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Author Topic: Incest  (Read 7036 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Incest
« on: July 05, 2012, 02:24:54 PM »
Considering where we are, I think this topic deserves serious discussion. Just like with the gay marriage topics, I'm really not expecting to see much of a two sided argument, and more of a splitting/refining of the pro-side.

So what is your opinion on incest?

My personal stance is that the amount of resistance to it is like the silent cousin to the gay marriage debates. Seeing a news article and reading the words "Sentenced to 4 years for incest" honestly makes me angry enough to have to grit my teeth to stay silent. And I'm always afraid of peoples reactions to this. My brother and a few friends are aware of my position (this doesn't lead to any awkward yaoi, before you ask :P) but some times I get the typical kneejerk reaction of disgust.

But what gets me is how often incest is treated like paedophilia. WHAT?! You're okay with a grown woman and her adult son decided to have intercourse and taking the necessary precautions? Well clearly you'd fuck your pre-school daughter then!

^Sense. Not. Make. -.-

I honestly believe it should be treated as any sexual relationship with added health concerns. Two consenting adults, who are not harming anyone, and taking the necessary precautions, shouldn't have to fear for their freedom and social lives. But if someone snatches a kid or forces themselves on someone, it absolutely should be stopped, what does it matter who knows who and how?

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Re: Incest
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 03:52:47 PM »
One of the issues that commonly comes up when it's intergenerational (parent/child, aunt or uncle/niece or nephew) is that the older relative has a sort of 'default authority rating' - even as adults.  As a result, there's a little more question about what kind of influence they have over the younger one of the pair.  This makes it similar to teacher/student, doctor/patient, lawyer/client, therapist/client as far as the 'maybe not so good an idea', 'dubious consent' aspect.  I don't know if it merits a jail term if there is neither physical or mental/emotional abuse going on (which carry their own charges).  Possibly out-patient therapy, but truly consenting adults - it's not really my business.

As for single generational (siblings or cousins) - All I can say is, I've met my siblings and cousins: I don't see the attraction.  :P  I'll explore it fictionally, but that's about it.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Incest
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 03:54:52 PM »
Haha, yeah, I've had that one from a friend once. "I don't find my cousin attractive!" "...so don't fuck him?"

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Re: Incest
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 04:06:02 PM »
It's possible that the majority are 'wired' not to find close relatives attractive - diversity of the genome and all that.  When you take away procreation (and of course the 'if you're having sex with someone you can't make babies with, then you're not having sex with someone you can make babies with!  MOAR BAYBEEZ!' argument), then it all comes down to the psychological question of 'why your relative and not someone else?'

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Incest
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 04:23:44 PM »
Which has always sounded exactly the same as "Why can't you just be with a white girl?" Any objection that begins with "Why can't you just" tends to be kind of hollow.

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Incest
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2012, 04:31:38 PM »
My own views on it are mostly tied to the interbreeding that incest can result in as well as the health concerns.  It just doesn't appeal to me one bit.  Should people be ostracized or sent to prison for it?  No.  But, it shouldn't be considered something that is not without its social and health risks.

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Re: Incest
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2012, 04:38:52 PM »
Which has always sounded exactly the same as "Why can't you just be with a white girl?" Any objection that begins with "Why can't you just" tends to be kind of hollow.

Not really what I was getting at.  More the serious question of what exactly it is about the relative that makes them a candidate, not what it 'isn't' about a socially-acceptable mate, if that makes any sense.  Familiarity?  Availability?  Some je ne sais quois?  (Hope I didn't mangle my French too badly.)  Again, I'm assuming that the couple doesn't want kids and is taking all necessary precautions to avoid kids, due to the problems Silverfyre alluded to.  (Not entirely sure what additional health concerns there would be physically - mental health is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.)

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Incest
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 05:05:30 PM »
Actually, interbreeding IS the health concern I mentioned ^^' I don't see it as any different to one or both partners having a transmittable disease or an injury that makes sex dangerous, it's just an extra condition that this particular couple needs to account for. It bothers me when people think that screaming 'INTERBREEDING nuff said' is the nail in the topics coffin.

At least those against gay marriage have a half dozen or more bullet points to cycle through. They hold up like wet tissue paper, but still it takes time to tear through them and when one is worn out they can just fall back on the others and wait for us to forget. Those against incest tend to just have the one point, and it's no better.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Incest
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 07:27:19 PM »
Inbreeding in animals has proved to be a problem because while it fixes certain qualities or types for show purposes it also increases the danger of propagating unwanted conditions.  European royal families who intermarried through the last few centuries were prone to conditions such as hemophilia and mental disease.  I would say that unrestricted inbreeding of humans in incestuous families would be something to avoid.

Incest isn't a new concept.  It's occurred for at least as long as history has been written.  Ancient Egyptian rulers married brothers and sisters.  I think that our own abhorrence toward it stems from the unfortunate births that result from inbreeding and laws were made to avoid that. 

