 18, 2013) was an American businessman and lobbyist who served from 1981 to 1996 as a Democratic member of the Louisiana State Senate from District 13 ( East Feliciana , East Baton Rouge , and Livingston parishes) in Greater Baton Rouge , Louisiana . Prior to his legislative service, Cross was from 1976 to 1981 the mayor of Baker in suburban East Baton Rouge Parish. After his senatorial service ended, Cross was a lobbyist for CLECO Electric and the Louisiana Municipal Association. Background Cross was a son of the late Audron B. Cross and the former Lulalee McCulloch. From two marriages, he had four sons, Shane Michael Cross, Clifton Lance Cross, Ryan Michael Cross, and Matthew Aaron Cross, and two daughters, Lauren Adrianne Cross and Christen Joanna Cross. His widow is the former Kristie Pospisil, his second wife. He graduated in 1962 from Baker High School and attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette , then known as the University of Sout ...more...



Timeline of women's legal rights (other than voting)

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Timeline of women's legal rights (other than voting) represents formal changes and reforms regarding women's rights. That includes actual law reforms as well as other formal changes, such as reforms through new interpretations of laws by precedents . The right to vote is exempted from the timeline: for that right, see Timeline of women's suffrage . The timeline excludes ideological changes and events within feminism and antifeminism: for that, see Timeline of feminism . Before the 19th century 1718 Russia: Gender segregation is banned. Sweden: Female taxpaying members of the cities' guilds are allowed to stand for election during the age of liberty ; this right is banned (for local elections) in 1758 and (general elections) in 1771. United States: Province of Pennsylvania (now U.S. state of Pennsylvania)- Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse. 1720 Sweden: The Guild Regulation of 1720 secures the right of women to apply for a permit to work wi ...more...



Genetic sexual attraction

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Genetic sexual attraction ( GSA ) is a contrived term for an overwhelming sexual attraction that may develop between close blood relatives who first meet as adults. The term was coined in the US in the late 1980s by Barbara Gonyo, the founder of Truth Seekers In Adoption, a Chicago-based support group for adoptees and their new-found relatives. Contributing factors People tend to select mates who are like themselves, which is known as assortative mating . This holds both for physical appearance and mental traits. People commonly rank faces similar to their own as more attractive, trustworthy, etc. than average. However, Bereczkei (2004) attributes this in part to childhood imprinting on the opposite-sex parent. As for mental traits, one study found a correlation of 0.403 between husbands and wives, with husbands averaging about 2 IQ points higher. The study also reported a correlation of 0.233 for extraversion and 0.235 for inconsistency (using Eysenck's Personality Inventory ). A review of many previous stu ...more...



Human rights in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Human rights in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are protected by international conventions and domestic legal framework. The country has ratified a number of United Nations conventions regarding human rights and its constitution guarantees some basic human rights, such as the right to fair trial and freedom from torture. However, clauses guaranteeing socio-economic rights, such as the right to education , and guarding against discrimination are "almost non-existent" in the constitution. There are also no individual complaints procedures for some of the ratified conventions. In 2014, Freedom House ranked Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as "free", the highest possible band. The country has been criticized for its high incidence of rape and prevalence of domestic violence, as well as a "cultural epidemic" that renders women dependent on men and allows perpetrators of gender-based violence to go unpunished. There are no provisions in the constitution guaranteeing gender equality. Gender equality A 2014 study ...more...



List of United States courts of appeals cases

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Every year, each of the thirteen United States courts of appeals decides hundreds of cases. Of those, a few are so important that they later become models for decisions of other circuits, and of the United States Supreme Court , while others are noted for being dramatically rejected by the Supreme Court on appeal. Still others are notable for being written with such a clear and concise explanation of the states of the law that they are used by multiple law school casebooks to teach the area of law addressed. The notable decisions of these courts are listed in chronological order by circuit. First Circuit Sampson v. Channell , 110 F.2d 754 ( 1st Cir. 1940): application of Erie doctrine to choice of law questions Glik v. Cunniffe , 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2011): First Amendment right to photograph public officials in a public place Second Circuit Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp. , 45 F.2d 119 ( 2d Cir. 1930): copyright infringement of stock characters United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries , 86 F.2 ...more...




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