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Genetic sexual attraction

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Genetic sexual attraction (GSA) is sexual attraction between close relatives, such as a brother and sister, who first meet as adults.

GSA can occur as a consequence of adoption, when the adopted children discover their true ancestry and seek out relatives. Although this is a rare consequence of adoptive reunions, the large number of adoptive reunions in recent years means that a significant number of people are affected. It is generally highly distressing to both parties, as this sexual attraction is contrary to their socialized sexual and moral structures, as well as to the legal structure of society.

The theory is that close relatives, due to similar genetic makeup, may be genetically predisposed toward the same interests and have highly compatible personalities. This makes relatives who meet later in life more likely to find each other attractive than would two random people.

Normally, when children are raised together in early childhood, this phenomenon is avoided by a form of reverse sexual imprinting known as the Westermarck effect, which appears to suppress sexual desire between siblings.

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