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Daria
In Germany, there is currently a legal battle being undergone by a brother and sister who have had four children together- three of which have been put into foster care. The brother is 30 and the sister is 22 (I have just re-read the article and noticed that they "fell in love" when they first met in 2000. She would have only been 15.. hmm...) and only "met" because he was adopted by another family when he was a child.
QUOTE (Patrick)
Many people see it as a crime, but we've done nothing wrong...
We are like normal lovers. We want to have a family. Our whole family broke apart when we were younger, and after that happened, Susan and I were brought closer together


Incest is a criminal offence in Germany due to a law est. 1871. Patrick has already served a two-year sentence for committing incest and has "another jail term looming if paragraph 173 of the legal code is not overturned".

So should it be legalised? Should brothers and sisters be allowed to have children with one another? As the article points out, children of incestuous couples are far more likely to be disabled and in this family's case, their eldest child has epilepsy and learning difficulties ("but he was born two months premature"), and their other daughter has special needs.
QUOTE (Patrick)
People have said that our children are disabled, but that is wrong. They are not disabled


But is that really a good enough reason to prevent brothers and sisters having kids? People who have CF, Muscular Distrophy and other hereditary diseases still have children and there is no law preventing them from doing so. I know it sort of reduces the possibility of genetic variation, but seeing as humans have evolved to the point where they have all sorts of technical advances to help them survive to childbearing age, regardless of any diseases or disabilities they may have, should it even be an issue?

Thoughts, people.
Izzy
No, it shouldn't. Even if the kids wouldn't have disabilities, it still shouldn't be. Even if humans become so biologically extinct to where the only way to reproduce would be with someone in your family, it still shouldn't be. It's gross.

But on the other hand, meh, I guess it's whatever your into. If they make it legal, it's not like loads of people are gonna start having sex with family members.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
I think it should be legal. Don't see any reason why not except "it's gross".
If they want children maybe they should adopt though?
Moosh
Personally, I think that if that's what people want to do, then they aren't hurting anyone else, good luck to them.

As for the children, if they know what they are doing, and are prepared to care for and raise their child, regardless of any disability or not, then I see no problem with it.

This does not, of course, provide for accidental pregnancies, but, to be honest, I wouldn't see it as any different to any other accidental pregnancy. The decisions that the prospective parents make with regards to keeping/aborting/putting up for adoption shouldn't be changed because it has a higher probability of disability, and even if they knew it was going to be disabled, unless they were actually incapable of caring for it, then they should do the same as they would any child.

So yeah, legalise it by all means.
pgrmdave
I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be legal.
Snugglebum the Destroyer
I actually find the idea of legalising incest distasteful to the point of obscenity.

I know I've got to back that up with something more and I will but I can't stop now. I only came on to observe a certain thread where a fights brewing... smile.gif
Forever Unknown
Ditto. Not to mention that laws are there to preserve society, and to allow incestous relationships would mean a jump in the amount of disabled people being born. Not only would this increase the chances of that happening even further down the generation line (their kids kids, etc.) thus having a much longer-lasting impact, in some cases these disabilities would be awful to the extent of having no quality of life, and I don't believe that anyone would consider allowing that to happen more than it already does. If people want to bone their own family, go ahead, but I think as a society - aside from the 'ick' factor - we need to ensure that everyone has the chance for a decent life and brothers and sisters having kids would seriously affect the gene pool.
pgrmdave
I read somewhere (I'm going to look for it now) that incest does not significantly increase the chance of genetic disorders (except in specific obvious cases, of course). I'll post a link when I find it.
pgrmdave
Well, so far I've only found this:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/...bstract/40/1/55
QUOTE
Eighteen prospectively ascertained cases of brother x sister and father x daughter matings are described. A series of illegitimate children whose mothers were as nearly matched as possible to the incest mothers for intelligence, age, height, weight, and socioeconomic conditions were used as controls. Six of the children of incest had died or were found to have major defects on follow-up 6 months after birth date, whereas one of the comparison children was so classified. This is a larger inbreeding effect than would be predicted on the basis of published findings from marriages of first cousins. The series is published at this time to encourage others to collect these important, but rare and elusive data, in a prospective, controlled manner.


This is opposite what I thought I'd find, but it is only a very small sampling, so I don't put terribly much stock into it.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
QUOTE (Forever Unknown @ Mar 7 2007, 04:58 PM) *
brothers and sisters having kids would seriously affect the gene pool.

I disagree. And if it is legalised, its not like everyone will go have sex with their favourite family member to celebrate. Incest doesn't strike me as being very popular.
Snugglebum the Destroyer
My concern is twofold.

I agree that it would damage the genepool. I'm going to use dogs as an example. Most pure breeds are interbreed to preserve the purity of the breed, as it were. Most pure breeds have some sort of defect that is directly linked to the fact that their mother is also their grandmother. The same defects are likely to turn up within the human race.

My second concern, which I have to admit worries me more - how many parents sexually abusing their children could justify this with incest being legalised? Honestly, really think about this one. I have a son. I have a responsibility to him to ensure that he grows up well with ethics and all of the wonderful stuff that every well rounded person should be instilled with. I love him more then life itself and think he's the most beautiful boy I've ever seen - does that make me want to sleep with him? Hell no!

There are two very distinct forms of love - that which you have with the person you have sex with and that reserved for your children/siblings/parent. The two should not be confused.

