Hi All,

    I allow my mind to wander sometimes (particularly on the bus) and somehow wound up thinking about incest. I get that it's wrong, The thought of being sexual with my brother is definitely not appealing, but I don't get why.

What are some objections to incest?

The two I can think of is genetic diversity is compromised in cases of reproduction from incest, and psychologically it may not be healthy.

The genetics argument is essentially invalid due to the availability of contraception, abortions, and the fact that there are over 7 billion people on the planet.

The psychology argument would be valid if shown to be true, although even then it should be treated as a psychological problem, not a criminal one.

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I can't wait to get my sister's knickers off. They really are just to tight for me.

I have no problem with incest, it's the brother on brother part that grosses me out.  ;)

Incest is a universal taboo, rooted in natural behavior even in animals. We evolved in bands or tribes no larger than 50 people or so, where incest would be a lot more damaging to the gene pool. So in that sense, the danger and even the taboo itself are vestigial and mostly irrelevant today. (But not totally irrelevant, considering some risks to offspring that still exist.)

I don't know enough about the psychological risks, but they obviously vary, too.

The ick factor and the taboo are enough to discourage the vast majority of people. But if and when incest becomes a popular sport (or nuvo religious practice), we might have to raise the priority on determining when others should be acting more safely and humanely for their offspring's sake.

RE: "Incest is a universal taboo, rooted in natural behavior even in animals." - in some societies, Pablo, that's certainly true, but the early Polynesians were unaware that sex caused pregnancy - they believed that "god" placed all babies in the wombs of their mothers. As a consequence, no man believed himself to be the genetic father of any child, and had sex with any female who would have him, daughter or not.

Horses too, will interbreed with any mare in heat, and familial relations don't enter into it. In fact, horse breeders, of whom I have been one, often breed a mare back to an ancestor with particular characteristics the breeder is trying to develop, in the hope that the chances of the resulting foal will be improved for those characteristics.

I wouldn't say the prohibition was universal.

I wouldn't say the prohibition was universal.

Ok, not absolutely. (I was going to say, especially for domesticated & bred animals, but now I have to think more about that. Just because breeders force a varying level of inbreeding shouldn't wipe out the anti-incest instinct.)

I once read a book called "Pandora's seed: Why the hunter gatherer holds the key to our survival"


In that book the author who is a Neuroscientist and an anthropologist talks about how at one point in our human history, the population almost came down to about 2000 humans in the entire earth and we were facing extinction. As you can see this would mean that there was a lot incest that had to take place in order for the human population to grow even to sustainable proportion let alone the 7 billion number we have now. So the question comes down to is what is the purpose of incest taking place? Is it for pleasure? Is for some emotional attachment? Is it for the survival of our species?

As you can see, we humans need all different types of exposure in life. Sometimes we need to get away from certain genes and traits that reduces the fitness of our species such diseases and illnesses. A family with diabetes and heart problems, can keep on passing it down to off springs and it will definitely end up eventually killing off the heritage and lineage from everyone in the family suffering or dying from it

Plus why stick to 1 flavor when there are tons of other flavors in this world

Other than Arabs, that's one of the big problems Jews have, throughout their cultural history, they have been encouraged to marry within their heritage and consequently, a number of recessive genes have come forward and caused health issues for them.

There are two (or three) kinds of incest. 

1) sex between parent and child (or maybe aunt/uncle and child)

2) sex between siblings

3) (closely related to family incest) sex between someone a child or adult should be able to trust implicitly but who isn't a parent: teacher, counselor, therapist, etc.

1) is wrong because it's an abuse of trust and the taking advantage of a vulnerable person by someone having power or authority over them. Of course, when blood relatives are involved, there's the genetic argument that incestuous relationships are much more likely to breed in genetic aberrations or flaws.

2) is wrong only for the genetic reasons, but otherwise it may or may not lack the power component depending upon the ages and relative physical power of the parent/child form. Given that the two are relatively equal, not only is it arguably harmless, but I'm sure it goes on more than we think as siblings explore their sexuality with someone relatively safe and trustworthy. It's all about trust. If they are mentally healthy, they are likely to break it off and go on their independent sexual ways. However, if they exist in a climate of sexual repression, it can result in psychological harm to one or both.,

3) is either incest-like or can be regarded as a form of incest but without the genetic component.

As for #2, too much moonshine could be factor there, too. (Y'all kids be careful now, er else someone could get an eye poked out.)


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