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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.

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]


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


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.


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


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


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.


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]


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

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


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]


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]


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.


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


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]


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]


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]


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]


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


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.


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]


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.


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.


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]


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


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


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] )


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.


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


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]


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]


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


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.


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]


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

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

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 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.


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


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


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

Laws regarding incest in the 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 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). Laws regarding incest in the United States : States :  Federal district   :  Territories   : Jurisdiction Prohibited relationships Prohibited acts Penalties Alabama Either legitimately or illegitimately: (1) His ancestor or descendant by blood or adoption ; or (2) His brother or sister of the whole or h



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

Laws regarding rape


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

Incest in the Bible


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

Accidental incest


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

Laws regarding child sexual abuse


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

Cousin marriage law in the United States by state


Cousin marriage acceptance differs from one U.S. state to another ranging from being legal to a criminal offence. 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 No No No No Yes Yes Yes Alaska Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Arizona Only if at least one is unable to reproduce Unknown 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 Ye

Incest in popular culture


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

Incest in film and television


Incest in film is precipitated 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 ha

Sibling relationship


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. Cultural differences The content and context of sibling relationships varies between cultures. In industrialized cultures , sibling relationships are typically discretionary in nature. People are encouraged to stay

Jewish views on incest


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  

Genetic sexual attraction


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

Sex and the law


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

Debate regarding child pornography laws


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

Outline of human sexuality


The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to human sexuality: Human sexuality is the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. Human sexuality can also refer to the way one person is sexually attracted to another person of the opposite sex ( heterosexuality ), the same sex ( homosexuality ), or having both tendencies ( bisexuality ). The lack of sexual attraction is referred to as ( asexuality ). Human sexuality impacts cultural, political, legal and philosophical aspects of life, as well as being widely connected to issues of morality , ethics , theology , spirituality , or religion . It is not, however, directly tied to gender . History of human sexuality History of human sexuality By period Sexuality in ancient Rome Homosexuality in ancient Rome Prostitution in ancient Rome Timeline of sexual orientation and medicine By region History of sex in India By subject By orientation History of bisexuality History of homosexuality History of lesbianism History of masturbation

Leviticus 18


Wikisource has original text related to this article: Leviticus 18 (KJV) Leviticus 18 is the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Leviticus in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible . It narrates part of the instructions which, according to the Bible, were given to Moses by God on biblical Mount Sinai . The chapter deals with a number of sexual activities considered unclean or abominable . Although the chapter is principally concerned with incest , it also contains laws related to bestiality and "lying with a man as with a woman." This single reference in verse 22 has, in recent years, been a focus of debate among Christians and Jews regarding homosexual activity (see Homosexuality and Christianity and Jewish views of homosexuality ). Leviticus 18 is generally regarded as part of the Holiness Code of Leviticus 11–26, and its sexual prohibitions are largely paralleled by Leviticus 20 (except that chapter has more emphasis on punishment). Text The original text of Leviticus 18, like that of m

Mary Kay Letourneau


Mary Kay Fualaau (née Schmitz , formerly Mary Kay Letourneau ; born January 30, 1962) is an American former schoolteacher who pleaded guilty to two counts of felony second-degree rape of a child , her 12-year-old student, Vili Fualaau. While awaiting sentencing, she gave birth to Fualuaa's child. Her plea agreement called for six months in jail, with three months suspended, and no contact with Fualaau for life. The case gained national attention. One month after her three months in jail, Letourneau was caught by police in a car with Fualaau. Judge Linda Lau found that she was in violation of the conditions of the plea agreement, vacated her probation, and re-sentenced her to the maximum of seven years in prison. She soon gave birth to a second daughter, while in prison. She was incarcerated from 1998 to 2004. In 2004, when Letourneau was released, Fualaau was over 18 years-old and he asked the court to revoke the no-contact order. The court complied. Letourneau and Fualaau married in May 2005, and she took hi

Abortion law


Abortion law permits, prohibits, restricts, or otherwise regulates the availability of abortion . Abortion has been a controversial subject in many societies through history on religious, moral, ethical, practical, and political grounds. It has been banned frequently and otherwise limited by law. However, abortions continue to be common in many areas, even where they are illegal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), abortion rates are similar in countries where the procedure is legal and in countries where it is not, due to unavailability of modern contraceptives in areas where abortion is illegal. The number of abortions worldwide is declining due to increased access to contraception according to WHO. Almost two-thirds of the world's women currently reside in countries where abortion may be obtained on request for a broad range of social , economic , or personal reasons. Abortion laws vary widely by nation. Three countries in Latin America ( Dominican Republic , El Salvador , and Nicaragua ) a