FU - I can't believe you don't want to sleep with me! We could make beautiful incestuous, lesbian love together! wink.gif
Daria
Example- Incest is legal in France.

Do all French families sleep together? No.
Do all French people excuse child abuse as incest? No.
Are they all disabled and or have mental problems? y..No.

I, personally, find the idea of incest a little odd. But I don't believe that it should be illegal- some people find homosexuality a little odd, but I think it is just as good as heterosexuality. So who am I to comdemn it?
Witless
Someone poked me earlier into making a post in this topic, I said no, then pondered a while and decided yes.

I have read through what's been posted so far.. and will say, I agree with a lot of what's been said (on both sides), but still want to add some stuff.

First off, the reason incest brings about genetic issues is actually fairly simple. DNA's great.. but no person in the world has no errors in their DNA, infact we all have lots. Luckily, when you have kids, the person you have children with will have their DNA errors in different places to yours, so that your children will tend to have at least one copy of every DNA sequence that is in good condition.
With siblings that breaks down because siblings have a lot more DNA errors that are identical to each other, therefore the kids of close related people get a double dose of the the same errors. The result is a higher rate of genetic conditions. How high depends on lots of things.. but in general if your one of those people that can claim to be "english through and through", then incest is more likely to back fire on you than someone with a more "exotic" family tree.

Second, incest despite what some like to think, has not been a taboo throughout all time, and isn't a taboo across the world either. It became a taboo because of what I raised in my first point. But in societies made up of smaller tribes then incest is more common because the drawbacks of higher rates of genetic problems are out weighed by the simple lack of potential mates. This is especially true of tribes that practice monogamy.
Marriage between cousins is super common across loads of the world to this day, especially among rich families in india where they want to be sure of trusting the parents of the people they are letting their kids be with. So I'd like to dispel the idea that it's an inbuilt taboo needed for a society to function. The taboo formed entirely of the idea that people wanted maximum number of healthy hard working kids to work the farms (which may additionally explain why the upper classes seem to have been more ok with incest than the working classes).

Thirdly, if people are worried about the kids produced from incest, then the real issue isn't whether incest should be legalised, it's whether it's ok for a couple engaging in incest to have children. Would people be ok with it if they couldn't have children and it was just two siblings having a relationship? Or is it the additional 'ick' factor that means people can't deal with it.
Not saying you could realistically legalise incest while simultanuosly stopping them having children unless you wanted to sit with them day after day making sure that they used contraception, or enforce vasectomys and the like. But if it's just the children thing, then issue solved.
If not and we're scared when the line between family love and romantic line gets blurred well then we can chuck this whole issue into the same debate as "defining love", "does homosexuality really exist or is it an imagined thing some people have?" and the immortal, "what should be the right age for consentual sex considering different countries with younger ages seem to be getting on just fine."

Finally as far as I'm concerned, if a couple that are closely related have a happy relationship (both happy), and live happily ever after into their 80s, then I can only hope I'm have a relationship as sucessful as that in my life.

anyways, back to being 'afmf' (away from matazone forums) for me
Wookiee
This is where inbreeding gets you.



Also, beware of this.
Tarantio
So inbreeding gets you put in charge of a country and meeting other important and (much more) interesting people? Or inbreeding gives you large ears? Your second point is a little more vaild, but you should know I was born with three thumbs (and my parents were certainly not related) and, as I found out from recent X-rays when I sprained my ankle, mutant ankle-bones. Of course the risk of disabilities is higher, but saying that disabled children (I have no idea what the "PC" way of saying it is, so forgive if I offend) is a direct and unavoidable consequence of incestuous relations is a bit harsh. Unwanted pregnancies are a result of careless sex, but the government doesn't ban unprotected sex with two people outside of wedlock (or who aren't commited to raising a child together anyway). What it does do is provide advice and services to people it concerns, though. I would imagine the case would be similar were incest to be made legal. Not quite as blunt as Wookie puts it, perhaps, but a similar message can easily be put across of "fair enough, you love each other, but these are the risks you're taking while doing it:".

I think it would be easy to set up a board about such a thing. There's loads already for drug users (and that's still illegal in most cases), so why not relax the laws on it and just highlight the risks? I mean, smoking is legal and it causes cancer. So why, if its damaging the gene pool, has it not been made illegal yet? Its got an "ick" factor as well, and causes a lot more heartache than a brother and sister falling in love, but its too damn profitable still for any government to think of throwing out entirely. Aren't public smoking bans wonderful things, though? (sorry, off topic). Its telling people too much of what they can and can't do, IMO, when another solution that doesn't force desicions on people is readily available.

Its not my cup of tea, thanks, but then I'm also exclusively heterosexual. If it were me, I'd like to at least have the choice, and be able to find out the risks easily and reliably.
Snugglebum the Destroyer
I can't help but feel that there is a general apathy regarding this. In fact, I'm not sure that's even what I'm feeling.

*puzzles a moment*

In my mind, there is something fundamentally, morally wrong with incest. I gave birth to a son and perhaps that's what makes it different? He can be homosexual, christian, a bigot or even racist but I will still love him unconditionally. I may disagree but it is what it is. If he was incestouous I really would struggle with that. It's a taboo subject for me.

I get the feeling sometimes, on this board, that people are so keen to demonstrate how very very open minded they are that they don't really go through the whole thought process before making a decision. Please don't flame me for this, guys; I'm just stating a viewpoint, not fact.

