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Child Abuse Negl. 1987;11(1):101-8.

Sibling incest: a study of the dynamics of 25 cases.


The purpose of the present study was to explore the frequently observed dynamics distinctive to the sibling incest family system, and to evaluate how these dynamics might predispose the family system to act out its dysfunction through sibling sexual conduct. Being a descriptive study by nature, the data is based on 25 families which were reported to the Boulder County (Colorado) Sexual Abuse Team between May 1982 and December 1985. The 25 families yielded a significant pattern of common dynamics. Those dynamics which were repeatedly observed throughout these cases were: distant, inaccessible parents; parental stimulation of sexual climate in the home; and family secrets, especially with regard to extramarital affairs. The implications of the findings suggest that the patterns that are emerging are becoming more predictable, making prognosis and therapeutic intervention far more encouraging.

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