I see it as an abuse of power that one person has over the other regardless of the pairing since every case I've read about appears to involve one partner that felt obligated to accept the situation.  Admittedly, I don't know about EVERY situation so I can only offer an opinion that some situations are abusive without knowing if there are any that are mutually consensual.

Offline Serephino

Re: Incest
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 08:26:04 PM »
It's one of those things I enjoy in role play, but wouldn't actually do, I don't think...  That being said, if both parties are consenting adults, I really don't care what they do behind closed doors.  Yes, inbreeding can have risks.  If it's just one generation, it's not usually too bad, but once you start doing it with every generation like the Egyptians, yeah, you're going to have issues.  If they're not hurting anybody then why get up in arms about it?

Offline Slaked

Re: Incest
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2012, 10:29:47 PM »
I always thought of incest as simply a subject I have yet to delve into. The original poster has some intriguing points and there is always that "genetic mutation" worry. But, the more I think of it, the less I am inclined to dislike it. Here is why.

Engaging in intercourse with a relation inherently carries the chance of mutations during gestation. We have also been taught at a young age to "never do that thing" with siblings or anyone of any blood relation to yourself. So, there are both physical and mental issues here. But, here are my thoughts. Is it not more of a crime to drink/smoke and otherwise ingest toxins while one is pregnant than to have sex with a blood relation? As far as I know, the risk of permanent damage due to toxins is far greater than incest.

That, and if the two consenting partners are both taking the necessary safety precautions (e.g. condoms, birth control etc..) I think they can have all the fun that they want.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Incest
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 10:54:53 PM »
My understanding is that inbreeding does not cause biological defects, rather it makes them more likely to arise if the people breeding are prone. I would think that over time, this might result in a cleansing or purification of the gene pool in cases where those defects make a candidate less likely to procreate ( ie, if it makes them less attractive, unhealthy, or infertile)?

I don't know much about biology, but would be interested in learning about this.

Offline Will

Re: Incest
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 11:02:37 PM »
I would have to agree that if consenting adults take steps to avoid pregnancy, then I don't see the harm.  It's not much different than a non-related couple where one person is at risk of passing on a specific genetic condition.

The issue of consent does make it a little more sticky.  But if it's not a crime for college professors to fuck students, or for bosses to fuck employees, or for police officers to fuck anyone, then it's kind of a flimsy argument.  Situations of dubious consent or coercion are a very real problem, but I don't believe in sweeping laws that curtail everyone's freedom simply because a given situation can be abused.  There are too many situations exactly like that.

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Incest
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 11:10:50 PM »
An intriguing and informative article on why having kids with your siblings can be a health risk:

http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask243

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Incest
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2012, 11:31:09 PM »
Incest is something that carries a definite squick factor...for me at least.  But just because I find something to be squicky and would never do it myself doesn't mean I believe someone should be forcibly confined and sodomized for it.  Now if one of the partners is a minor I think that's wrong, but that's already covered under statutory rape (and usually other laws independent of incest as well).

Offline Liayra

Re: Incest
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2012, 04:42:13 AM »
Two interesting and related hypothesis from the psychological angle of incest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westermarck_effect

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_sexual_attraction

Offline RadiantMind

Re: Incest
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2012, 05:02:52 AM »
I know a pair of twins who were separated at birth, their parents divorced and took a twin each. They met, having found each other 19 years later they are currently in a relationship, and have no intention of ever stopping being together as a couple. I know they were both lesbian before meeting each other and they just fell in love when they met

Online Caitlin

Re: Incest
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2012, 06:40:10 AM »
If it's consensual then I don't really care either way, in my opinion people should be allowed to make up their own mind with what they think is right or not. Just like a gay relationship, it's not my thing, but I'm not against it either.

There is, however, a difference when it comes to gay marriage and incest. I support gay marriage, but I wouldn't actively support incest, for the simple reason that it has a negative effect on the human genepool, just like any other form of inbreeding. I do think we have the responsibility to ensure the survival of the human race as well, but considering the (expected) small percentage of relationships, I consider it a minor issue in this case. I don't think that I'd marry a woman who is a product of a direct blood relative relationship though. I simply don't want to run any increased risk for my children to suffer from genetic defuncts.

To clarify, for me incest is the direct bloodline relationship of a brother - sister, father - daughter, or son - mother and between those the brother - sister are seen as the worst by me, since they don't exchange any new genes whatsover. With parent - child the new child would at least still be made up out of 25% 'new' genes on average. (25% indirectly from the parent and 50% directly from that parent).

I don't view niece - nephew relationships as (direct) incest, though I still wouldn't want to marry a partner if I knew their parents had a family history together.


One big reason to be against incest for me is because it's often based on a nonconsensual relationship. I don't support rape or coercion and those guilty of such should be prosecuted.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 06:42:38 AM by Caitlin »

Online Caitlin

Re: Incest
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2012, 06:56:46 AM »
My understanding is that inbreeding does not cause biological defects, rather it makes them more likely to arise if the people breeding are prone. I would think that over time, this might result in a cleansing or purification of the gene pool in cases where those defects make a candidate less likely to procreate ( ie, if it makes them less attractive, unhealthy, or infertile)?

