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Author Topic: Incest  (Read 9233 times)

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Offline Kythia

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Re: Incest
« Reply #75 on: December 08, 2015, 04:35:11 PM »
A friend of mine once motorboated her sister by accident. True story.

What you were expecting a well thought out and insightful post. Psh, balls to that. All I got is inadvertent lesbian incest.  Honestly it's just a fluke that it's even relevant to this thread.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Incest
« Reply #76 on: December 08, 2015, 05:07:23 PM »
 XD Funny.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Incest
« Reply #77 on: December 08, 2015, 07:44:08 PM »
I think most cases of incest fall more appropriately on abuse of minors by older family members.  The fact that it is incest is secondary to the fact that it is rape.  Whether family or stranger, rape is bad.  I think we can all agree with this.

Furthermore, consenting adults who are related (such as siblings) also carry with them (in the majority) histories of familial relationships.  Included in that is power dynamics.  Sometimes people are of age in chronological time, but not mature or responsible for themselves psychologically.  Sometimes family members, even when adults, have power over others in their family.  This, once again, goes beyond incest, to the simple description of abuse.  People, whether adults or not, should not abuse any power they have over others, whether in their family or not.

Now, a brother and sister who are of age and act as such, living their own independent lives with their own means of support and their own separate abodes...I just don't see why the government should interfere with their private lives.  Such individuals, I'm sure, are exceptionally rare when it comes to reports of incest...but why lump them in with abusers?  Just because a specific situation between two adults is rare or unique doesn't mean those individuals should be penalized. 

I wouldn't know.  I have no sister. I can't wrap my head around being sexually attracted to my mother.  My son was born female, and I've never had a moment of time in his life when I looked at him and found myself physically attracted, or contemplating incest.  I can easily agree with Cyrano that the vast majority of cases of incest are likely borne out of abusive relationships and include psychologically damaged individuals.

And yet, if there are well-adjusted, adult, mature individuals who also happen to be related in some way, and desire a sexual relationship, and it harms no one involved...what is the problem?

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Incest
« Reply #78 on: December 08, 2015, 07:49:10 PM »
Oddly enough, the theoretical situation of well-adjusted people just randomly deciding in their adult years to have sex with family members seems to almost never happen. It's usually rooted in some form of childhood trauma or manipulation. So I think that's why the debate around incest tends not to entertain that possibility very much; it's extremely remote. (The normalizing-incest guys are chock full of absurd what-ifs like this. "But supposing an eighty-year old woman decided to fellate her centenarian father on his deathbed just to comfort him, would that be so bad?" I'm not kidding, I've had someone ask me that. The answer is that such remote and unlikely scenarios have little to do with the millions of cases of actual incest that are estimated to happen every year, so they're a red herring, basically an attempt at distraction.)

Same-sex "twincest" is the other outlier situation that's supposed to be the gold standard of totally-okay incest (cf. the infamous Peters Twins from five or six years ago). Can't say I'm really buying that either, as it doesn't really address the basic psychological reasons for holding incest suspect. (How healthy or unhealthy the Peters Twins' real relationship was I have no idea, but let's just say I wouldn't be hugely surprised if there were less than edifying revelations about the dynamics underlying that whole episode down the road.)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 08:09:34 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Incest
« Reply #79 on: December 08, 2015, 08:42:24 PM »
I can't say I expect 99.999% of incest situations to be anything but abusive, either.  At least in most civilizations, the dynamics of a healthy family relationship aren't going to lead to incest in any case.  Perhaps what is considered incest needs to be adjusted, as non-blood adult relatives who are related only by marriage (step-siblings, for example) shouldn't be considered candidates for incest.  Shoot...if I'd had a stepsister who was a good fit with me and near the same age, and we were adults, I don't see why we wouldn't pursue a relationship.  But all of that is conjecture.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Incest
« Reply #80 on: December 08, 2015, 11:43:21 PM »
And I mean just to clarify, I'm not lashing anyone for fantasizing about incest. I can appreciate the kink and why people find it hot, there are some forms of incest porn I'm a fan of myself. I'm just disturbed by people who, with porn generally and any of the darker kinks specifically, seem to loudly and deliberately refuse to separate fantasy and reality. That's gross. (This is mercifully a rare problem on E but certain other places on the Net are filthy with it, and it has a way of... infecting things.)

