Is the taboo against incest really just a psychological device to keep us from people we subconsciously find attractive? Could be, since apparently, these hotties are our parents, and even ourselves, according to research published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Studies have shown that people are more turned on by photographs of faces morphed with their own or a parent's. More recently, when subjects were subliminally primed with a photos of a parent, they found the subsequent photos of faces more attractive than photos when they weren't primed. Subjects also found photos morphed with their own faces more attractive than others. But if they were told that a morphed face contained their own image, they ranked that one as less attractive than others. (Wouldn't want to look narcissistic, would they?) Wired explains:
"All three experiments support the Freudian idea that we have subconscious mechanisms that make us attracted to features that remind us of our own, and that cultural taboos against incest exist to override that primitive drive....“People appear to be drawn to others who resemble their kin or themselves,” said [lead author] R. Chris Fraley. “It is possible, therefore, as Freud suggested, that incest taboos exist to counter this primitive tendency."
Of course, a theory such as this one is basically impossible to prove or disprove. Still, it's food for thought, although it might not be the best topic to bring up at your next family meal. Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Freud's take on doctors treating their own children is (surprise!) disturbing. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: You might want to put a condom on that symbolic penis Image: flickr / thecameo