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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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Nieces and Their Uncles

Nieces and Their Uncles

(p.125) 4 Nieces and Their Uncles
Family Secrets

Gloria González-López

NYU Press

This chapter examines how women can become the targets of a variety of forms of sexual violence within the uncle-niece relationship. This was the most prevalent incestuous violence reported by the women in this study. While there is some overlap with previously discussed incestuous arrangements, some patterns stand out in the uncle-niece incestuous arrangement. To understand these, three interconnected concepts are developed: (1) “family genealogies of incest” help explain how nieces come to be seen as extensions of the adult women in the families, as a consequence of which uncles feel entitled to their gendered (sexualized) servitude; (2) “feminization of incest” refers to the overrepresentation of the maternal uncle in uncle-niece narratives of incest; and, (3) “family politics of gender inequality” help explain how women in positions of authority internalize sexist ideologies as part of family life, and come to see sexual violence as common or normal. These concepts explain how nieces become vulnerable to being sexualized by men within their families, and why even though this is widely known it is not easily disrupted.

Keywords:   family genealogies of incest, feminization of incest, internalized sexism, family politics of gender inequality

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