Offline Kythia

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Re: Incest
« Reply #81 on: December 08, 2015, 11:59:42 PM »
Oddly enough, the theoretical situation of well-adjusted people just randomly deciding in their adult years to have sex with family members seems to almost never happen.

This is a bit "per some guy I met in the pub who read it somewhere once" but I'm vaguely of the belief that siblings separated at birth and later reunited have a pretty good.chance of being attracted to one another. That would seem to be the absolute gold standard for acceptable incest if it is a real situation.

Which I suspect it is, that guy in the pub is generally a pretty reliable source.

Offline consortium11

Re: Incest
« Reply #82 on: December 09, 2015, 12:33:00 AM »
This is a bit "per some guy I met in the pub who read it somewhere once" but I'm vaguely of the belief that siblings separated at birth and later reunited have a pretty good.chance of being attracted to one another. That would seem to be the absolute gold standard for acceptable incest if it is a real situation.

Which I suspect it is, that guy in the pub is generally a pretty reliable source.

It's hard to find statistics for it as 1) it's rare to begin with, 2) if siblings who are seperated and reunited are attracted to each other they may never admit or act upon it (either due to a general reluctance or a specific objection), 3) if siblings are seperated and reunited without being aware that they are siblings they may never end up becoming aware and 4) it's not something people are likely to willingly admit to, but there is some theory to support this.

The theory basically goes like this; it's largely accepted that assortative mating has some (and quite possibly a large) role in human relations; in essence we're generally the most attracted to people who share similar traits (in regards to genetics, personality and circumstances) as us. The reason this doesn't lead to more brother/sister type relationships has been theorized as being a result of the Westermarck effect, a sort of reverse sexual-imprinting, that means people become desensitized to sexual attraction with those they have been raised with from a young age. Either in addition or as an alternative the fact that as a culture we tend to look at those who find their close family members sexually attractive also contributes.

But if siblings have been separated at birth then there is no Westermarck effect and if they do not become aware of their status of siblings until after they have become attracted to each other (and possibly acted on it) then there is no cultural pressure not to do so.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Incest
« Reply #83 on: December 09, 2015, 09:48:08 AM »
Of course it's in an abuser's interest to portray incest as this Positive and Loving and Wonderful Thing that society just doesn't understand.

The danger is that it's an abusive strategy which is assisted and amplified by incest being perceived as such a viscerally disgusting taboo. It means that victims of an abusive incestuous relationship are unable to seek support or guidance from others. Our current practices are isolating to these people and the lack of an ability to publicly discuss it prevents people receiving any education or resources on the topic that may protect them.

It shouldn't be portrayed as a "positive or loving thing" nor as a "negative or abusive thing", we need to start accepting it as just a "thing". Something that we can look at, understand and identify the parts of it that are problems.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Incest
« Reply #84 on: December 09, 2015, 09:55:31 AM »
The danger is that it's an abusive strategy which is assisted and amplified by incest being perceived as such a viscerally disgusting taboo. It means that victims of an abusive incestuous relationship are unable to seek support or guidance from others.

I would say that what more commonly would prevent victims of abuse from seeking support is a norm that would dismiss their word against that of their abuser's, and at any rate does not see their abuse as particularly "negative" because it's all a perfectly natural thing and they probably really wanted it. We've seen parallel norms play out for, say, child sexual abuse -- in Rotherham for example -- and environments where people aren't willing to "stigmatize" abuse turn out, surprise surprise, not to be pretty in any way at all.