Cousin marriage


Cousin marriage is marriage between cousins (i.e. people with common grandparents or people who share other fairly recent ancestors). Opinions and practice vary widely across the world. In some cultures and communities, cousin marriage is considered ideal and actively encouraged; in others, it is subject to social stigma . Cousin marriage is common in the Middle East , for instance, where it accounts for over half of all marriages in some countries. In some countries outside that region, it is uncommon but still legal. In others, it is seen as incestuous and is legally prohibited : it is banned in China and Taiwan , North Korea , South Korea , and in fewer than half of the United States . Supporters of cousin marriage where it is banned may view the prohibition as discrimination , while opponents may appeal to moral or other arguments. Worldwide, more than 10% of marriages are between first or second cousins. In the past, cousin marriage was practiced within indigenous cultures in Australia, North Ameri

Prenuptial agreement


A prenuptial agreement , antenuptial agreement , or premarital agreement , commonly abbreviated to prenup or prenupt , is a contract entered into prior to marriage , civil union or any other agreement prior to the main agreement by the people intending to marry or contract with each other. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage. They may also include terms for the forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery ; further conditions of guardianship may be included as well. It should not be confused with the historic marriage settlement which was concerned not primarily with the effects of divorce but with the establishment and maintaining of dynastic families. In some countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands , the prenuptial agreement not only provides for the event of a divorce, but also to protect some property during the marriage, for ins

Shari Karney


Shari Karney (born February 2, 1954) is an American attorney, incest -survivor activist, and bar exam review company owner. Early life and education Shari grew up in Southern California. She graduated with a B.A. from University of California Los Angeles then went to law school and graduated with her J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles . Discovering repressed incest While practicing as an attorney in 1983, Shari was asked by a mother to take on a child custody case where the mother thought her 3-year-old daughter was being sexually abused by her ex-husband. While she was questioning the ex-husband on the stand during cross-examination regarding the incest she began to scream and yell and lose control without understanding why. As the witness talked, Shari has claimed she became nauseated and sweaty. She has claimed that she kept hearing the sound of typing in the back of the courtroom, but no one was there. When the witness gave an excuse for touching his daughter's genitals, she screamed, "These men

People v. Turner


People v. Turner , formally People of the State of California v. Brock Allen Turner (2015), was a criminal case filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court which convicted Brock Allen Turner of three counts of felony sexual assault . Turner was a student athlete at Stanford University on January 18, 2015, when he sexually penetrated an intoxicated and unconscious 22-year-old woman (later called "Emily Doe" ) with his fingers. Turner was apprehended by two Stanford international students from Sweden , who testified that they intervened because the woman appeared to be unconscious. As they approached, Turner fled. The two men gave chase, apprehending Turner and restraining him until police arrived to take him in custody. The police arrested Turner on Stanford's campus, and booked him into the Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of attempted rape and penetration with a foreign object. He was released the same day after posting $150,000 bail. Turner was indicted on January 28, 2015, on five charges: two fo

Hyde Amendment


In U.S. politics , the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape . Legislation, including the Hyde Amendment, generally restricts the use of funds allocated for the Department of Health and Human Services and consequently has significant effects involving Medicaid recipients. Medicaid currently serves approximately 6.5 million women in the United States, including 1 in 5 women of reproductive age (women aged 15–44). The original Hyde Amendment was passed on September 30, 1976 by the House of Representatives , by a 207-167 vote. It was named for its chief sponsor, Republican Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois . The measure represents one of the first major legislative gains by the United States pro-life movement , especially the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment led by lobbyist Mark Gallagher, after the striking-down of anti-abortion laws following the 1973

Intention (criminal law)


In criminal law , intent is one of three general classes of mens rea necessary to constitute a conventional, as opposed to strict liability , crime . A more formal, generally synonymous legal term is scienter : intent or knowledge of wrongdoing. Definitions Intent is defined in Canadian law by the ruling in R v Mohan (1994) as "the decision to bring about a prohibited consequence." A range of words represents shades of intent in criminal laws around the world. The mental element, or mens rea , of murder , for example, is traditionally expressed as malice aforethought , and the interpretations of malice , "maliciously" and "willful" vary between pure intent and recklessness or negligence , depending on the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed and the seriousness of the offence. The intent element of a crime, such as intent to kill, may exist without a malicious motive , or even with a benevolent motive, such as in the case of euthanasia . A person intends a consequence when they 1) foresee that it wil

