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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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children of dune - leto 1
I have no idea of it's in good taste to link to this, but the sheer coincidence of fyrdrakken linking to it this weekend just...heh. In cesperanza's LJ, someone mentioned this, so....

Genetic Sexual Attraction

I'm just--huh. Interesting.

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I read that as "Genital Sexual Attraction" at first. *headdesk*

*pets you* Close enough. *grins wickedly*

It's interesting. I mean, you hear/read that sexual desire is partly a recognition of "like me" that comes from resemblance to your family (ie. traits/physical features in the other person subconsciously remind you of your own family, hence you associate them with marriage, with family, as "like me"), so based on that, you'd expect to be attracted to someone from the same genetic make-up if you hadn't grown up with them. It's still... I mean, yeah. Big, huge, honkin' taboo.

the "Westermarck effect" meant that overfamiliarity and boredom automatically caused siblings and other close relatives raised together to go out of their way to avoid sexual contact.

That explains it far better than Freud ever did. It's proof that "familiarity breeds contempt".

Freud always struck me as bullshit, so it's nice to be right.

so based on that, you'd expect to be attracted to someone from the same genetic make-up if you hadn't grown up with them. It's still... I mean, yeah. Big, huge, honkin' taboo.

The part that really struck me was the comparison drawn with teh same children discussing their adoptive families, where teh children would *flinch* at the idea of being involved with a member of their adoptive family. I mean, wow. And this sort of study is way way way time has come, especially with the prevalence of single parenthood, sperm donors, etc.

Very cool.

wow what an interesting article. thanks for posting the link.

It was just *weird* that it came upu this weekend after Ces posted. Just--hit me with a deep, deep love of my fannish friends and the wonder of strange coincidences.

Huh, you know, it *is* interesting. Last year I met one of my first cousins for the first time. A man, a couple of years older than me, on my father's side. And it was the most eerie feeling. Because he looked like me. Me as I would be as a man. And I was totally attracted to him. Nothing like the scary shit in that article, and he wasn't my *brother* or anything, but yeah, i can see how it happens.

I wonder how much of it is some genetic thing and how much of it is just attraction to similar facial features? People are often attracted to people who look like them, anyway, right? It's most obvious in gay men, I always think, but I can think of it in straight couples too.

Humans are strange.

(also to clarify, just so no one worries - I never *did* anything with the cousin!!! my grandmother was in the room the whole time!!! Hee)

Also, this article kind of... amuses me. The fact that it's been written and published in a Brith newspaper, when not so long ago it was actually illegal to marry your ex-mother in law or ex-father in law. I mean, these are people not genetically related, and yet the law said that it was wrong.

So, I can only imagine how weirded out people are when confronted to this kind of situations.

Wasn't it illegal at some point to marry your brother's widow as well?

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Of course, now I think of Cam Mitchell and John Crichton, twins separated at birth.

*bites lip very hard*

You are thinkking about it, aren't you?

If you really loved me, you'd write me Mitchell/Sheppard/Crichton. Really. Please. Anything you want. Anything. You. Want.

such endearments as "my special girl", "goddess", "darling miracle", "my princess". Declaring that she "walks on water", Lytton confesses how much he misses and thinks of her, miserable at the distance between Edinburgh and Durban. The places they have visited together are described as "sacred shrines".

I find that behaviour far creepier than the fact that they're siblings. I wouldn't accept that from a man I'm sure I wasn't related to, let alone my long lost brother.

I have been extremely attracted to one of my cousins (still am), so I can easily believe the theory. Of course, it's legal where I'm from, and marrying a step-relative isn't.

What a fascinating article. Thank you for posting the link.

I think that the taboo is more of an issue with people you grew up with. People who are seperated at birth and then become interested in each other I don't find gross, while people who are genetically unrelated but grew up very close and then get married kind of bother me a little.

while people who are genetically unrelated but grew up very close and then get married kind of bother me a little.

*nods* I had that problem watching "Sweet Home Alabama". In all other ways, it's a sweet, fun romcom. But the whole "knowing each other your entire lives" thing creeps me out.

Huh. You know I wasn't aware that there had actually been scientific studies about this. I've actually seen three movies that covered it though. Something very melodramatic in the late 70's/early 80's with Meredith Baxter Birney, Sam Sheppard's Fool for Love, and John Sayle's excellent Lone Star. In the latter two, each couple fell in love as kids and were seperated by their parents who were aware of the connection. In each case it pretty much haunted their lives, and they never got over each other.

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There's an article in this month's National Geographic about the biochemistry of Love" where the main arguments involve genetic diversity, health etc. Of course, there's also a mention of searching for love through the memory of comfort and closeness when an infant in father and/or mother's arms.

But that argument don't really work for adopted children....

The sweat smelling experiment was where college females were smelling men's shirts and deciding which one's more attractive. The more attractive ones are overwhelming those that have different immune system markers from the woman choosing them.

Thanks so much for linking this article. I met my only sibling, a half brother, for the first time last year, and it was the most awkward, insane experience. My father, who I hadn't seen since I was four, was also there, and while I had this sense of almost overwhelming repulsion - I literally couldn't look at him without feeling ill - with my brother it was kind of opposite. He looked like me, you know? And while I can honestly say that I wasn't sexually attracted to him (um, thank God) I was definitely drawn to him. He came to visit over Christmas with the nephew I hadn't met, who is four, and I remember thinking at one point, "Wow, I wish this were my child."

Genetics is a weird thing. Anyway, thanks again for linking this article. I'd never read it, but I didn't really know meeting long lost siblings was as common an experience as it seems to be that people have done studies on this sort of thing, and would never have thought to look.

Heh. Everytime I read 'GSA' my brain automatically swapped it to 'SGA'... Talk about fandom on the brain!

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