Daria - Things are not so black and white. I never insinuated that child abuse would be any higher in France than anywhere else or that they were using incest as an excuse. I find child abuse abhorrant and I'd hate to think they could have any further way out. I have seen child abuse, in the form of an ex boyfriend at its height and I assure you that I never want to see it again. It was done in such a way that the child in question was by all intents and purposes (in an adult world) a willing participant. There's nothing good there.
If an abuser will do that to a child what else will they use? Any port in a storm.
Wookiee
QUOTE (Tarantio @ Mar 7 2007, 09:53 PM) *
So inbreeding gets you put in charge of a country and meeting other important and (much more) interesting people? Or inbreeding gives you large ears?


It was more a passing reference to something Eddie Izzard said about the Windsors needing to learn the fundamental lesson of cousins marrying and scraping the bottom of the gene pool. And the second part was just because everyone needs to know and love Juliana Wetmore. It's a thing. It should be clear from my post that I have little that's constructive to add, I'm just playing for cheap laffs.

An extra thumb, though? That strikes me as a certain flavour of awesome. Thumbs are what makes mankind evolutionarily spectacular, so an extra one surely makes you some kind of superhero. Shall I call you Logan, Weapon X?
Snugglebum the Destroyer
The extra thumb is the new middle finger.

The old one was getting predictable.

<Spammity spamison>
Tarantio
Lmfao. I am sad to report that it was surgically removed before I was old enough to even know about its existence. I do have a pretty awesome scar, but then wolverine would have healed that by now, so I've yet to discover my actual superpower wink.gif

And Snugs, I get what you're saying. I only actually came up with my opinion because I was reading the topic and wondered what I thought of it more than anything. Its just my belief that something that isn't harmful to others shouldn't be forcibly restricted in that kind of way, and that while incest does seem to be in many cases, so are many other things in society that are legal; drinking, smoking etc. We're told to do these things responsibly, or not at all if we want to live, but at least given the freedom to choose. I'm not saying its right, just that my own personal beliefs are giving me that answer to whether or not it should be legalised. Being totally honest, the thought of it is pretty disturbing, and I'd argue against anyone who wanted to do it, but I'd never force them not to.

So, short answer: Incest? Wrong. Making(keeping) it illegal? Wronger. More wrong. Wrong, but more so.
Izzy
I actually just thought of something. If an incest couple have a child that appears normal, and then that kid has a kid. And then there are a lot more kids.. and then more.. and then eventually so many that you can't tell anymore who was a result from an incest relationship and not, won't eventually everyone be disabled, thus causing the downfall of mankind?
Wookiee
QUOTE (Izzy @ Mar 7 2007, 11:53 PM) *
I actually just thought of something. If an incest couple have a child that appears normal, and then that kid has a kid. And then there are a lot more kids.. and then more.. and then eventually so many that you can't tell anymore who was a result from an incest relationship and not, won't eventually everyone be disabled, thus causing the downfall of mankind?


... did your brain just rupture and leak over the internets?
Izzy
QUOTE (Wookiee @ Mar 7 2007, 06:57 PM) *
QUOTE (Izzy @ Mar 7 2007, 11:53 PM) *

I actually just thought of something. If an incest couple have a child that appears normal, and then that kid has a kid. And then there are a lot more kids.. and then more.. and then eventually so many that you can't tell anymore who was a result from an incest relationship and not, won't eventually everyone be disabled, thus causing the downfall of mankind?


... did your brain just rupture and leak over the internets?

Maybe. But think about it, it could happen. If too many people become incest and have kids.
Snugglebum the Destroyer
Your argument is technically right. I'm not smart enough to argue against further. I'll leave to those that have actual facts.

It may not be harmful - not sure that makes it right. As a mother and the only one that has posted here that is, must take that into account, I think it is important to see a difference.

It's such a feeling that trying to quantify is really hard
gothictheysay
Like stated before, I don't think enough people will want to be incestuous for that to happen, Izzy.

Snugs, is the parent-child thing what's bothering you, or are you still really unnerved by just siblings? I would be much more comfortable with a sibling situation - I feel very nervous about a parent and a child. It seems like brother and sister could be okay to me, but not a parent and child. It is a little weird, I agree. I honestly don't think the genetic problem will be overwhelming, and while there could be mishaps, I don't see why it couldn't be legal. First cousins are legal in some states. The ick factor for me isn't there as much with cousins because I honestly don't see my cousins a lot. And if that brother and sister were separated, it's easier to understand.
elphaba2
A good friend of mine has a grandmother who was born of two first cousins. She has no sense of smell and tiny tiny feet (size 2 1/2!) And her parents were only first cousins.

There's a good reason that humans have such a "oh god, that's gross" response to incest--we've been trained for a good long time that incestuous relationships produce children with a good chance of being disabled. It's my belief that lots, maybe even most, of human impulse comes from the desire to produce healthy children in terms of basic evolutionary desires.

However, just because centuries of impulse says it's bad, should we make it a felony? No. I can't stop two hideous people from marrying each other and producing hideous babies. Nor can one ethically stop two people with Tay-Sachs or that awful disease Wookie keeps bringing up from doing some sex. To do so opens up the door for eugenics to waltz in, as it did in the 1900's in the States.

