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Sibling incest is incest that occurs between siblings.

Tidfors et al [1] compared a group of adolescent sibling incest offenders (n=21) compared to a group of adolescent non-sibling offenders (n=24). Comparisons were made regarding variables such as family dysfunction, the offenders' prior victimization and offending behaviour. The data were collected from intake assessment reports and semi-structured interviews . The sibling incest offender group had grown up more often in dysfunctional families. Moreover, the results indicated that the offending behaviour in the sibling incest group was more severe.

  • Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro (1998; 2005) define sibling sexual abuse as sexual behavior between siblings for which the victim is not developmentally prepared, which is not transitory, and which does not reflect age-appropriate curiosity. It may or may not involve physical touching, coercion, or force.
  • Bank and Kahn[2] found that most sibling incest fell into one of two categories: "nurturance-oriented incest" and "power-oriented incest". The former is characterized by expressions of affection and love, while the latter is characterized by force and domination.
  • Rudd and Herzberger[3] report that brothers who committed incest were more likely to use force than fathers who commit incest (64% vs. 53%). Similarly, Cyr and colleagues[4] found that about 70% of sibling incest involved sexual penetration, substantially higher than other forms of incest.
  • Bass and colleagues[5] write that "sibling incest occurs at a frequency that rivals and may even exceed other forms of incest," yet only 11% of studies into child sex abuse examined sibling perpetrators.
  • Ryan[6] writes how, "Child protection has focused on adult-child [sexual] relationships, yet we know that more than 40% of all juvenile-perpetrated child sexual abuse is perpetrated in sibling relationships."
  • Rayment and Owen[7] report that "compared the offending patterns of sibling offenders with other teenage sex offenders [...] Sibling abusers admitted to more sexual offences, had a longer offending history and a majority engaged in more intrusive sexual behaviour than other adolescent sex offenders. The sibling perpetrator has more access to the victim and exists within a structure of silence and guilt."
  • A survey of eight hundred college students reported by David Finkelhor in Journal of Marriage and Family Counseling found that fifteen percent of females and ten percent of males had been sexually abused by a sibling.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. Inga Tideforsa, Hans Arvidssona, Sara Ingevaldsona & Michael Larssonb (2010). Sibling incest: A literature review and a clinical study. Journal of Sexual Aggression.Volume 16, Issue 3
  2. Bank, S. P. & Kahn, M. D. (1982). The sibling bond. New York, NY: Basic Books, Inc.
  3. Rudd, J. M., and Herzberger, S. D. (1999). Brother-sister incest/father-daughter incest: A comparison of characteristics and consequences. Child Abuse and Neglect, 23, pp. 915-928.
  4. Cyr, M., Wright, J., McDuff, P., & Perron, A. (2002). Intrafamilial sexual abuse: Brother-sister incest does not differ from father-daughter and stepfather-stepdaughter incest. Child Abuse and Neglect, 26, p. 957-973.
  5. Bass, L., Taylor, B., Kunutson-Martin, C. and Huenergardt, D. (2006) Making Sense of Abuse: Case Studies in Sibling Incest. Contemporary Family Therapy, Vol 28, no 1, pp 87-109
  6. Ryan, G. (2005) Preventing Violence and Trauma in the Next Generation. J Interpers Violence 2005; 20; 132 DOI:10.1177/0886260504268605
  7. S. Rayment and N Owen. (1999) WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES WHERE SIBLING INCEST HAS OCCURRED: THE DYNAMICS, DILEMMAS AND PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS. Paper presented at the Children and Crime: Victims and Offenders Conference convened by the Australian Institute of Criminology and held in Brisbane, 17–18 June 1999
  8. Finkelhor, D. (1978). Psychological, cultural, and family factors in incest and family sexual abuse. Journal of Marriage and Family Counseling, 4, 41-79.
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