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Genetic sexual attraction (GSA) is sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings, first and second cousins or a parent and offspring, who first meet as adults.[1]

GSA may occur as a consequence of adoption, when the adopted children knowingly or unknowingly encounter biological relatives. Although this is a rare consequence of adoptive reunions, the large number of adoptive reunions in recent years means that a larger number of people (about half) are affected.[2] If a sexual relationship is entered, it is known as incest, and may be distressing to both parties (see incest taboo). This phenomenon - siblings separated at birth and meeting only as adults and falling in incestuous love - is known in the folk epic, the Finnish national epic Kalevala and the tragic hero Kullervo.

GSA is rare between people raised together in early childhood, such as most siblings, due to the Westermarck effect, which evolved to prevent incest.

Contents

Contributing factors

Several factors may contribute to GSA. People commonly rank faces similar to their own as more attractive, trustworthy, etc. than average. [1] Heredity produces substantial physical similarity between close relatives. However, Bereczkei (2004) attributes this in part to childhood imprinting on the opposite-sex parent. Shared interests and personality traits are commonly considered desirable in a mate. The heritability of these qualities is a matter of great debate; to whatever extent they are heritable, they will tend to cluster in close relatives. In cases of parent-child attraction, the parent may recognize traits of their sometime mate in the child. Such reunions typically produce complex emotions in all involved[3].

In Germany

  • In February 2007, there was a report that a brother and sister couple in Germany were fighting against anti-incest laws. They grew up separately, met as adults, and have had four children.[4][5]

See also

In fiction, the heroine, Moll Flanders, as an adult unknowingly marries her half-brother. The novel Flowers in the Attic and its sequels also deal with an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister and their subsequent marriage. Lord Byron (Romantic English poet) purportedly had GSA with a half-sister he met as an adult.

Notes

References

Further reading


Genetic sexual attraction (GSA) is a non-scientific term that describes the phenomena of sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings, first and second cousins or a parent and offspring, who first meet as adults.[1]

The term GSA was first 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.[2]

GSA is presumed to occur as a consequence of adoption, when the adopted children knowingly or unknowingly encounter biological relatives. Although this is a rare consequence of adoptive reunions, the large number of adoptive reunions in recent years means that a larger number of people (about half) are affected.[3] If a sexual relationship is entered, it is known as incest, and may be distressing to both parties (see incest taboo). This phenomenon—siblings separated at birth and meeting only as adults and falling in incestuous love—is known in the folk epic, the Finnish national epic Kalevala and the tragic hero Kullervo.

GSA is rare between people raised together in early childhood due to a reverse sexual imprinting known as the Westermarck effect, which desensitizes them to later close sexual attraction; it is hypothesized that this effect evolved to prevent inbreeding.

Contents

Contributing factors

Several factors may contribute to GSA. People commonly rank faces similar to their own as more attractive, trustworthy, etc. than average.[4] Heredity produces substantial physical similarity between close relatives. However, Bereczkei (2004) attributes this in part to childhood imprinting on the opposite-sex parent. Shared interests and personality traits are commonly considered desirable in a mate. The heritability of these qualities is a matter of great debate; to whatever extent they are heritable, they will tend to cluster in close relatives. In cases of parent-child attraction, the parent may recognize traits of their sometime mate in the child. Such reunions typically produce complex emotions in all involved.[5]

In Germany

A brother and sister couple in Germany, the Stübings, fought their country's anti-incest laws. They grew up separately, met as adults, and have had four children. Their appeal was rejected in 2008, upholding Germany's anti-incest laws.[6][7]

In the United States

Kathryn Harrison, literary author, published a memoir in the 90's regarding her 4 year incestuous relationship with her biological father, who she had not seen for practically 20 years prior to beginning the relationship, titled "The Kiss".

In fiction

  • The eponymous heroine of Moll Flanders as an adult unknowingly marries her half-brother.
  • The novel Flowers in the Attic and its sequels also deal with an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister and their subsequent marriage.
  • The English poet Lord Byron purportedly had GSA with a half-sister he met as an adult.
  • The manga (and subsequent anime adaptation of) Koi Kaze describes the story of a man in his late twenties who is reunited with his much younger sister who he was separated from when she was still a very young child, and the subsequent GSA that arises between both of them.

See also

Notes

References

Further reading








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