But incest should be a felony because of the point that Snugglebum brought up--the potential for abuse in incestuous relationships. Bonds between siblings and between children and their parents are incredibly strong, and allowing these bonds to be equally OK in two fundamentally different ways gives a lot of room to the types of parents, sibling and relatives who commit sexual abuse. 75 percent of cases in which women are sexually abused involve family members. 75%. Meaning that if the victim remains silent, the government has no reason to intervene. The humiliation that a victim suffers in these cases would grow as the permissibility of the "relationship" increases, making these abuses even more damaging. As such, the German government is perfectly within its rights to stop these two (who I am sure are perfectly normal and in a loving relationship) from getting it on anymore. I feel the government has a responsibility to protect their citizens from any chance of being abused, and if that comes at the cost of one relationship, it's an easy trade.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (Izzy @ Mar 7 2007, 06:53 PM) *
I actually just thought of something. If an incest couple have a child that appears normal, and then that kid has a kid. And then there are a lot more kids.. and then more.. and then eventually so many that you can't tell anymore who was a result from an incest relationship and not, won't eventually everyone be disabled, thus causing the downfall of mankind?



Actually, after enough generations, natural selection would weed out the overly bad genes and only the better genes would be left (minus the ones hiding in heterozygotes, who would be rare anyway).

Since I'm a biologist currently taking a course on evolution, I'll have to take a stand on this from that perspective. Incest, as coming from that angle, can be really good or really bad, depending on the species. There are species that constantly reproduce via incest and they actually have a reproductive advantage over members who reproduce outside their own gene pool. These species tend to have more daughters than sons and tend to disperse themselves after being fertilized (this happens mostly in insects, in case someone hadn't caught on yet)

Humans, however, evolved in ways which favored having sex outside of the gene pool, and have adopted many ways to repel themselves from breeding with their close family. The "ick" factor is one of them- a psychological reaction to breeding with kin. This has actually been proven to exist within communities where all of the children have been raised together- none of the children found each other sexually attractive in the least because the mind considered them kin.

Anyway, as for my personal opinion of incest, I'd say that as long as both parties are consenting, there's no harm to anyone else, much like homosexuality.

edit: It should be noted that the human population is far too large for the number of people who would have incest once it's legal (making the assumption that most people who wish to have incestuous sex are having it anyway) to harm the population much at all, abuse-wise or disease-wise.

Elphaba, I'd really be interested in reading the studies that your abuse concern comes from.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
How would legalising incest make sexual abuse any more acceptable? Taking that argument one step further you could just ban sex altogether, so people have no excuses for rape?

I understand why people find it so disgusting and wrong in some cases, like between parents and children, but the people in the article didn't even know each other as kids, so their relationship is just like any other - I don't see whats wrong with it.
Phyllis
QUOTE (crazymat @ Mar 8 2007, 09:29 AM) *
How would legalising incest make sexual abuse any more acceptable? Taking that argument one step further you could just ban sex altogether, so people have no excuses for rape?

I don't think you can really make that leap and say that banning incest because of abuse is like banning sex because of rape. Like elphaba mentioned, 75% of women who have been abused were abused by a family member...but I sincerely doubt that even close to that percentage of sexually active women have been raped. That's not "one" step further, it's more like 293483243 steps.

I have been unsure how I feel on this issue. My gut instinct is "it should be illegal," which honestly does make me wonder if I'm less openminded than I thought. If I am, so be it, I guess. None of the arguments here have managed to convince me that incest should be legal. What Snugglebum and Elphaba have said makes the most sense to me, really.
Moosh
My gut instinct on this would be to legalise it, but my gut doesn't really think about all the issues, so we shall ignore it for the time being.

Personally, I'm not sure I can see the connection between the legalisation of incest and a rise in sexual abuse, child or not.

Taking elphaba's figure of 75% of cases of sexual abuse against women being by family members, to me that says that everyone who wants to do it is doing it already, so I don't see a rise in the actual figure. elphaba then said "Meaning that if the victim remains silent, the government has no reason to intervene". Even if incest is legal, there's still a world of difference between a consenting adult relationship, and sexual abuse, be it to a child or an adult. I can't see that there would be any more problem in arresting and prosecuting in a case of sexual abuse if it were incestuous or not.

Legalising incest wouldn't make it legal to have sex with minors, or with those who don't consent, whether they're related to you or not. And I can't see it being harder to prove non-consent in the case of them being related.
Secretkeeper
I knew how I felt morally... against it, but I did a google on "human inbreeding" and the statistical evidence is against it due to "abnormalities". That said, I do not want to get any closer to helping justify the misguided efforts of those who pervert children. and "yes" the change in the law would give some an additional tool to their advantage that they do not have now.

I have counseled children of incest and abuse. The fact is that the abusers incesteous or not always, always uses the excuse of "love" and the position of power. Well, answer this...How does one change the mind of a child brainwashed from birth? Its ok for Mom or Dad or Brother to do this to you.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
QUOTE (candice @ Mar 8 2007, 11:01 AM) *
QUOTE (crazymat @ Mar 8 2007, 09:29 AM) *

How would legalising incest make sexual abuse any more acceptable? Taking that argument one step further you could just ban sex altogether, so people have no excuses for rape?

I don't think you can really make that leap and say that banning incest because of abuse is like banning sex because of rape. Like elphaba mentioned, 75% of women who have been abused were abused by a family member...but I sincerely doubt that even close to that percentage of sexually active women have been raped. That's not "one" step further, it's more like 293483243 steps.

