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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At least your topic kept the "love" within the same species!

Thank you, Josh Westhoelter. That was so much clearer.


So... I believe gay sex is 100% fine and so is gay marriage. It's consensual, it's love, it's only 2 people, it's really not different at all than a straight couple doing these things. The only difference is there is no chance of an accidental pregnancy between the two gay people. And no chance that even if they used all that science has to offer, in this day and age no 1 child could be comprised of both of their DNA - although if they tried, they could get quite close in some cases, choosing a sperm donor or egg donor of one of their opposite sex siblings or something.

To some degree I agree with the points that if we allow gay marriage we should also allow brother/sister marriage (and the same is true if you swap out "sex" for the word "marriage).

I do think there are a few key differences though that are important.

Accidental pregnancies can very rarely be 100% avoided. The two most common "permanent" ways to avoid pregnancy still fail: The rate of failure of about 1 in 2000 vasectomies which is considerably better than tubal ligations for which there is one failure in every 200 to 300 cases. If an accidental pregnancy was to occur, new rules would have to be put in place that don't apply to same-sex couples. OR maybe they wouldn't, maybe them choosing to procreate is fine? Do we force incest (the subset of rape) victims to terminate their pregnancies if they don't want to? I don't think we do. It's illegal for them to have incestuous sex, right? But once a father impregnates his daughter through rape, even if the gene pool is all messed up, is she actually forced into an abortion if she doesn't want one for whatever reason (presumably religious super "pro-life" reasons but there could be others)? I don't think she is. I don't think anyone is ever forced into an abortion in the United States at least. Tell me if I'm wrong.

This law could change but should it? I'm not sure, but the question arises.

The other difference that is a significant one is the idea of well, brothers & sisters are, the vast majority of the time, raised together. There are many documented cases of brother/sister rape and it'd be somewhat important to figure out if it was way more likely that incestuous relationships would be some form of rape. We would not want to make this legal if it makes rape more likely, or other issues arise that relate to the rape side of incest.

The two most common "permanent" ways to avoid pregnancy still fail: The rate of failure of about 1 in 2000 vasectomies which is considerably better than tubal ligations for which there is one failure in every 200 to 300 cases.

People take all sorts of chances when having sex. For example, having it drunk, even though alcohol can cause various birth defects and developmental issues. In that case, all we do is warn. We don't forbid people from having sex when drunk. We expect people to behave responsibly, including if they suspect they may have done something ill advised. We don't forbid men and women (mostly women it would have to be) from having sex under the influence. We hope they do the right thing if they make a mistake. Why should sibling incest be any different?

Because a third human being is thrown into the mix. It's not really morally acceptable to "force suffering" of some kind on a new "genetically messed up" child. That's why it's different. That's the whole point. It's not about the couple getting pregnant. It's about the pregnancy potentially not being aborted and the child who is produced. It's about if it should be legally okay to force the abortion on the woman or the couple, or if it's not that big a deal for that child to exist when compared to all of the other types of children allowed to be brought into existence, or... etc. That was my only point.

The chance of something bad happening for genetic reasons is actually not huge even in cases of incest, and yet we let people pair up with each other without barging in to see if there might be some unfortunate pairing of genes. I don't get the hysteria over sibling incest when they are being responsible about pregnancy. If they're either sterile to start with or are serious about not getting pregnant then I'm not worried about it. In the vague chance that a pregnancy might occur anyway, they are likely to believe in abortion (I doubt if they'll be hyper-religious). Anyway, if we are so hot to prevent genetic anomalies, then we should be looking at every single coupling, not just marital partners but all boy/girl sexual relationships.

The shortest answer, is that my sister's so ugly, that when she was a kid, Mom had to hang a pork chop around her neck, just to get our dog to play with her - the poor kid had to sneak up on a glass, just to get a drink of water!

Genetically speaking, and face it, pregnancy is almost always an issue, no matter how much care is exercised, the likelihood increases in such instances, of two recessive genes combining to pass on a negative trait, than with two unrelated people. But the truth is, that many positive traits can be reinforced and passed on that way as well, as has been evidenced in horse-, dog-, and cattle-breeding programs.

In ancient times, such unions were far more common among royalty, in order to preserve a familial blood line. Bottom line - again, never completely eliminating the pregnancy factor - civilizations are simply stronger and more disease-resistant, that have more genetic diversity.

It certainly puts a whole new slant on the phrase, "Oh, Brother!"

Very interesting. And pleasantly brief as well. (I hate it when people don't present arguments on their own but instead want me to watch a 45 minute video. If you understand the argument, present it yourself.)

At risk of having your ire directed at me, you might want to read these two articles (They are not long and they present the research so much more eloquently than I could):



Interesting discussion by the way, you definitely poked the nest with a stick on that one.

Those studies divide into two aspects. 

1) the genetic part

2) the psychosocial (taboo) part

We know that it's a taboo. No news there. And while the genetic aspect is well-known and accepted, it's still a fact that the original post was based on "suppose the couple didn't produce offspring," this eliminating the genetic factor as a consideration.

My argument is, as per a previous post, that if one pair of siblings form a relationship and it becomes seen as normal by their peers, then it is natural that others will will copy them and eventually, somewhere down the line, offspring will be produced, by accident or design, then that will be seen as normal, etc.

It is human nature and therefore, I think, should be discouraged, as it is now.  As per the two articles, it is probably genetically inbuilt into most of us to not procreate with our siblings.

As an ingrained (and thus nonrational) taboo, there's little risk of it becoming commonplace or "normal."


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