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.

Tags: incest, objections

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Didn't you kind of answer your own question here? Wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that it's a result of Darwinian Natural Selection? Instincts didn't get there by magic, right?

Ok, but why make it illegal? Just because the instincts of the majority tell them it is wrong, does that mean it should be illegal?

I love Taboo topics. Normally I'd comment but...Wheres the popcorn?

Me too, you know you can comment AND read everyone elses comments?

I am not particularly opposed to consensual incestuous relationships or even marriages. The concerns I have regarding such unions are not unique to incestuous partners, and are not severe enough that I think the practice should be universally condemned. I've never accepted the 'ick' factor to be a legitimate argument against homosexual relationships, so I would be a hypocrite to apply it here.

The concerns I do have:

In the case of inbreeding, the risk of offspring being homozygous recessive for autosomal recessive genetic disorders increases. I don't feel this issue is significant, however, as recessive genetic disorders can be inherited in non-incestuous breeding, and not all incestuous pairs are carrying recessive genetic disorders or are even heterosexual or interested in producing offspring.

Genetic diversity also isn't a huge concern. Genetic diversity is important in the overall population, and allowing incest in a society such as mine is unlikely to have any significant impact. Even given the choice, I think a very marginal minority would choose incest with immediate family or even first cousins or aunts or uncles.

The other concern is the potential for relationships to be formed out of abuse. Members of a family exercise strong influence over each other. A parent, sibling, cousin or, aunt or uncle could have had influence over an individual for their entire lives. In that scenario, it becomes difficult to tell if that individual consents to incest due to their own personal desire, or if it is a matter of coercion. While I have this concern, it is not a unique issue to incest, and unless I can actually demonstrate child abuse, at a certain point we cannot dictate the actions of other adults. For better or worse, we have to trust others to make decisions for themselves.

If that decision happens to be incest? Regardless of my personal feelings about it, that decision does not cause me or society any appreciable harm of which I am aware, so I really don't think it's any o' my damn business.

My wording was sloppy, but a distilled version:

Based on what I currently know, I cannot object to incest on any grounds that aren't prejudicially discriminatory and hypocritical.

The other concern is the potential for relationships to be formed out of abuse.

This is something I had not considered. There is typically a power imbalance between close family relations. In the same way a teacher has power over a student.

I think my biggest objection to incest is that I don't find my father attractive at all.


My greatest objection would have to be that my family's ugly, with a capital UG --

is this true of all them my friend?

All except me, of course --


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