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Family SecretsStories of Incest and Sexual Violence in Mexico$
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Gloria González-López

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479855599

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479855599.001.0001

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A la prima se le arrima

A la prima se le arrima

Sisters and Primas

Chapter:
(p.76) 3 A la prima se le arrima
Source:
Family Secrets
Author(s):

Gloria González-López

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479855599.003.0003

This chapter exposes the complex social and cultural forces that promote sister-brother and prima-primo (cousin) incestuous arrangements. Building on the dynamic of gendered servitude, young girls in families are vulnerable to being transformed into sex objects to satisfy the curiosity and experimentation of biological brothers and male cousins. Two revealing patterns emerge: First, in a patriarchal society where men are trained to build a sense of manhood around their heterosexual prowess, brothers may transform their sisters into “family sex surrogates,” which brothers use as a safe and temporary sex substitute for their future sex partner. Second, as a sister becomes a sex surrogate, young men in the family (including male cousins) pursue initiations into heterosexual manhood through sexualized rituals, acts, and behaviors (such as fondling and rape at family gatherings) that expose sexual violence as a grotesque expression in the construction of heteromasculinity within families. The chapter incorporates concepts such as “continuum of sexual violence” and “patriarchal dividend” to explain the connection between rape and patriarchal constructions of heterosexuality.

Keywords:   family sex surrogates, continuum of sexual violence, patriarchal dividend, initiations into heterosexual manhood, sexualized rituals

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