I'm fairly sure most (all) of us feel parent/child incest is wrong, and for fairly obvious reasons. 

However, if a brother and sister are very careful about pregnancy prevention or, better, one or both of them is unable to conceive, what would be wrong with it?

BTW, I'm NOT trying to decide whether to do it with my sister (LOL). This is just a question that came to mind while in a discussion with another person.

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I just don't think sibling rivalry necessarily introduces so much power that it's substantially different than any other sort of sexual relationship. There is almost always a dominant partner in any relationship, sexual or otherwise. If we're talking about siblings near in age, or both being grown up. I don't get the problem at all.

The parent has a custodial duty to a child that isn't there between siblings, and which a sexual interest would interfere with.

I assume you're grown up (if not, you should be obeying what you assume your parents' views would be). If you're looking for a rule between a grown up and her 13 year older brother, you don't need a rule, you just need to know whether you feel you can trust him.

Marriages are the same way.  There is usually someone in a more dominant position.  But some people like being dominated and some like dominating so how could one call this unhealthy?  

Conversely, how could one call this always healthy for kids? I don't understand why kids keep getting excluded from this topic, by supposing that their situation is somehow equivalent to adult situations.

I missed it. WHO is calling it always healthy for kids? I can't think of anyone, can you?

WHO is calling it always healthy for kids?

THANK you for that honest statement! I could be wrong, but I imagine it felt like a difficult concession. It just seems like you're framing the debate around the assumption that somehow when kids say they "consent", it's just as credible and meaningful as when adults say it, so let's not talk about when it can go wrong.

I ask again WHO is calling it always healthy for kids to be in an incestuous relationship with a sibling. Was it me? When and where?

"Always" is a qualifier I generally shy away from.

OK, no one is calling it "always healthy" for kids. My point was an exaggeration, to counter what I think is another absurd assumption or proposition being made here by more than a couple of people, which is that somehow "consentual incest" between kids is as credible and valid as it is in adults.

For the third time, I would ask you, what is your definition of "consent" among kids? One of your non-answers was to ask me if I'm recommending a kind of department of oversight to determine such things, and that kind of non-answer is just as absurd as me implying that someone here said "it's always healthy for kids".

But I'm not even really asking you to define "consent" among kids. I'm just trying to point out that the determination of what is genuine or valid "consent" among kids is not easy to define, and is therefore a higher risk area than it would be for adults. Can you at least concede that it's more difficult to define "consent" in the context of pre-adults, and therefore incest among kids has its own, separate risk factor from adult incest?

Good question.  I can't think of any reason to oppose it, as long as no offspring are produced.  Gay and lesbian people who love each other are finally being accepted on the basis of their mutual love.  Why not brothers and sisters, most of whom do, in fact, love each other?  

From a purely logical, scientific perspective, I don't see anything wrong with it. But given that we evolved as emotional creatures (like most mammals and unlike robots), I wouldn't ignore possible emotional costs just for the sake of science and logic. I have to admit that I don't know enough about reasonable studies (if they even exist) to declare outright that there is never an extra emotional risk to kids.

Males are typically more dominant than females, leading automatically to an imbalance of power. Could you concede this as a possibility, especially if the male is significantly older? Would you draw any line at all wrt age of consent, especially for the female, or do you just automatically declare equality in such an emotional relationship? (Bringing abusive or imbalanced non-incestual relationships into this argument only highlights what the universal risks are, imho.)

So it largely depends on each situation; but that doesn't mean that reasonable studies should be avoided, or statistical generalizations aren't possible. And any taboo that remains difficult to discuss without prejudice is apt to be emotionally damaging just because of how (culturally) unresolvable it is. Perhaps someday someone will write a book about how incest affected themselves or other couples positively? Any recommendations?

I think the emotional argument is pretty good. Emotions tend to come along with sex. Two unrelated people can more easily put distance between themselves than close relatives.


At the same time, I suspect that more of this sort of incest goes on while people are in their formative years than we might suspect. 

I think YOU need to explain how competing for parents' affection COULD fit into a sexual relationship between siblings, especially grown up ones (if you read the original post again, you'll see it didn't dwell on underage siblings). How do you see this rivalry for parents approval working "I want to score with my brother/sister so that I can get a pat on my head from mom & dad?" That's pretty silly, but that seems to be along the lines of what you are asserting. 

Once again, your other objections would seem to apply to any relationship. You don't have to be having sex with a sibling for bonding to occur.

As to why they might be attracted to each other, it might be for the same reasons any two people are so attracted. 

But in the end, I flatly object to your sibling rivalry argument as a factor sufficiently significant as to make it a taboo. 

I do think there are reasons why it's a bad idea, but for me sibling rivalry doesn't even factor in. Normal couples can experience rivalry as well. For example, if both want to be the primary breadwinner.

I can feel your intensity on the matter. Your argument based on sibling rivalry just strikes me as weak since rivalry can rear its head in non-incestuous relationships as well, and often do. Also, believe it or not, there are families where siblings don't feel much rivalry, perhaps simply because their parents don't play favorites.

Some cultures encouraged in the past is my understanding. I'm not able to cite examples at this time without further research, but issues of consanguinity are largely a cultural issue. It's a frame of reference thing and therefore of subjective impropriety, even parent/child incest. And last I found myself discussing the issue with someone knowledgeable even the issue of birth defects is not as severe as it's often commonly reported. Early humans were likely to have intercourse with close relatives as the available pool of candidates was fairly tiny. The only issue is the likelihood of passing on and perpetuating existing defects rather than creating new ones (look at the European noble families of years past). What is wrong with it? Absolutely nothing inherently with it. It's an unpleasant idea for our culture and a strong taboo, but so is nudity, cannibalism,  pedophilia, etc. They represent irrational fears that are strongly indoctrinated into our culture. Absolute morality is a theistic concept. There are things that are repugnant to us as a social species but that is just instinct to preserve our continuity as such. The only thing wrong with any of it depends on if you can accept going to jail, prison, or capital punishment. :D

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