Perceptions of incest in the context of different cultures and traditions. Modern state of the problem



The contribution poses the question of substitution of the notion “incestuous behavior” with the notion “pedophilia” in the modern society. It provides a comparative analysis of these phenomena, notes that perpetrators, unlike pedophiles, are psychically safe. It analyzes the origination of taboo on incest, its influence on the attitude towards this topic in the modern society. It provides information on the prohibition of incestuous relations in the process of development of human society, analyzes the theories of exogamy’s origins. It also provides information on legal regulation of incestuous behavior in different countries, from the Middle ages till the present days. It calls attention to the problem of absence of legislative forms of countering violent incest behavior in the Russian Federation which shows the rightlessness of the victims of incest in our country and the necessity of development of rehabilitation programs. It also proposes research topics which will help the development of effective programs of both psychological support of victims of incestuous actions and prevention of incestuous behavior.

General Information

Keywords: sexual violence, incest, pedophilia

Journal rubric: Juridical Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Enikolopov S.N., Khvostova E.S. Perceptions of incest in the context of different cultures and traditions. Modern state of the problem [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie [Psychological Science and Education], 2012. Vol. 4, no. 2 (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Sergey N. Enikolopov, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Head of Department of Clinical Psychology, Mental Health Research Center, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Ekaterina S. Khvostova, Psychologist, Educational laboratory, Juridical psychology faculty, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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