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Table of contents
PREFACE
TOUCH-1
TOUCH-2
TOUCH-3 (begin)
TOUCH-3 (end)
TOUCH-4 (begin)
TOUCH-4 (end)
SMELL-1
SMELL-2
SMELL-3.1
SMELL-3.2
SMELL-3.3
SMELL-3.4
SMELL-3.5
SMELL-4 (begin)
SMELL-4 (end)
SMELL-5
HEARING-1
HEARING-2
HEARING-3
VISION-1.1
VISION-1.2
VISION-1.3
VISION-2.1
VISION-2.2
VISION-2.3
VISION-2.4
VISION-3
VISION-4
VISION-5
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

In dealing with the question of sexual selection in man various writers 

have been puzzled by the problem presented by that abhorrence of incest 

which is usually, though not always so clearly marked among the different 

races of mankind.[184] It was once commonly stated, as by Morgan and by 

Maine, that this abhorrence was the result of experience; the marriages of 

closely related persons were found to be injurious to offspring and were 

therefore avoided. This theory, however, is baseless because the marriages 

of closely related persons are not injurious to the offspring. 

Consanguineous marriages, so closely as they can be investigated on a 

large scale,--that is to say, marriages between cousins,--as Huth was the 

first to show, develop no tendency to the production of offspring of 

impaired quality provided the parents are sound; they are only injurious 

in this respect in so far as they may lead to the union of couples who are 

both defective in the same direction. According to another theory, that of 

Westermarck, who has very fully and ably discussed the whole 

question,[185] "there is an innate aversion to sexual intercourse between 

persons living very closely together from early youth, and, as such 

persons are in most cases related, this feeling displays itself chiefly 

as a horror of intercourse between near kin." Westermarck points out very 

truly that the prohibition of incest could not be founded on experience 

even if (as he is himself inclined to believe) consanguineous marriages 

are injurious to the offspring; incest is prevented "neither by laws, nor 

by customs, nor by education, but by an _instinct_ which under normal 

circumstances makes sexual love between the nearest kin a psychic 

impossibility." There is, however, a very radical objection to this 

theory. It assumes the existence of a kind of instinct which can with 

difficulty be accepted. An instinct is fundamentally a more or less 

complicated series of reflexes set in action by a definite stimulus. An 

innate tendency at once so specific and so merely negative, involving at 

the same time deliberate intellectual processes, can only with a certain 

force be introduced into the accepted class of instincts. It is as awkward 

and artificial an instinct as would be, let us say, an instinct to avoid 

eating the apples that grew in one's own yard.[186] 

 

 

The explanation of the abhorrence to incest is really, however, 

exceedingly simple. Any reader who has followed the discussion of sexual 

selection in the present volume and is also familiar with the "Analysis of 

the Sexual Impulse" set forth in the previous volume of these _Studies_ 

will quickly perceive that the normal failure of the pairing instinct to 

manifest itself in the case of brothers and sisters, or of boys and girls 

brought up together from infancy, is a merely negative phenomenon due to 

the inevitable absence under those circumstances of the conditions which 

evoke the pairing impulse. Courtship is the process by which powerful 


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