Ergo, trying to claim that "stigmatizing" the act of abuse is hurting the victims doesn't make sense to me; stigmatizing the act of abuse is precisely how you recognize that what's happening is wrong, that victims deserve support and a fair hearing, and that abusers can't be allowed to pass off their relationships with their victims as normal and consensual. I've certainly never known anyone who was victimized by incest -- and I've known more than a few, sadly -- who thought it was a bad thing that society doesn't generally think incest is cool. If anything it was more of a problem for them that we don't really seem to take it seriously enough. (I mean, I get that you want to avoid stereotyping incest victims as Human Damage personified, and that's a worthy impulse, but that has to do with treating survivors as individuals and genuinely hearing their stories, it has nothing to do with avoiding "stigma" of the crime committed against them.)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 10:07:09 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Incest
« Reply #85 on: December 09, 2015, 11:07:41 AM »
I would say that what more commonly would prevent victims of abuse from seeking support is a norm that would dismiss their word against that of their abuser's, and at any rate does not see their abuse as particularly "negative" because it's all a perfectly natural thing and they probably really wanted it.

I don't follow your logic. You seem to be implying that the world and society we currently live in accepts incest as a perfectly natural thing that they probably really wanted. This contradicts my experience of societal reactions to incest. I'm really not sure what you're even saying here.

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We've seen parallel norms play out for, say, child sexual abuse -- in Rotherham for example -- and environments where people aren't willing to "stigmatize" abuse turn out, surprise surprise, not to be pretty in any way at all.

I wrote pretty extensively in the other Rotherham thread, so forgive me if I keep my response here a little brief.

If you read through the official reports on Rotherham, the pattern you see emerging isn't one of permissive, liberal and understanding adults who thought that these children were embracing their sexuality and it was a very wonderful and liberating experience. Not one of them thought, "gee, I hope my son or daughter does the same." It's obvious that the adults involved who failed their duty of care thought something more along the lines of "they're dirty little sluts getting exactly what they deserve and no surprise they'll turn out to a bad end."

I believe you are mistaking cause and effect. You're reading, "not willing to stigmatize abuse" (using your slightly loaded phrase) ergo they were people with horrible ugly notions. I would argue that in Rotherham they were people with horrible ugly notions and therefore the way in which they chose not to stigmatize the abuse was done in a horrible ugly way, much as if they had stigmatized abuse it would have been done in a horrible ugly way because that was the kind of people that they were.

Forgive the paraphrase being potentially a little inaccurate but one line that I remember being particularly striking from the report on a slightly different topic was the members of the Rotherham council were "incapable of taking a sensible approach to race." It wasn't that they were too politically correct, it was that they couldn't find politically correct on a map with two hours and a magnifying glass.

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Ergo, trying to claim that "stigmatizing" the act of abuse is hurting the victims doesn't make sense to me; stigmatizing the act of abuse is precisely how you recognize that what's happening is wrong, that victims deserve support and a fair hearing, and that abusers can't be allowed to pass off their relationships with their victims as normal and consensual.

The victim was involved in the act and had experiences related to it. In that sort of vulnerable situation, especially when they rationalized themselves as having initiated the behaviour themselves as you were mentioning, do you really think they're not going to blame themselves and kept the abuse secret out of shame. There's a strong chance that some sexual gratification may have occurred during the victim's abuse which they're going to feel guilty about, you can acknowledge that potential occurrence without believing that it in any way justifies abuse (because lack of consent, intimidated consent, coerced consent, intoxicated consent, etc are all wrong regardless of what sensations or emotions the victim experiences).

Which of the following do you think is going to work best. "Incest is bad, it's disgusting and wrong." as the universal response to any occurrence of incest.
"Your father is in a position of authority over you. Any attraction, however genuine, that occurs there is something that he has a responsible to avoid because while you're under his power your ability to consent is always going to be under the influence of his control of your circumstances."
(if not father/child imagine a similar discussion of whichever other incestuous relationship is occurring highlighting the specific problems)

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I've certainly never known anyone who was victimized by incest -- and I've known more than a few, sadly -- who thought it was a bad thing that society doesn't generally think incest is cool.

I've known three people who have had short term sexual encounters with siblings in two cases or a cousin in one, who don't consider themselves victimized. I unfortunately do know two more people who were most certainly victimized by family members and consider it as such. I know one more who has turned down an offer from a cousin that was presented as completely voluntary and had no further outcome in any way after she refused, she also stated that had it been a different cousin of hers she might have accepted the offer.