I have been unsure how I feel on this issue. My gut instinct is "it should be illegal," which honestly does make me wonder if I'm less openminded than I thought. If I am, so be it, I guess. None of the arguments here have managed to convince me that incest should be legal. What Snugglebum and Elphaba have said makes the most sense to me, really.

I'm confused..

What I meant is that yes, 75% of the time, sexual abuse is also incest.
But 100% of the time rape is also sex. What I don't understand is why one thing is automatically wrong just because its associated with something that is.

Of course if that statistic was the other way round and 75% of the time incest is sexual abuse then it would be different.

Also I don't think legalising it would change anything to do with child abuse, since there would still be laws about statutory rape and stuff?

*edit* What CheeseMoose said. I take far too long to type posts. dry.gif
Secretkeeper
QUOTE (crazymat @ Mar 8 2007, 06:54 PM) *
QUOTE (candice @ Mar 8 2007, 11:01 AM) *

QUOTE (crazymat @ Mar 8 2007, 09:29 AM) *

How would legalising incest make sexual abuse any more acceptable? Taking that argument one step further you could just ban sex altogether, so people have no excuses for rape?

I don't think you can really make that leap and say that banning incest because of abuse is like banning sex because of rape. Like elphaba mentioned, 75% of women who have been abused were abused by a family member...but I sincerely doubt that even close to that percentage of sexually active women have been raped. That's not "one" step further, it's more like 293483243 steps.

I have been unsure how I feel on this issue. My gut instinct is "it should be illegal," which honestly does make me wonder if I'm less openminded than I thought. If I am, so be it, I guess. None of the arguments here have managed to convince me that incest should be legal. What Snugglebum and Elphaba have said makes the most sense to me, really.

I'm confused..

What I meant is that yes, 75% of the time, sexual abuse is also incest.
But 100% of the time rape is also sex. What I don't understand is why one thing is automatically wrong just because its associated with something that is.

Of course if that statistic was the other way round and 75% of the time incest is sexual abuse then it would be different.

Also I don't think legalising it would change anything to do with child abuse, since there would still be laws about statutory rape and stuff?

*edit* What CheeseMoose said. I take far too long to type posts. dry.gif

Rape is not always sex...it is power over another and objects are used to display that power. Sometimes the objects used are part of the rapists physical makeup, sometimes not. Male to male and Woman to woman rape also occurs depending on the legal definition of the local jusristiction. Those acts are acts of humiliation and power NOT SEX!

And what is thought regarding the facts in this situation does not make it so...Thinking that it will not change anything regarding child abuse is just showing how unaware one is of history and the evolving of the laws.
pgrmdave
Let's say that we made incest legal, does that necessarily mean that the number of abuse cases would increase? I don't know whether that is good logic or not. I tend to think (although I don't have hard statistical evidence) that abusers know that what they are doing is wrong, but they either justify it to themselves, or don't care. If incest was legal, it wouldn't make abuse any more right, nor would incest being illegal stop someone who was going to molest a child. I suspect that most of us (including child abusers) tend to think of sexual abuse as worse then consensual incest.
Secretkeeper
QUOTE (pgrmdave @ Mar 8 2007, 08:06 PM) *
Let's say that we made incest legal, does that necessarily mean that the number of abuse cases would increase? I don't know whether that is good logic or not. I tend to think (although I don't have hard statistical evidence) that abusers know that what they are doing is wrong, but they either justify it to themselves, or don't care. If incest was legal, it wouldn't make abuse any more right, nor would incest being illegal stop someone who was going to molest a child. I suspect that most of us (including child abusers) tend to think of sexual abuse as worse then consensual incest.

I don't know that the cases would increase...I do know that abusers would have a leagal tool that they don't have now and maybe more cases would come to light... Consent is an issue when the brainwashing starts at a "tender" age. The case in Germany is very unusual so what I am refering to is the usual where the so called consenting parties know each other and the brain washing has taken place.
Snugglebum the Destroyer
QUOTE
Snugs, is the parent-child thing what's bothering you, or are you still really unnerved by just siblings


Both bother me but the parent/child more so. I was thinking about this today and I think Secretkeeper has vocalised my thoughts quite well. It's an abuse of a position of power. Parents will always have power over their children and in many cases so will older siblings. Therefore, embarking on a sexual relationship with a family member whom you are esentially responsible for seems wrong and an abuse of a senior position.

When I refer to child abuse, I'm not just taking minors here. It is still possible to abuse your child when they are over the age of consent. I kinda' feel in these cases that the abusee (is that a word?) has actually been convinced that what is happening is either their own decision or normality.
Daria
QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ Mar 7 2007, 10:22 PM) *
Daria - Things are not so black and white. I never insinuated that child abuse would be any higher in France than anywhere else or that they were using incest as an excuse. I find child abuse abhorrant and I'd hate to think they could have any further way out. I have seen child abuse, in the form of an ex boyfriend at its height and I assure you that I never want to see it again. It was done in such a way that the child in question was by all intents and purposes (in an adult world) a willing participant. There's nothing good there.
If an abuser will do that to a child what else will they use? Any port in a storm.

