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 never said anything about the two siblings reproducing. I was talking about me reproducing and how I would feel about those kids then going on to sexual relations. Well in all honesty, I don't see your point whatsoever then, because if it was for love, I would ever-so-slightly understand making exceptions. But just for sexual reasons? No. Go out and find it somewhere else. Is it really worth the repercussions just for sex?

It is kinda a betrayal of trust. You're supposed to be safe from being screwed with within your own family. You're supposed to be able to have a safe, platonic relationship with your brother, probably for most women the only man they will ever be able to trust that way (other than their father). So that's a problem for me. *shrugs*

When it's mutually consensual, it's hard to imagine how the trust issue gets in there. And where is the betrayal of trust in such a situation?

When it's mutually consensual, it's hard to imagine how the trust issue gets in there.

So is there an age of consent? We probably agree that it depends a lot on maturity differences in the partners. "When it's mutually consensual" is easy to say, but not so easy to know.

And in what way does that apply uniquely to sibling incest? One might raise that objection to so-called "normal" relationships.

Who said it applies uniquely? As I said earlier, mentioning that it happens in more than just incestual relationships only highlights its universal risk. Are you saying that the "mutual consent" issue is irrelevant in kids' relationships and only applies to adults? 

Kids today are having sex fairly early today. What are you proposing, some sort of agency they need to apply to in order to get a sex license?

What are you proposing, some sort of agency they need to apply to in order to get a sex license?

Haha, ok, you win the best and last absurd statement award, if it helps your argument. (And you are proposing. . . ? I don't want to presume anything. )

If you have the conditions you pointed out. Then there is nothing wrong with it.

That may not be the answer some will want to hear, but I have yet to hear a good argument against it. Once you remove the genetic issue. Its done.

There is nothing bad about Brother/Sister incest that you would not get in a regular relationship, other that they just happen to be brother and sister.

And people talking about possible mental issues should keep in mind that homosexuality was considered a mental illness at some point. So the mental issue is just a baseless assumption.

I'm actually a little disappointed at how little science has been bandied about. All talk about morals, scant discussion of ethics, and biology essentially ignored. Here are the underlying issues from what I can tell:

- Procreation therefrom causes a greater risk of subsequent health complications.
- In a closed system, this statistical downside could theoretically be outweighed by the need to perpetuate.
- Humans are highly social, and sex plays a social role that is not purely biological.
- Many of the factors that would promote sexual activity between two otherwise non-related individuals may also be present in related individuals due to shared upbringing.
- Humans are primed socially to seek homogeneity and homeostasis, but sexual to seek that which is different.

So here goes.

Brother/sister incest carries a known penalty for genetic diversity. The risk of congenital defects increases exponentially. As such, we are likely wired to avoid incest on some level. Certainly, societies that eschew such behavior would suffer fewer defects, increasing their overall survival and success.

However, in cases of extreme isolation, i.e. the only two individuals on an island, the drive to survive may increase, and the power of social taboos would naturally decrease. So as the balance changes, a built-in override mechanism kicks in and incest would ensue.

Like gibbons, humans are highly social animals who use sex socially for non-reproductive purposes, ranging from bonding to dominance. As such, as purely reproductive intercourse decreases relative to more socially-instigated forms, social factors take a greater role in selection of sexual partners. If one chooses partners based upon trust, love, or shared experiences and values rather than the need to successfully procreate, then siblings could get put on the list of potential partners.

Perhaps the most interesting interplay isn't the one between society and biology, or congenital disease versus immediate survival, but rather the balance between social homogeneity versus procreative diversity. (What's that?)

On some fundamental level, humans are wired to seek sexual partners that promote genetic diversity. Historically, it took the form of orgies and forced intercourse with conquered peoples. In a modern setting, the drive is still there, but has been domesticated somewhat. "Kink" and "deviance" are modern ways in which physical attraction to new and strange "opportunities" exhibits itself. Cuckoldry, infidelity, and the masculine imperative for "strange" may be morally discouraged, but are examples of an ongoing genetic push for genetic blending. And "forbidden" becomes the new "wanted."

Meanwhile, social structures are geared toward promoting same-ness. We're wired to tell whether someone is from the same tribe or not. We naturally tend to categorize people as "us" and "them." We tend to gravitate toward someone who is socially similar for friendships and other alliances.

So while it is morally frowned upon, the circumstances are ripe for sibling incest, as siblings will tend to share upbringings, common experiences and traumas, cultural backgrounds, trust, social circles, financial circumstances, and other factors. Sexually, they may not be strange enough to provoke a novelty response, but the very taboo of incest may be enough to do so.

In short, now that the biological pressures against sexual sameness can be mitigated by contraceptive techniques, the two primary forces will be social bonding and sexual strangeness promoted by taboos.

It's really only a matter of time before you're biologically enjoined to go f--- yourself. ;)

Good argument other than that "built-in override mechanism". I don't think any evidence exists for that other than anecdote, at least not in a general, cross species, sense.

I don't think the sense of smell is given enough credit as a human motivator. I think that, more than any other sense, it is tied directly to emotion centers. I think that there are some molecular structures in the scent that tell the receiver to turn off sexual responses regarding this individual (a sibling) - all subconscious and subliminal, of course. Going across this interaction could well stir feeling of revulsion - stronger in some than in others.


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