(Just for the record, none of these people are me, nor was I involved in any way with those incidents beyond later being informed about them)

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(I mean, I get that you want to avoid stereotyping incest victims as Human Damage personified, and that's a worthy impulse, but that has to do with treating survivors as individuals and genuinely hearing their stories, it has nothing to do with avoiding "stigma" of the crime committed against them.)

To use an analogy, what I am suggesting is that we don't stigmatize sex so that we can discuss rape and certainly stigmatize the hell out of a lack of consent. If we still lived in a society where you couldn't even talk about BDSM sex, how could someone like Stoya have come out accusing James Deen of rape through not respecting her safe words. Our current level of stigma on sex and BDSM already has her at risk of being completely disregarded for working in the sex industry.

Likewise we shouldn't say that incest itself is dirty or wrong. We should say that adults in a position of power using that influence for sexual benefit or children exploiting each other in an unhealthy relationship for sexual benefit or any of the other abuses that can occur are completely in the wrong.

I'm not even saying that we should legalize it because honestly, I don't even know. There are definitely dangers that way. What I'm saying is that any two members of our society should be able to discuss incest the way we are now, without necessarily feeling that it's a topic too dark to cover and address rational concerns openly.

May be slow to respond again, it's almost 4am here so I should get some sleep.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Incest
« Reply #86 on: December 09, 2015, 11:48:49 AM »
I don't follow your logic. You seem to be implying that the world and society we currently live in accepts incest as a perfectly natural thing that they probably really wanted.

Not at all. I'm saying the world you claim to want, where we're all being carefully non-"negative" about incest, would likely look that way and that world would suck even more than this one does, because the ready assumption that victims of abuse "wanted" to be abused would quite certainly come to the fore as it all too often does with things like rape or child sexual abuse already. (I mean, I can see that you have kind of a utopian vision in mind of how we'd all avoid "stigmatizing" incest without these negative consequences arising, I just am not buying that that's how it would play out at all.)

I do think our present world and society is still entirely too willing to minimize incest and treat it as some abstract academic question, though. You finish your own post by saying you "don't even know" if we should legalize incest.

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It's obvious that the adults involved who failed their duty of care thought something more along the lines of "they're dirty little sluts getting exactly what they deserve and no surprise they'll turn out to a bad end."

That's how victim-blaming in rape generally tends to work. But a fundamental belief that the "dirty little slut" in question probably wanted it is a basic component of that. No it's not wrapped in uplifting aren't-we-all-joyfully-exploring sex-positive rhetoric, but the rhetorical wrapper is incidental -- I mean, would it have been better, worse, or exactly the same if the adults in Rotherham who failed their duty of care really believed these youngsters were just having a fine time? What remains the case is that the basic assumption that victims are at fault for and encourage their abuse is a commonplace pattern.

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In that sort of vulnerable situation, especially when they rationalized themselves as having initiated the behaviour themselves as you were mentioning, do you really think they're not going to blame themselves and kept the abuse secret out of shame.

Out of the shame of believing that people will believe their abuser and not them and will blame them for their abuse, yes. Not out of shame that society thinks the crime was wrong, that's just completely twisted reasoning. The situation here is no different than with rape generally; calling the crime out as wrong as a basic part of ending victim-shaming and victim-blaming and defense of the abusers. It is the EXACT OPPOSITE of shaming the victim. Trying to twist that around seems perverse to me.

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Which of the following do you think is going to work best. "Incest is bad, it's disgusting and wrong." as the universal response to any occurrence of incest. "Your father is in a position of authority over you. Any attraction, however genuine, that occurs there is something that he has a responsible to avoid because while you're under his power your ability to consent is always going to be under the influence of his control of your circumstances."
How about "incest is bad" because of the abuse of family roles and power dynamics that it usually involves, which is the actual real-life answer to that question? Look at any incest survivors' site or document. How many of them carry the message "incest is bad and grodie, ewww, and you're like super-gross if your uncle touched you"? None is how many. This is a strawman argument.

I mean, just taking at random a fairly commonplace statement about the effects of incest and child sexual abuse like this one. How many words are spent there on the supposedly awful problem that society regards incest negatively? I can't find a one, for what would seem to be the fairly obvious reason that people in this situation have far bigger fish to fry and in fact have zero interest in taking issue with calling the crime what it is. Indeed the biggest obstacle they have to overcome is denial, especially denial that what happened to them was wrong and was the fault of the perpetrator.