I was just being silly about the French tongue.gif

On a more serious note- I was discussing this with Wytu on Wednesday evening and- when looking at THIS case and not a generic "legalisation of incest"- I think incest is ok. They were apart for a very long time, so they didn't grow up with one another so they don't have the same sibling relationship most brothers and sisters would. Also, I was wondering if part of their want to be together is because of their seemingly disrupted childhoods. In the article, it says that their family broke up and they are happy that it is back together again. I'm wondering if part of the love between them is actually a need for emotional stability by having a family.

Hypothetical question time.

What would you do if you were seeing someone, and you found out that they were closely related to you? You had already slept with them, you had spent a lot of time together, you had shared secrets and you trusted them. What if you, or they, then found out you (or they) were adopted, and upon searching for "lost" family members, you found out that you were brother and sister? (or brother/brother, sister/sister)

Would you be comfortable if you continued a relationship with them or, just because you were related, would you call off the relationship?

With regards to the parent/ child relationship, I don't believe that is right. I have some odd double standards when it comes to it, and I don't think that in any circumstances should it be right for a parent of a child to have a relationship with that child.

Woody Allen included.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ Mar 8 2007, 10:08 PM) *
It's an abuse of a position of power. Parents will always have power over their children and in many cases so will older siblings. Therefore, embarking on a sexual relationship with a family member whom you are esentially responsible for seems wrong and an abuse of a senior position.

I was trying to come up with a way to say exactly that.

As for Daria's hypothetical situation...I'm not sure what I would do. I am thinking I probably would end it, because anything sexual would pretty much be out of the question for me after that. I'd just be thinking "Ew...related...ewwwwwww." As it is I'm marrying someone with the same first name as my dad -- I don't need someone with his genes as well.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
QUOTE (Secretkeeper @ Mar 8 2007, 07:31 PM) *
Rape is not always sex...it is power over another and objects are used to display that power. Sometimes the objects used are part of the rapists physical makeup, sometimes not. Male to male and Woman to woman rape also occurs depending on the legal definition of the local jusristiction. Those acts are acts of humiliation and power NOT SEX!

Ok, yeah, that was a bad example.

QUOTE (Daria @ Mar 9 2007, 01:23 PM) *
Hypothetical question time.

What would you do if you were seeing someone, and you found out that they were closely related to you? You had already slept with them, you had spent a lot of time together, you had shared secrets and you trusted them. What if you, or they, then found out you (or they) were adopted, and upon searching for "lost" family members, you found out that you were brother and sister? (or brother/brother, sister/sister)

Would you be comfortable if you continued a relationship with them or, just because you were related, would you call off the relationship?

I don't know how I would actually feel if that happens, but I don't think there is any reason to call it off. I find incest so wrong because it kind of conflicts with the family-relationship, if that makes any sense? In this case nothing would be different, they are still the same person they were before. Its different than if you had grown up together as brother/sister and brother/sister.

Its not the blood-relation part that freaks me out at all.. for example I would still find it kind of wrong if someone was in a relationship with a close family member that was adopted.
Daria
Cand, do you call Ste, Ste? I can't Monty Steve simply for the fact that I wouldn't be able to deal calling him the same name as my dad.
(Yes there are two many Steves in the world).


Also, whilst talking to Witless about this, he brought up some interesting points.
Firstly; "it seems a bit weird to involve the law into who we can and can't have relationships with. That should have stopped long ago regardless of who's ok with it and who's not.
Secondly, the fact that everyone is quite related anyway (you know the whole sum of 2 parents, 4 grandparents etc etc until you get to needing 8589934592 people to make up the the 31st generation- which is about 2 billion more people than who exist today) is show through the fact that we have different races. If we weren't, "we'd all be the same skin tone from bumping uglies with more distant relatives".

"It seems a bit weird to claim it wrong when our ancestors have got along fine with it".
Phyllis
QUOTE (Daria @ Mar 9 2007, 05:15 PM) *
Cand, do you call Ste, Ste? I can't Monty Steve simply for the fact that I wouldn't be able to deal calling him the same name as my dad.
(Yes there are two many Steves in the world).

I call him Ste. Never Steve. Steve is my dad. The v sound clearly makes all the difference. Though I do sometimes call him "Stephen *insert middle name here*" if he's being silly.

As far as the ancestors thing goes...nah, doesn't fly with me. My ancestors did a great many things that I feel are wrong. Owning slaves, for a start.
Snugglebum the Destroyer
CODE
"it seems a bit weird to involve the law into who we can and can't have relationships with. That should have stopped long ago regardless of who's ok with it and who's not.


Misconception - it's not the law that has influenced me in this. At all.

I dunno - I have an older brother who I find unattrative by anyones standards and a sister that I think is absolutely gorgeous. I don't want to sleep with FU, even though she and I are more then a little similiar in looks and I think that I'm pretty fine! smile.gif I'm also extremely self absorbed but that's another issue...
Forever Unknown
QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ Mar 9 2007, 09:08 PM) *
I don't want to sleep with FU


I can't believe you would hurt me so much with your words. sad.gif!

I think it was Cand who said that there was an 'ew' factor that no manner of logic could overcome, and that's precisely how it is. No, that shouldn't be controlled by legislation - there's loads of people that make me go 'ew'. But I think there are other factors, such as the genetic malarky Witless so fabulously described (science is AWESOME!). And there's a lot of social elements too, such as other people's reactions to a brother/sister/etc relationship. At the moment we can't even get along with people of different faiths, colours or sexualities properly - so maybe, while incest isn't inherently wrong in the sense that government shouldn't mess with people's emotions, maybe an additional way of looking at it is how society itself would react?
Secretkeeper
Being redundant... do a google on "human inbreeding" and read the mostly against genetic issues.

