Incest is the act of having inappropriate sexual relationships with close family members, i.e. parent/child, brother/sister, etc. As a general rule throughout history and world cultures incest has been disapproved of for many reasons ranging from divine disapproval or supernatural punishments to association with the presence of birth defects in children born out or incestuous relationships. Modern research and culture condemns incest as an abusive behavior that most commonly utilizes fear, coercion and violence and distorts the psychological makeup of affected individuals.
See also: Incest Taboo