I don't know much about biology, but would be interested in learning about this.
I think you'll find this link most interesting then. Six generation of inbreeding were enough to produce an infertile, unhealthy and unattractice king of Spain (Charles II of Spain) that he wasn't able to produce offspring with 2 different, healthy women.

This also the main example of why I'm against prolonged generations of inbreeding. If the entire human race were to do this then we'd be extinct within 200 years.

Online Caitlin

Re: Incest
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2012, 07:02:41 AM »
You people might also be amused to hear that I'm actually looking for a woman far abroard, one of the minor reasons for that include the fact that it's healthier for the genepool. :P

It's by far not the main reason though, but I did put active thought into it. I suppose I'm a bit more extreme than most people when it comes to these things, but I do want healthy children and raise them to be responsible adults when they grow up. If there are factors that can add to their well-being then I'll do so. That's also one of the minor reasons that I don't smoke and rarely drink alcohol (though the main reasons for that is because it's healthier and cheaper.) :-)

An intriguing and informative article on why having kids with your siblings can be a health risk:

http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask243
I found that a pretty interesting link.

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Re: Incest
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2012, 09:06:03 AM »
Um - just to point out...

The premise on the OP is that the couple is not interested in producing children at all, and is taking every precaution not to.  I'm not sure if this could include voluntary sterilization, but properly used birth control at a bare minimum.  This takes the whole genetics factor out of the equation, making them 'non-contributory' towards the human population.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Incest
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2012, 10:29:28 AM »
As long as you're both responsible adults, I don't care what you do with your goat.

Just leave me and my goat out of it.

Of course the premise here is being 'responsible', most of humanity it's starting to seem like they're not very...

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Incest
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2012, 10:40:15 AM »
I think you'll find this link most interesting then. Six generation of inbreeding were enough to produce an infertile, unhealthy and unattractice king of Spain (Charles II of Spain) that he wasn't able to produce offspring with 2 different, healthy women.

This also the main example of why I'm against prolonged generations of inbreeding. If the entire human race were to do this then we'd be extinct within 200 years.

Well, that's just my point.. people with faulty genes gradually die off or fail to reproduce and those with "cleaner" genes survive. The result is you purify the gene pool in the long run. In this case there was a faulty gene in the pool and though inbreeding it came to a head and that bloodline became extinct.

The one issue that I have with incest, as you mentioned in different words, is the potential for abuse. When one party is dependent on the other - either emotionally or financially, its hard to say that they are making a fully consensual choice or that they are at least on a level playing field. I think it would be different if the two parties were living separately first - ensuring that there is no dependency.

Lastly, is it more important to pass a law that protects a the subset of those who are involved with incest AND who are being taken advantage of at the expense of those who would engage in incest in a was that is free of abuse? Or is it more important to ensure that anyone can legally engage in incest at the expense of that subset who are engaged in incest AND are being abuse/taken advantage of. I hate legal issues, so I won't voice an opinion on that last question.


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Re: Incest
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2012, 10:47:47 AM »
Two interesting and related hypothesis from the psychological angle of incest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westermarck_effect

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_sexual_attraction

Now, that is interesting.  (Love the line about out-Freuding Freud.)  I can see this as a reason for people to not be attracted to their sibs - after all, when you live with someone that long, you get to see all their bad habits before you reach the hormonal attraction stage.  Twins might be an exception where the similarity between the two plays a part.

I wonder if this is a contributing reason for the Amish 'wild time', where they send the older teens out for a year into 'modern society'.  In earlier times, this might have been an opportunity to meet with other Amish groups doing the same thing, and hopefully find a spouse from a farther-removed gene pool.

The one issue that I have with incest, as you mentioned in different words, is the potential for abuse. When one party is dependent on the other - either emotionally or financially, its hard to say that they are making a fully consensual choice or that they are at least on a level playing field. I think it would be different if the two parties were living separately first - ensuring that there is no dependency.

Lastly, is it more important to pass a law that protects a the subset of those who are involved with incest AND who are being taken advantage of at the expense of those who would engage in incest in a was that is free of abuse? Or is it more important to ensure that anyone can legally engage in incest at the expense of that subset who are engaged in incest AND are being abuse/taken advantage of. I hate legal issues, so I won't voice an opinion on that last question.

I would think that a law that addressed the 'abused/being taken advantage of' aspect would benefit that subset, not impact the relationships free of abuse, and also benefit the 'non-incestuous but still abusive' relationships.   That might just be the Venn diagram talking, though.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Incest
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2012, 11:02:14 AM »
What if the incest is between the same gender, your talking about genetics well there would be little risk of that if it was two men or two women getting it on?

And age would matter most if a mother 40 was lovers with a daughter 18 or two sisters of the same age range over 18 it could be choice and underage it would be criminal in any case.