Should the law meddle in emotions? In a perfect world where humans control their emotions no. BUT emotional eruptions happen all the time sometimes culminating in murder... other times just mayhem... It is the lack of responsibility on the part of humans that causes us to require laws at all. "for the greater good" If what two people did only had an effect on them that would be different but the ripples in the pond are ever expanding...
Wytukaze
I've been avoiding joining in this discussion directly up until now, reasoning that I'm not very.. subtle when it comes to situations like this. With that in mind then, let's begin:

QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ Mar 9 2007, 09:08 PM) *
CODE
"it seems a bit weird to involve the law into who we can and can't have relationships with. That should have stopped long ago regardless of who's ok with it and who's not.


Misconception - it's not the law that has influenced me in this. At all.


I don't think it was meant to suggest you were influenced by the law. Rather, that the law has no place deciding for us who we're allowed to have relationships with - it's our decision. Your decision. You don't like incest? Don't do it. The law shouldn't have any bearing on your decision, and in your case, it doesn't. Right on. (In case it's not obvious, I agree with Witless' position here. To a point. Antipaedophilia laws are there to protect presexual humans, and antibestiality laws to protect nonsentient creatures, from sexual abuse. This is a separate issue.)

QUOTE (Daria @ Mar 9 2007, 01:23 PM) *
On a more serious note- I was discussing this with Wytu on Wednesday evening and- when looking at THIS case and not a generic "legalisation of incest"- I think incest is ok. They were apart for a very long time, so they didn't grow up with one another so they don't have the same sibling relationship most brothers and sisters would. Also, I was wondering if part of their want to be together is because of their seemingly disrupted childhoods. In the article, it says that their family broke up and they are happy that it is back together again. I'm wondering if part of the love between them is actually a need for emotional stability by having a family.


So, since part of my position has already been summarised, I'll continue it. In my view, there is no reason for preventing these two individuals from sexing each other up on a continual basis. Disregarding the fact that the sister was 15 when the relationship started - age of consent in Germany is 14, although:

QUOTE
In Germany, sexual intercourse is legal from the age of 14 provided the older partner is aged under 18 and provided they are not "exploiting a coercive situation" or offering compensation. In addition, sex between one partner aged 14-15 and another aged under 21 is legal unless the older partner "exploits the victim's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination".


so this is a borderline case at best, but there is no guarantee that they had sexual relations before she turned 16 anyway. Disregarding that, then, they are both consenting adults who are apparently in love (and who are we - or the court for that matter - to argue with that?) and they already have children (half of which are disabled) who are being separated from them - presumably causing harm to the children. That is to say, I can't imagine that it's better to remove a child from a loving family and cause all the problems that creates than to have children in a loving family that is slightly too related for our supposedly cosmopolitan tastes. So, in this case, I would rather see it allowed.

That then, raises the problems that the court is really concerned about - if they allow this, that sets precedent and they have to repeal the law against incest to be consistent. Should they do this? We're back to our wider discussion.

Firstly, I can't see this dissociated on a genetic level from allowing a couple with a serious genetic disability from procreating. The issues of inbreeding are largely the same - sure, there are probably more matching genetic defects to be inherited by the children of a brother and sister, but the very fact that two people have the same genetic disability means they must have matching defects, yes? Thus, for me, if we can't countenance incest because of the inherent risks, we can't countenance disabled couples for the same reason. What do we all feel about that? I'm genuinely interested.

However, I imagine this isn't the core argument of most people here. The issue lies in whether we can bear to allow a brother and sister - and an apparently different issue, father/daughter or mother/son - to have sex. Now, I don't think the issue of sexual abuse is a valid theoretical argument against incest. CM has pretty much said all that I would want to say about this ("there's still a world of difference between a consenting adult relationship, and sexual abuse, be it to a child or an adult") but I think it's important to emphasise that I am still opposed to incest when it involves a presexual human (that is, a minor, and for the purposes of the law, someone who is under the age of consent) and that incest doesn't have to involve children at all.

I also want to emphasise that I am disgusted by the thought of sleeping with any of my family members, even cousins. This is merely personal taste. I am also disgusted, although less so, by the thought of sleeping with a man. Again, merely personal taste. Homosexuality is not wrong, it's just not for me. Now, I can't verify this, but my mother came out with this: "Most cases of [consenting] incest occur when a brother and sister have been separated at an early age" i.e. they don't have this sibling link that I have with my siblings and so on.

Beyond the disclaimers, I don't see anything wrong with incest. The crux of my argument is this: Sex between two (or hell, two or more - invite the whole family) consenting adults should always be legal.

QUOTE (Daria @ Mar 9 2007, 01:23 PM) *
With regards to the parent/ child relationship, I don't believe that is right. I have some odd double standards when it comes to it, and I don't think that in any circumstances should it be right for a parent of a child to have a relationship with that child.

Woody Allen included.


I'm not sure about this. I think it would need to be much more strictly defined in law, due to the potential for abuse, but in principle, I see nothing more wrong with this than sibling incest. I mean, if Joe Wrongsocks wants to bump uglies with mama instead of sister, there's no practical difference, is there?

QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Mar 8 2007, 02:58 AM) *
A good friend of mine has a grandmother who was born of two first cousins. She has no sense of smell and tiny tiny feet (size 2 1/2!) And her parents were only first cousins.