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I've known three people who have had short term sexual encounters with siblings in two cases or a cousin in one, who don't consider themselves victimized.

I would say there are lots of people who have had encounters with siblings who don't consider themselves victimized. Usually because, if they were being abused by the sibling, they were convinced that they invited it; or because they were the abuser and thought it was all just a good bit of fun. (Most of what I'm saying here applies most directly to close-family incest... not that I'd be automatically sanguine about cousin incest either, just that the issues are at their worst in an immediate-family environment.)

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To use an analogy, what I am suggesting is that we don't stigmatize sex so that we can discuss rape and certainly stigmatize the hell out of a lack of consent.

Stigmatizing incest has not a jot more to do with "stigmatizing sex" than stigmatizing the hell out of lack of consent in any other kind of relationship. That's another red herring. Obviously the reasons for stigmatizing incest proceed directly from circumstances that twist and deform "consent" or destroy it entirely. And we don't have to spend a bunch of time dancing around whether that's wrong or whether we should be stigmatizing it.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 11:58:36 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Incest
« Reply #87 on: December 09, 2015, 01:18:16 PM »

EDIT: Just to add in that I am sorry if I am in any way trivializing this matter. I know it's not something I understand myself from personal experience and I don't want to diminish anyone's experience here. I certainly don't want anyone who is the victim of abuse to feel blamed or not believed in any way. I am simply concerned about the best way of handling this for the well-being of those affected and the message that our society sends out on this topic. I'm also worried about cases where it may have not been abuse and treating it that way could make things more difficult for both people involved.


Not at all. I'm saying the world you claim to want, where we're all being carefully non-"negative" about incest, would likely look that way and that world would suck even more than this one does, because the ready assumption that victims of abuse "wanted" to be abused would quite certainly come to the fore as it all too often does with things like rape or child sexual abuse already.

These are issues that we (as a society) likewise have taken emotionally extreme reactions to with large levels of stigmatizing any discussion of them. However they've gotten better recently, was it because we increased the stigma and taboo or because we started talking about them. Do you think it was easy to get information about child sexual abuse in the 1950s? For some child to have any idea of what normal levels of sexual contact between himself and his father was meant to be like when no media addressed sexual contact at all. Do you think anyone wanted to hear about it or wouldn't rather do some victim blaming to keep from getting into a messy social situation for which they haven't been provided the right prompts and methods of discussing them? How many of these cases (like famously in the church but plenty of other ones as well) have so recently come to light now that the environment is allowing people to talk about them.

For all the talk of the 90s "very special episodes" of TV shows and how ham-handed they were, they at least provided a script people could follow about the way to talk about these sorts of things. Now in 2015 I have feminist literature, civil rights articles at the touch of a button. Buzzfeed is doing vlogs on the risk of cultural appropriation. These are the things that we have become open to discussing as a society and removed some of the taboos as to what was alright to talk about. I'm not saying it's fixed (far from it unfortunately) but the improvement that we've seen has come from actually discussing these things.

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(I mean, I can see that you have kind of a utopian vision in mind of how we'd all avoid "stigmatizing" incest without these negative consequences arising, I just am not buying that that's how it would play out at all.)

You can call my vision utopian and I can call you a cynic all day but that won't really get us anywhere. Safe to say we disagree on this point.

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I do think our present world and society is still entirely too willing to minimize incest and treat it as some abstract academic question, though.

How would you suggest things be done differently?

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You finish your own post by saying you "don't even know" if we should legalize incest.

Clearly you're not a fan of Socrates. I have insufficient data to reach a conclusion and your arguments have yet to be persuasive to that outcome. Why shouldn't I be honest and admit that I don't have all the answers?

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That's how victim-blaming in rape generally tends to work. But a fundamental belief that the "dirty little slut" in question probably wanted it is a basic component of that. No it's not wrapped in uplifting aren't-we-all-joyfully-exploring sex-positive rhetoric, but the rhetorical wrapper is incidental -- I mean, would it have been better, worse, or exactly the same if the adults in Rotherham who failed their duty of care really believed these youngsters were just having a fine time? What remains the case is that the basic assumption that victims are at fault for and encourage their abuse is a commonplace pattern.