Types of marriages


The type, functions, and characteristics of marriage vary from culture to culture, and can change over time. In general there are two types: civil marriage and religious marriage , and typically marriages employ a combination of both (religious marriages must often be licensed and recognized by the state, and conversely civil marriages, while not sanctioned under religious law, are nevertheless respected). Marriages between people of differing religions are called interfaith marriages , while marital conversion , a more controversial concept than interfaith marriage, refers to the religious conversion of one partner to the other's religion for sake of satisfying a religious requirement. Americas and Europe In the Americas and Europe, in the 21st century, legally recognized marriages are formally presumed to be monogamous (although some pockets of society accept polygamy socially, if not legally, and some couples choose to enter into open marriages ). In these countries, divorce is relatively simple and social



Adultery ( anglicised from Latin adulterium) is extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds. Though what sexual activities constitute adultery varies, as well as the social, religious, and legal consequences, the concept exists in many cultures and is similar in Christianity , Islam , and Judaism . A single act of sexual intercourse is generally sufficient to constitute adultery, and a more long-term sexual relationship is sometimes referred to as an affair . Historically, many cultures have considered adultery to be a very serious crime . Adultery often incurred severe punishment, usually for the woman and sometimes for the man, with penalties including capital punishment , mutilation , or torture . Such punishments have gradually fallen into disfavor, especially in Western countries from the 19th century. In most Western countries, adultery itself is no longer a criminal offense, but may still have legal consequences, particularly in divorce cases. For e

Prohibited degree of kinship


In law, a prohibited degree of kinship refers to a degree of consanguinity (blood relatedness) between persons that results in certain actions between them becoming illegal. Two major examples of prohibited degrees are found in incest and nepotism . Incest refers to sexual relations and marriage between closely related individuals; nepotism is the preference of blood-relations in the distribution of a rank or office. An incest taboo against relations between parent and child or two full-blooded siblings is a cultural universal . Taboos against sexual relations between individuals of other degrees of close relationship vary between the world's cultures, but stigmatization of unions with full siblings and with direct descendants are widespread. Marital prohibitions The Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church have a long history of various marital prohibitions. These function to limit intermarrying between two closely related relatives. In the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England published si



Depiction of the buggery of a goat, by Paul Avril The British English term buggery is very close in meaning to the term sodomy , often used interchangeably in law and popular speech. It may also be a specific common law offence encompassing both sodomy and bestiality . In law In English law "buggery" was first used in the Buggery Act 1533 , while Section 61 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 , entitled "Sodomy and Bestiality", defined punishments for "the abominable Crime of Buggery, committed either with Mankind or with any Animal". The definition of "buggery" was not specified in these or any statute, but rather established by judicial precedent . Over the years the courts have defined buggery as including either anal intercourse or oral intercourse by a man with a man or woman or vaginal intercourse by either a man or a woman with an animal , but not any other form of "unnatural intercourse", the implication being that anal sex with an animal would not constitute buggery. Such a case has not, t

Civil union


A civil union , also referred to by a variety of other names, is a legally recognized arrangement similar to marriage . These unions have been established in a number of countries since the late 1990s, often developing from less formal domestic partnership legislation. In Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, they have since been replaced, and in a number of other countries supplemented, by same-sex marriage . Civil unions are often seen by campaigners as a "first step" towards legalizing marriage for same-sex couples . While civil unions are predominantly established for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples, in a number of countries they are available to same-sex couples only. Beginning with Denmark in 1989, civil unions under one name or another have been established by law in several, mostly developed , countries in order to provide legal recognition of relationships formed by unmarried same-sex couples and to afford them rights, benefits, tax breaks, and responsibilities similar or identical to



Jacob Peeling the Rods by Guido Cagnacci , Royal Collection Trust, circa 1665 Polygamy (from Late Greek πολυγαμία , polygamía, "state of marriage to many spouses") is the practice of marrying multiple spouses. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, sociologists call this polygyny . When a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry . If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called a group marriage . In contrast, monogamy is marriage consisting of only two parties. Like "monogamy", the term "polygamy" is often used in a de facto sense, applied regardless of whether the state recognises the relationship. In sociobiology and zoology , researchers use polygamy in a broad sense to mean any form of multiple mating . Worldwide, different societies variously encourage, accept or outlaw polygamy. Of societies which allow or tolerate polygamy, in the vast majority of cases the form accepted in polygyny. According to the Ethnographic Atlas (1998),

