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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.

By Bizarre Behavior & Culture Bound Syndromes

Dr. Kevin Volkan is a psychologist, writer, and educator with over twenty years of clinical, corporate, and academic experience. He is Professor of Psychology at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) and is on the graduate medical Faculty in the Community Memorial Health System. Dr. Volkan was one of the founding faculty at CSUCI which is the 23rd campus in California State University system where he teaches a course on atypical psychopathologies titled Bizarre Behaviors and Culture-Bound Syndromes. This course explores the outer range of extreme human behavior including paraphilias and was the inspiration for this blog. Consonant with his interest in deviant psychopathologies he also teaches clinical psychology and a course on the psychology of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Dr. Volkan has been a Silberman Seminar Fellow at The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC in 2010 and 2014. Before coming to CSUCI, Dr. Volkan was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School where he researched ways to measure medical student and physician performance, and the psychological origins of medical error. While at Harvard, Dr. Volkan also taught for the prestigious Harvard-Macy Institute, a joint program run by the Harvard Business, Education, and Medical schools. In this program he taught medical students and physicians from Harvard as well as from all over the world. Dr. Volkan’s background in psychology is varied and he maintains an active interest in several psychological approaches to understanding human nature – including socio-biological, psychoanalytic, psychometric, and cognitive-behavioral. He has had a long-standing interest in the psychology of compulsive drug use (which has similarities to the psychology of paraphilias), and has published a book on the subject. Dr. Volkan worked as a clinical psychologist for many years. This experience included serving as staff psychologist and Vice Chair of psychology at Agnews State Hospital in San Jose. During his tenure at Agnews, Dr. Volkan worked with patients who demonstrated many severe behavioral problems, including profoundly autistic, psychotic, self-injurious, and developmentally disabled individuals. Dr. Volkan was awarded the Sustained Superior Accomplishment Award from the State of California for his clinical work. In addition to his hospital work, Dr. Volkan also maintained a private practice in psychology in the San Francisco Bay Area. He served as a psychologist for the California Victim Witness program, seeing patients who were victims of crime and/or abuse. Dr. Volkan’s clients included a diverse population of people representing a wide variety of socioeconomic strata and psychological distress. Dr. Volkan received a BA in Biology from the University of California, an MA in Psychology from Sonoma State University, an EdD in Educational Psychology from Northern Illinois University, a PhD in Clinical Psychology from The Center for Psychological Studies, and a MPH in Public Health from Harvard University. In his spare time he practices martial arts and plays guitar in a rock band.

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