Counter example - I have a friend who was born of an arranged marriage between two first cousins. He is only a bit short, but so are both his parents. He is otherwise perfectly healthy and normal. Just sayin'.

QUOTE (Daria @ Mar 9 2007, 01:23 PM) *
Hypothetical question time.

What would you do if you were seeing someone, and you found out that they were closely related to you? You had already slept with them, you had spent a lot of time together, you had shared secrets and you trusted them. What if you, or they, then found out you (or they) were adopted, and upon searching for "lost" family members, you found out that you were brother and sister? (or brother/brother, sister/sister)

Would you be comfortable if you continued a relationship with them or, just because you were related, would you call off the relationship?


I guess not. I mean, I can't honestly say what I'd feel unless it happened to me, but I don't think it would affect how I felt about them. I'd probably want to move to France, though.

QUOTE (Secretkeeper @ Mar 8 2007, 07:31 PM) *
Rape is not always sex...it is power over another and objects are used to display that power. Sometimes the objects used are part of the rapists physical makeup, sometimes not. Male to male and Woman to woman rape also occurs depending on the legal definition of the local jusristiction. Those acts are acts of humiliation and power NOT SEX!


Quite so. Interestingly enough, Daria recently took part in a psychological survey where a situation involving you, the female reader, getting drunk and a guy taking you home and then having sex with you. You didn't say no because you were too drunk. At the end, it asked you to tick boxes describing what had happened to you. Some women said they were drugged, some said they were raped etc etc. But the interesting thing is that none of those who said they were raped also ticked "I had sex". Despite the fact that it is, quite obviously, sexual intercourse - and the text even said so explicitly - it turns out that it's not viewed as such when it's not consensual.

If you still have an appetite after all this, I can offer you short stories about apples.
gothictheysay
Hey, Wytu, can we say "creatures unable to express consent" instead of nonsentient? wink.gif
"Would you be comfortable if you continued a relationship with them or, just because you were related, would you call off the relationship?"

If, like you said, we were deeply involved, I would probably continue it - but I would probably also have the fact that we are so closely related bugging me a bit. So, can't say exactly what I would do.
Tru Courage
well well this is one strange topic o.O but anywhooo

My Daddy (do not ask why this was an awkward conversation for myself) researched incest and asked me about it because he thought I was the victim of it (note he didnt ask if I was was the victim of sexual abuse but of incest. I dont know if that makes a difference but I found it interesting.) as did my youth pastor because I apparently demonstrated behaviors and activities that many who are involved or the victim of or however you'd like to put it demonstrate. I found this odd but after they discussed this with me apparently people who are the 'victim' of incest practice some very unhealthy activities to themselves (~self mutilation, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, insomnia((well they cant really practice that but it happens apparently)) ) and this ranges from children and older people as well. I dont really know where I'm going with this but I dont think incest is right and it has harmful side affects even if the person seemed to concent. Perhaps even though they told themselves it was ok and that they themselves even believed that it truely is ok, that some underlyling sense of guilt and shame brought them to do this. I really dont know because I have never been the victim or participated in it but I dont really know how to explain it considering some of the participants were willing. So yeah dont really know where I was going with that except that it isnt natural obviously and it doesnt have good side affects for anyone. Obviously this isnt all cases but enough for me.

and since they have much more risk to have disabled children and such I think its truely selfish to carry out the relationship. They are only thinking of themselves and the desires they have more than the lives their children may have to lead. Irresponsible is what I call it

so yeah my two cents that didnt really help much just something I found rather interesting I thought I'd share.
Rykan
Personally, I find the thought gorss beyond belief, but yeah, I think people should be allowed to be with who they want to be. Just as long as if it's incestuous they aren't allowed to copulate. THEN they can be sent down the legal system, as it's wrong and unfair on any child conceieved. It was all about the incest in antiquity... mostly antiquity anyway *coughroyalfamilycough*
Wytukaze
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Mar 10 2007, 10:22 PM) *
Hey, Wytu, can we say "creatures unable to express consent" instead of nonsentient? wink.gif


No.











You can't.












It's factually incorrect, basically. Animals can, and do, express consent. I mean, usually to animals of the same species, but whatever. I mean, we could debate the sentience of dolphins, apes, pigs - hell, even dogs and horses - until the cows come home, and then we can debate their sentience too. I just figured it illustrated my point sufficiently at the time.
Witless
When I think of prison, and being in court. I think of someone that wronged or hurt someone else, financially, physically. Or perhaps wronged the country they're in somehow like by not paying taxes.

Siblings in a mutually consensual relationship however.. hmm.. I can't bring myself to say it would be ok to place them in court, or prison for it.

Earlier when I said that the law shouldn't be involved in our relationship choices that's what I meant.

Also on another note, most paedophiles that assault family members are infact not sentenced with incest and only with paedophilia related laws. The only people normally charged with breaking the laws prohibiting incest are infact consenting adults. So not too many abusers are being affected by it's illegality (is that a word? too lazy to find out..).
Snugglebum the Destroyer
Veering the conversation in a different direction - do we know why three of the children were put into care? Is this related to the incest issue? Is it something else entirely? Does this alter peoples perceptions of what the family structure is?

Seeing as it was mentioned in the original post, you would assume that this was directly linked to the incest issue. Only, perhaps it is not?
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