While it wouldn't have solved or prevented the abuse (Obviously since that's directly part of your hypothetical). It would have most certainly been better. Had the adults been sex-positive and yet remained completely incompetent, then while they would have still failed to protect the children they may have suggested condoms, contraceptives, advised on pregnancies or abortions, provided the morning after pill and almost certainly been less judgemental and induced less shame in the various rides they gave the children in their car returning them to their sites of their abuse.

So despite the design of your hypothetical, yes. Also I contend that with experiencing less shame and judgement they might be more open to speak up and say "Excuse me, I'm not consenting. Please help." but that might just be my utopian fantasy. Rather than looking at someone judging them as being a slut and thinking "what's the point, they'll never believe me".

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Out of the shame of believing that people will believe their abuser and not them and will blame them for their abuse, yes. Not out of shame that society thinks the crime was wrong, that's just completely twisted reasoning.

So you don't think victims of same sex child abuse weren't discouraged from coming forward in earlier generations due to a cultural condemnation of homosexuality? I'm concerned you'll leap to the wrong idea here, so let me explicitly point out that I am not equating the two morally. I'm simply providing a real world, actual example of a case where condemnation of an act, prevented the reporting of people using that act to perpetrate abuse.

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Look at any incest survivors' site or document. How many of them carry the message "incest is bad and grodie, ewww, and you're like super-gross if your uncle touched you"? None is how many.

Yes, exactly. They speak in the way that I'm encouraging. Now how are we going to get the victim to read that site or document when the rest of the world is talking about it in a very different way.

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I mean, just taking at random a fairly commonplace statement about the effects of incest and child sexual abuse like this one. How many words are spent there on the supposedly awful problem that society regards incest negatively? I can't find a one, for what would seem to be the fairly obvious reason that people in this situation have at minimum far bigger fish to fry.

Yes, because faith based survivor groups focused on privacy and anonymity are well known for advocacy and attempting to achieve societal change to increase sex positivity in documents intended to reassure and assist survivors? What? I don't understand your point.

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I would say there are lots of people who have had encounters with siblings who don't consider themselves victimized. Usually because, if they were being abused by the sibling, they were convinced that they invited it; or because they were the abuser and thought it was all just a good bit of fun.

You haven't even met these people, but apparently you know their life story and can diagnose them from a third hand anonymous description of a single event. They self report as okay, they have no characteristic markers that there are clinical level problems in their lives but someone half-way around the world knows that they're lying to themselves?

Also you use this word "usually" an awful lot and yet when I'm suggesting openness tinged with caution to consider exceptions your reaction is that this is some sort of victim blaming.

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Stigmatizing incest has not a jot more to do with "stigmatizing sex" than stigmatizing the hell out of lack of consent in any other kind of relationship. That's another red herring. Obviously the reasons for stigmatizing incest proceed directly from circumstances that twist and deform "consent" or destroy it entirely. And we don't have to spend a bunch of time dancing around whether that's wrong or whether we should be stigmatizing it.

Stigmatizing a lack of consent, (including manipulated consent or any other perversion or deformation thereof), is of course necessary. Stigmatizing something that frequently correlates and then treating it as a taboo that brooks no discussion? I consider that less obvious.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 01:32:50 PM by Caehlim »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Incest
« Reply #88 on: December 09, 2015, 02:29:49 PM »
You haven't even met these people, but apparently you know their life story and can diagnose them from a third hand anonymous description of a single event.

Say someone describes being raped to you and then reassures you that it was probably their fault and they're not really affected by it in any way. Or they describe "having sex" with someone who fought them initially but then seemed okay with it, or at least stopped struggling, and probably really liked it. Do you need to know this person and their life story to take a fairly educated guess at what they're describing? (Forget about "diagnosed" them, which is your strawman.) Do you have to rely exclusively on their "self-reporting" to be able to guess fairly reliably at what it is that they're describing and to have some idea of common ways in which people might distort or lie to themselves about such an event? Would blame themselves as a victim or absolves themselves of blame as an attacker? Probably not, right? On account of we have fairly detailed knowledge and large bodies of research about how victim-blaming, self-blaming and self-justification of rape work. We're not guessing in a vaccuum.