South African criminal law


South African criminal law is the body of national law relating to crime in South Africa. In the definition of Van der Walt et al, a crime is "conduct which common or statute law prohibits and expressly or impliedly subjects to punishment remissible by the state alone and which the offender cannot avoid by his own act once he has been convicted." Crime involves the infliction of harm against society. The function or object of criminal law is to provide a social mechanism with which to coerce members of society to abstain from conduct that is harmful to the interests of society. In South Africa, as in most adversarial legal systems, the standard of evidence required to validate a criminal conviction is proof beyond a reasonable doubt . The sources of South African criminal law are to be found in the common law , in case law and in legislation. Criminal law (which is to be distinguished from its civil counterpart) forms part of the public law of South Africa , as well as of the substantive law (as opposed to

Effects and aftermath of rape


The effects and aftermath of rape can include both physical trauma and psychological trauma . However, physical force is not necessarily used in rape , and physical injuries are not always a consequence. Deaths associated with rape are known to occur, though the prevalence of fatalities varies considerably across the world. For rape victims the more common consequences of sexual violence are those related to reproductive health, mental health , and social wellbeing. Physical impact Gynecological Common consequences experienced by rape survivors include: Vaginal or anal bleeding or infection Hypoactive sexual desire disorder Vaginitis or vaginal inflammation Dyspareunia – painful sexual intercourse Vaginismus – a condition affecting a woman's ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration Chronic pelvic pain Urinary tract infections Pregnancy HIV/AIDS Pregnancy Pregnancy may result from rape. The rate varies between settings and depends particularly on the extent to which non-barrier contraceptives are b

George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford


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

Parallel and cross cousins


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

Abortion in the United States by state


Abortion in the United States is legal, via the landmark case of Roe v. Wade . Specifically, abortion is legal in all U.S. states, and every state has at least one abortion clinic. However, individual states can regulate/limit the use of abortion or create "trigger laws", which would make abortion illegal within the first and second trimesters if Roe were overturned by the US Supreme Court. Currently, 6 states have trigger laws and 3 other states have laws intending to criminalize abortion. Current legal status nationwide Abortion laws in the U.S. prior to Roe.    Illegal    Legal in case of rape    Legal in case of danger to woman's health    Legal in case of danger to woman's health, rape or incest, or likely damaged fetus    Legal on request Parental notification and consent laws in the U.S.    Parental notification or consent not required    One parent must be informed beforehand    Both parents must be informed beforehand    One parent must consent beforehand    Both parents must consent beforehand    

Initiatives to prevent sexual violence


As sexual violence affects all parts of society, the response to sexual violence is comprehensive. The responses can be categorized as: Individual approaches Psychological care and support Counseling, therapy and support group initiatives have been found to be helpful following sexual assaults, especially where there may be complicating factors related to the violence itself or the process of recovery. There is some evidence that a brief cognitive-behavioural programme administered shortly after assault can hasten the rate of improvement of psychological damage arising from trauma. As already mentioned, victims of sexual violence sometimes blame themselves for the incident, and addressing this in psychological therapy has also been shown to be important for recovery. Short-term counselling and treatment programmes after acts of sexual violence, though, require considerable further evaluation. Formal psychological support for those experiencing sexual violence has been provided largely by the nongovernmenta

Definition of marriage


The definition of marriage varies widely by culture, region and jurisdiction. Terminology The stimulus for differentiating married and non-married individuals is sometimes based upon how the companions refer to themselves. In the English language, terms used may be husband or wife or a gender-neutral term such as spouse. In third person, demographics of married people may be referred to by terms sch as wedders, as well as by more obscure and nonstandard terms such as wedlockers and gamists. Contention When there are social contentions regarding the definition of marriage a concerted effort to delineate the definition may occur. For example, in response to movements in favor of same-sex marriage, Robert H. Knight wrote: Perception There may also be a distinction between a formal and an informal marriage. The latter may incur various socioeconomic factors such as custody rigts, pension rights, spousal support and distribution of property while the former may not. A prevailing theme within definitions of

Conflict of marriage laws


Conflict of marriage laws is the conflict of laws regarding 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 state wi

