Genetics, Ecology and the Origins of Incest and Exogamy

  title={Genetics, Ecology and the Origins of Incest and Exogamy},
  author={Frank B. Livingstone},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  pages={45 - 61}
The biological consequences of inbreeding are often advanced as the cause of the evolution of incest and exogamy in human societies. This paper attempts to show that genetic analysis does not support such a conclusion. An alternate reconstruction of the origins of incest and exogamy based on cultural and populational consequences of these phenomena is proposed to show that reconstructions of human cultural evolution can contribute to the interpretation of human biological evolution. 

On the Origin and Extension of the Incest Taboo

Estimates of reproductive rates that might have obtained in earlier hypothetical populations suggest that the differences in re productive rates between familial and nonfamilial matings may have been great enough for people to have recognized the disadvantage of inbreeding and to have consciously prohibited it.

Human inbreeding avoidance: Culture in nature

An interactive model of “culture in nature” is presented, in which culture is seen as coevolving with genes to produce the maxiniization of individual inclusive fitness.

Simulating Hemoglobin History

  • A. Fix
  • Biology
    Human biology
  • 2003
Whatever the fate of his specific hypotheses, Livingstone's emphasis on the interaction of genetics, ecology, and culture stands as a model for the anthropological approach to the understanding of human variation and evolution.

Incest Avoidance as a Function of Environment and Heredity [and Comments and Reply]

Analysis in incest avoidance illustrates the inadequacy of efforts to reduce to irrelevance genetic determinants.

The incest taboo?

In this article, it is argued that inbreeding is often harmless and even fitness-enhancing, and Westermarck's hypothesis that children raised together naturally trigger selection mechanisms for sexual avoidance is highly questionable.

Tylor vs. Westermarck: Explaining the Incest Taboo

The argument is offered that evolutionary approaches are not always the most compelling and that convincing environmental explanations are overlooked, andemplations about incest and inbreeding avoidance are framed and examined.

Hominid Dental Evolution and the Origins of Language

Le role des dents dans la production du discours et l'evolution de la dentition des hominides. Hypotheses concernant la capacite de developpement du langage et ses effets possibles sur la dentition.

The Keppel Islands - Preliminary Investigations

The research findings into the Aboriginal prehistory of the Keppel Islands to study their occupation and adaptation are described. The findings give an idea about the population, determinants of