Let's not go pretending it's any different for incest. That's false skepticism that amounts to avoidance. Yes, when someone describes something like that to you, there's a better than even chance that what they're describing is sexual abuse. (Of course there are other possibilities -- like that the person who boasts about having banged their sister is just fantasizing. Which would be unwise but better than the alternative. You of course can't skip the step of actually investigating what happened, and you'll notice I didn't make specific claims about your friends -- I just pointed out two very likely and very commonplace possibilities regarding sibling incest.)

I'll leave the rest for now. Thanks for the discussion.

Offline Tairis

Re: Incest
« Reply #89 on: December 09, 2015, 05:19:29 PM »
Say someone describes being raped to you and then reassures you that it was probably their fault and they're not really affected by it in any way.

This one kind of stuck out to me as its a discussion I've had before. I had a friend that had some sexual abuse in their past, but when discussing it they effective said 'yea, it happened but it doesn't bother me'. Now, this doesn't let the abuser off the hook but said friend basically stopped revealing this information to anyone because every single time the response was almost always the same.

"Thats so awful"/"You must be so messed up"/"Thats the most terrible thing ever" and when they explained 'yea, but I'm fine its no big deal its in the past' it always became other people that insisted that they must be suppressing. That they must be holding in their trauma. Etc etc. In essence the part that made them feel bad was that they were effectively judged by everyone else for not feeling bad enough about their own abuse.

We have turned everything in society into some form of abuse. Have you ever wondered if maybe the reason some people are so fucked up when terrible things happen to them it might be because, as a society, all we do is tell them over and over again him utterly destroyed they're supposed to feel because something happened to them? Its the same general line 'Sexual abuse is the worst thing that can happen to a human being and your life will be ruined by it'.

I don't think we should trivialize any crime especially sexual assault. But I also think we've stoked our society in a state of perpetual fear and horror about anything bad ever happening to the point we make traumatic events even more traumatic by drilling it into kids heads from an early age.

And I think the same thing applies to incest. I think legally it should be irrelevant as long as all the other laws are being followed. Is the person underaged? It's already illegal. Was it rape? Also already illegal. Is it two people that happen to be related but are otherwise of age, willing, and able? Who cares. The same people that will call them disgusting are the ones that will go home and jerking off to the dirty soles of women's feet, dog porn, scat play, or whatever.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 05:23:14 PM by Tairis »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Incest
« Reply #90 on: December 09, 2015, 06:38:17 PM »
We have turned everything in society into some form of abuse. Have you ever wondered if maybe the reason some people are so fucked up when terrible things happen to them it might be because, as a society, all we do is tell them over and over again him utterly destroyed they're supposed to feel because something happened to them?

I don't particularly buy this line of reasoning for reasons I've mostly stated previously. Recognizing that incest can come with severe trauma is not dictating how people are supposed to feel. Every survivor will react to their experiences at their own pace and in their own way. But the notion that society is inflicting harm on them by freaking out too much or being too concerned? It's far more common for people with trauma to suffer the simple ignorance or indifference of society than its excessive concern -- mileage will vary in particular cases of course, maybe your friend really was an example from the other end of the spectrum, I'm just talking about what I've seen reported on balance as the experience of survivors -- and ascribing their trauma to the concern rather than the event strikes me as just a backdoor method of minimizing abuse and consequences.

In general, basically we can keep threading the needle about how much concern should we show and what the best response is all we like. I can't pretend to have all the answers about stuff like that, and sure, I can see how a more measured response in some cases to some people's self-reporting might be preferable. At the end of the day I'm not a therapist, all I was really here to say is that no it is not ever okay to advocate for real-life incest as a cool and above-board practice that people should accept as normal consensual sexuality, because you don't have to be a therapist to see that that's fucked up. Drilling down into more detail about precisely what the appropriate responses are in this or that situation would be an interesting thing to do but I'll have to defer that to another time, perhaps.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 06:46:25 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Incest
« Reply #91 on: December 09, 2015, 06:53:58 PM »