Incest in popular culture

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Incest is a popular topic in English erotic fiction; there are entire collections and websites devoted solely to incest, and there exists an entire genre of pornographic pulp fiction known as "incest novels". Incest is sometimes mentioned or described in mainstream, non-erotic fiction. Connotations can be negative, positive, or neutral.



Beatrice Cenci by Hosmer
  • The National Academy Museum presented a sculptural series by Tess O'Dwyer on the subject of incest entitled "Remnants of Violence"; the work suspended dozens of tricycle seats with bronze figures of sexually molested children and their headless abusers as a site specific work in the museum's rotunda in May 2014.[2][3]


  • In the "Weird Al" Yankovic song, "A Complicated Song", a parody of the Avril Lavigne song, "Complicated", one of the verses is about the main character noticing how his fiancée has a tattoo of her family crest, and realizes it is his own family's crest, and that she is his cousin.[4]
  • British musician Kate Bush's song "The Kick Inside" from her 1978 album of the same name depicts an incestuous relationship, pregnancy and suicide involving a brother and sister.
  • The German metal band Rammstein touches on incest in "Spiel mit mir", ("Play with me"), featuring an incestuous relationship between brothers. In "Spiel mit mir", the older brother apparently forces himself on his younger brother for sex so he will be able to sleep. Rammstein has written other songs dealing with incest including "Laichzeit" ("Spawn time") and "Tier" ("Animal").
  • The so-called "Mamasan Trilogy" by Seattle rockers Pearl Jam tells the story of a man's incestuous relationship with his mother and the subsequent unfolding events. The trilogy begins with "Alive", which singer Eddie Vedder explains as being part autobiographical and part fiction.[citation needed] When Eddie was a teenager, his mother revealed to him that the man he thought was his father was actually his stepfather, and his biological father was dead. It is the first piece to a trilogy of songs: "Alive", "Once" and "Footsteps." "Alive" tells a story of incest, which leads to the murderous killing spree described in "Once", and eventually looking back from a prison cell in "Footsteps".
  • "Embryo" by the Japanese band Dir En Grey is about a mother dying and the father raping the daughter. At the end of the song, the girl kills the father and discovers she is pregnant with his child.
  • The song Lemon Incest by Charlotte and Serge Gainsbourg is a song and music video about an incestuous relationship between a father and his daughter, which caused controversy because the singers themselves were father and daughter, and it caused suspicions that the song may be autobiographical. Stirring the pot, the single cover is a picture of the half-clothed Serge with his daughter Charlotte lying across his chest. However, the Gainsbourgs denied these allegations and the song became very popular in France.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The "Ghosting" of Incest and Female Relations in Harriet Hosmer's Beatrice Cenci". The Art Bulletin. 88 (2): 292–309. June 2006.
  2. ^ "Creative Mischief Pop Up Exhibition". New York Daily News. 15 May 2014. p. 15. Retrieved 15 May 2014. In the museum's 19th century rotunda there hangs a haunting site specific installation in bronze and steel by Tess O'Dwyer on the sexual abuse of children, entitled "Remnants of Violence".
  3. ^ Pellegrin, Maurizio (May 2014), Creative Mischief: A Pop Up Exhibition at the National Academy, National Academy Museum, retrieved May 2014 Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ Gonzalez, Erika (2003-08-15). "A Man of His 'Weird' Sultan of Spoof Al Yankovic Pillories Pop with 'Poodle Hat'. (Entertainment/Weekend/Spotlight)". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2016-07-19 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).