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Prostitution law


   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

Void marriage


A void marriage is a marriage which is unlawful or invalid under the laws of the jurisdiction where it is entered. A void marriage is "one that is void and invalid from its beginning. It is as though the marriage never existed and it requires no formality to terminate." A marriage, however, which can be canceled at the option of one of the parties is merely voidable , meaning it is subject to cancellation if contested in court. A marriage that is entered into in good faith , but which is subsequently found to be void, may be recognized as a putative marriage and the spouses as putative spouses, with certain rights granted by statute or common law, notwithstanding that the marriage itself is void. History According to Paul J. Goda the distinction between void and voidable marriages arose in the context of a jurisdictional dispute between the civil and ecclesiastical courts. The civil courts held jurisdiction over property matters, while the church retained jurisdiction over the validity of marriages. There was

Consanguine marriage


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

Grounds for divorce (United States)


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

Age of consent


The age of consent is the age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts , and is thus the minimum age of a person with whom another person is legally permitted to engage in sexual activity. The distinguishing aspect of the age of consent laws is that the person below the minimum age is regarded as the victim, and their sex partner as the offender. The term age of consent rarely appears in legal statutes . Generally, a law will instead establish the age below which it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with that person. It has sometimes been used with other meanings, such as the age at which a person becomes competent to consent to marriage , but the meaning given above is the one now generally understood. It should not be confused with the age of majority , age of criminal responsibility , the voting age , the drinking age , the driving age , etc. Age of consent laws vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, though most jurisdictions set the age of consent

Fritzl case


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 whom remained in captivity with their mother, one of whom died just days after birth and the other three of whom 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,



Oedipus Separating from Jocasta by Alexandre Cabanel . In Greek mythology , Jocasta ( ), also known as Iocaste ( Greek : Ἰοκάστη Iokástē ) or Epicaste ( ; Ἐπικάστη Epikaste), was a daughter of Menoeceus , a descendant of the Spartoi , and Queen consort of Thebes . She was the wife of first Laius , then of their son Oedipus , and both mother and grandmother of Antigone , Eteocles , Polynices and Ismene . She was also sister of Creon and mother-in-law of Haimon . Life After his abduction and rape of Chrysippus , Laius married Jocasta. Laius received an oracle from Delphi which told him that he must not have a child with his wife, or the child would kill him and marry her; in another version, recorded by Aeschylus, Laius is warned that he can only save the city if he dies childless. One night, Laius became drunk and fathered Oedipus with Jocasta. Jocasta handed the newborn infant over to Laius. Jocasta or Laius pierced and pinned the infant's ankles together. Laius instructed his chief shepherd, a slave who had

Sexual intercourse


Sexual intercourse in the missionary position , the most common human sex position , depicted by Édouard-Henri Avril (1892). Sexual intercourse , or coitus or copulation , is principally the insertion and thrusting of the penis , usually when erect , into the vagina for sexual pleasure , reproduction , or both. This is also known as vaginal intercourse or vaginal sex . Other forms of penetrative sexual intercourse include anal sex (penetration of the anus by the penis), oral sex (penetration of the mouth by the penis or oral penetration of the female genitalia ), fingering (sexual penetration by the fingers), and penetration by use of a dildo (especially a strap-on dildo ). These activities involve physical intimacy between two or more individuals and are usually used among humans solely for physical or emotional pleasure and commonly contribute to human bonding . A variety of views concern what constitutes sexual intercourse or other sexual activity , which can also impact views on sexual health .

Application of Islamic law by country


The following is a summary of the application of sharia ( Islamic law ) by country . Since the early Islamic states of the eighth and ninth centuries, sharia always existed alongside other normative systems. Most Muslim-majority countries adopt various aspects of sharia. According to BBC, some countries adopt only a few aspects of Sharia, others apply the entire code. Within sharia, some crimes are known as the hudud crimes, for which there are specific penalties specified by Islam. For example, according to some interpretations, adultery is punished by stoning, fornication and the consumption of alcohol by lashing, and theft by the amputation of limbs. Many predominately Muslim countries have not adopted hudud penalties in their criminal justice systems. Ali Mazrui stated that "most Muslim countries do not use traditional classical Islamic punishments". The harshest penalties are enforced with varying levels of consistency. The use of flogging is more common compared to punishments like amputations. The a

Rick Santorum's views on homosexuality


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

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