Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Genetic Sexual Attraction Revisited


Genetic Sexual Attraction Revisited
We have written about men who get turned on watching high heeled women step on worms (crush videos), about men who prefer a “relationship” with a realistic looking female doll to the live, breathing person, but the topic that has elicited the greatest reader reaction has been genetic sexual attraction, otherwise known as the Westermarck Effect. (http://www.geneticsexualattraction.com/, http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/stories/peteroverton/441583/forbidden-love)  Remember Patrick and Susan Stubing who live in Germany with their two children and have a normal family except that they are brother and sister. Patrick was adopted as a baby and did not meet Susan, towards whom he had an immediate attraction until he was 23 years old. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6424937.stm)  What brought this to mind was a documentary entitled “Donor Unknown” from Metfilm and Redbird directed by Jerry Rothwell that recently screened at the Tribeca Film Festival (http://www.donorunknown.com/). It is the story of a child from donor 150 who searches for and meets her father and discovers that she has more than a dozen half-siblings. Providing four donations per week is "an acceptable practice from a medical standpoint," said Dr. Peter Schlegel, chairman of urology and professor of reproductive medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, but …the American Society for Reproductive Medicine now recommends that the number of children from an individual donor in a geographical area not exceed 10…This limits the risk of a brother and sister meeting and marrying without realizing they are related…There have been surprise meetings of siblings that sparked fears of accidental incest. In South Australia, one man's sperm was reportedly used to produce 29 children, most of whom came to live in the city of Adelaide (population 1.2 million). With more than 1 million children of donors alive today, a documented case of accidental incest would seem to be inevitable,” Schlegel says.(http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-unreal-donor-unknown-20110516,0,5927086.column) 
Given what we know about Genetic Sexual Attraction accidental incest is not as much an accident as once thought and more predictable as a consequence of the Westermarck Effect.

References:

Gonyos, Barbara. I'm his mother, he's not my son.
http://www.amazon.com/His-Mother-But...1444477&sr=8-3

Phillips, M. (2009). High On Arrival New York, NY: Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

Schneider, M.A. & Hendrix, L. (2000). Olfactory sexual inhibition and the westermarck effect. Human Nature, 11(1), 65-91.

Shepher,  J. (1971). Mate selection among second generation kibbutz adolescents and adults: Incest avoidance and negative imprinting. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1(4) 1573-2800.

Spain, D. H. (1988). Incest theory: Are there three aversions? The Journal of Psychohistory, 15(3), 235-253.

Walter, A. (1990). Putting Freud and Westermarck in Their Places: A Critique of Spain. Ethos, 18(4), 439-446.  

Walter, A., & Buyske, S. (2003). The Westermarck Effect and early childhood co-socialization. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 21, 353-365.

Weisfeld, G.E., Czilli, T., Phillips, K.A., Gall, J.A., & Lichtman, C.A. (2003). Possible olfaction-based mechanisms in human kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 85(3), 279-295.

Wolf, A.P. & Huang C. (1982). Marriage and Adoption in China, 1845-1945. The China Quarterly, 90, 310-313.

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