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Lecture 9

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Western University
Sociology 3321F/G

Regulation of sex activity: -every culture does this -in the interest if maintaining kinship organization w/ extended family -marriage is encouraged -the fundamental unit of any kinship network is the family -the transmission of property is part of the family -the incest taboo: -some variation in this cross culturally -some break it under some special circumstances Matrilineal Navajo: -aboringinal people, first nations people in America -located in Arizona and New Mexico -culture that traces descent through mother’s line (not father’s) -say that sexual relations w/ any of the mother’s relatives are forbidden -Canada has a bilateral system -we trace descent through both mother and father -Patralineal=trace descent through the father -bilateraltaboo on both sides but more on close family like aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings Inca: -violate incest taboo -in Mexico -when Europeans (Spanish) arrived they destroyed society -therefore, permitted brother/sister marriages -in leading family to keep royal family pure Hawaii: -nobiltybrother/sister marriage permitted -keep royal lineage Ancient Egypt: - same thing -permitted in the royal family Why regulation? probably both nature and nurture involved Naturethe incest taboo rules out the possibility of recessive genes becoming too frequent -the recessive gene: transmits and undesirable trait -in order to be expressed both man and woman need it -therefore more likely to get it when marry a close relative Hybrid Vigour: people that marry people (unrelated) -children tend to be more healthy Nurtureprohibition minimizes sexual competition in the family -defines kinship rights and obligations -prevents family from collapsing into chaos (social reason) -another social reasonthe incest taboo forces people to marry outside of family and form alliances (therefore, more likely to survive)
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