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Legosi (Tani Coyote)

The Case for Incest

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(Just for context in case anyone is out of the loop, I'm homosexual myself and fully in support of gay rights.)


This is going to be a long post, so forgive me. :(


You read the title right, my friends! Gay marriage and marijuana are currently the causes of social justice, but I’m going to discuss one of the more radical topics today that I frequently disagree with people on. A topic that I think won’t get picked up by the mainstream any time soon: legal incest. Not just the act itself, but with all the bells and whistles of the traditional heterosexual marriage.

My following argument is primarily addressed to those who support gay rights but oppose incest. If you’re opposed to both, I see no issues with your argument’s construction, even if I disagree with the conclusion. So without further a do, I’ll start by taking a look at the various critiques and discussing the problems inherent with them.

Argument 1. Incest is seen as disgusting.

This is the average person’s reaction. However, our tastes vary. You most likely find fat people unattractive, as well. However, there’s a fair minority who have quite the opposite reaction. Some people like the opposite sex. Some like the same sex. Some people find body hair attractive, some people find it absolutely gross. And finally, you have people who find… their own close family attractive. The idea seems very weird, even gross to us, but that’s most likely social conditioning. The idea of being attracted to no one, or the same sex, or feeling your biological sex is improper most likely comes off as odd as well. Should our own personal tastes be the basis of legality?

Argument 2. Incest is immoral.

It’s no secret that there has been a growing number of people who feel incest violates a code of ethics. We must remember, however, that there are plenty of people who say homosexuality violates a code. We say they are “wrong,” but really, how are we any more right? Using ethics as an argument should be a last resort, because they tend to become highly relative barring a few universal taboos on things such as theft and murder.

Argument 3. Incest is often used as a form of sexual abuse.

A lot of things can lead to abuse, however; is it proper to ban one behavior and not the other? What about punishing a whole group because of the actions of a few members, which we are generally taught is improper when we’re young?

Drinking tends to cause a lot of problems at the home as well. Ignoring Prohibition’s failure, would it be wise to ban alcohol, and deprive all the responsible drinkers of their recreation, just to catch a few people who abuse it and hurt others? I’d say no – try those people for assault, driving under the influence, or whatever crime results from their excessive drinking, not the substance itself.

Similarly, yes, it’s a tragic necessity that there are many cases of incestual rape. But try them for rape, not incest. A father who molests his children clearly has issues and should be tried accordingly. But what of the cousins or even brother and sister who grow older and see they have feelings for each other? Why should their own sexual preference be subject to criminalization or second-class status because of some other person’s moral depravation?

Argument 4. Incest causes birth defects.

This is an oversimplification of genetics. This is also the most common argument I’ve heard apart from the traditional “Eww,” and also has some serious ethical implications, so it will receive the most attention.

We most likely know how genetics works from our basic education. Some genes are dominant, some are recessive. Numerous recessive genes cause the defects that we tend to be fearful of with incest. Incest causes a higher incidence of such genes, and any defects they may bring along.

So there is some merit to the thought that incest does indeed raise the chance of offspring with various issues. However, that ignores the other side of the argument – any “good” genes would similarly be doubled up. We associate “keeping the blood pure” with failure because it was popularized by monarchs and aristocrats. I contend, however, that it wasn’t the incest (per se) that was the problem with these families, but their own poor genes and their excessive self-worth. The Hapsburgs had issues with madness, jaw size, and other problems, and they exacerbated it by continuing to marry within the family. Had perfectly healthy families engaged in such incest, it most likely wouldn’t have caused quite so many deformities. Let us also remember that humans as a whole are actually relatively inbred – there is most likely more genetic variation in a group of a few dozen apes than the entire human race, as Bill Bryson put it in his book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.

With regards to incest becoming worse with generations, let us also note the high improbability of incest repeating across multiple generations. In the case of royalty, it was done on purpose: they felt their genes were superior (they usually weren’t) and so only married each other (hence the genetic problems). For the average person, there is actually an instinctive aversion to incest, or more accurately, sexual relations with anyone you have known intimately from a very young age. It actually caused some awkwardness for dynasties when princes would need to marry someone who was a childhood friend. Similarly, keeping boys and girls apart as they grew up made brother-sister pairings a lot easier for other dynasties. Now one might argue that a person who feels incestuous attraction to someone they’ve known is clearly “defective” in some manner, but I would say it is merely an alternative form of sexual attraction, much like demisexuality. Just because we do not understand it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s improper, does it?


The Unfortunate Implications of Controlling Incestuous Births

Let’s move onto the unfortunate implications of using defects as the basis of legality. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that incestuous children do indeed have landmark high rates of defects, so we ban the union to try and keep people of close blood from reproducing with each other. Anyone who knows how abstinence only has worked (it hasn’t) knows this method won’t really solve the issue. If you’re a supporter of women having control of their body, but are also against incest for the purpose of defects, this next part of should be particularly concerning for you.


What if a child is conceived anyway, as will most likely happen (the many issues childbirth can cause a person have done nothing to stop the number of children born into poverty and the like, never mind the "we won't get caught" mindset of anyone who breaks the law)? Do we forcefully abort it, since the whole plan was to keep it from being born to begin with? After all, this decision was never the parents’ – it was society’s. Society said that incestuous children should not be allowed to be born, so what do we do when push comes to shove and such a child is on the way anyway? There are two responses to this, and both have issues: if we forcefully abort the child, moral considerations about the child aside, we just grossly violated a woman’s privacy. If we allow the child to be born, we just defeated the whole point of the incest ban; why have it at all?

Because of some non-existent deterrence? If we establish that incestuous children will be allowed to be carried to term, why would people avoid having one? Criminal penalties, perhaps? If we’re levying those, we’ve just established the state has a right to tell us what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms, if we haven't already done so.


The Unfortunate Implications of Controlling Defects in General

Finally, let us ignore incest for a moment and look at the broader logic behind argument four: concern for the unborn child.


Should we thus forbid people with serious inheritable disabilities or diseases from reproducing, as well? There’s no shortage of such diseases – here’s a list of some of the worst ten. It seems inconsistent to ban incestuous children on the basis of a chance defect, but allow other people with high risks of heredity (or even a lower risk of a severe hereditary disease) to possibly pass their disease on. Let us not forget the large number of STDs that can be passed to a child who is born to an STD-bearing mother; shall we ban her from having children as well? As with incest’s ban, how do we enforce these rules? Forced abortion aside, there’s also the option of forced sterilization. Can we stomach either of these options, which are the only ones available when a baby is in fact conceived against the wishes of the government?

Overall, both the passage and enforcement of an incest ban, no matter how well-intentioned, constitutes a gross invasion of privacy by the state. Even if it is widened into a “no defects” ban, how is it to be enforced? How is it any less invasive? We tried to eliminate defects once – it was the entire basis of eugenics. Such an idea quickly became corrupted to political ends as entire groups of people were deemed superior or inferior to others. I hate to fearmonger, but will we take that risk too? There may not be any witch hunts for incestuous individuals now, but the full weight of being a second-class citizen in both social and legal terms is still upon them; the only question is: why?

Let’s not even touch the issue of how defects doesn’t work as an argument when homosexual incest is what's being discussed (barring the development of male eggs and female sperm, anyway).


While from a social conservative standpoint, the position against incest is consistent, it doesn’t mesh so well with socially liberal causes like gay marriage. Most of those behind gay rights have established that consent and romance are the basis of a relationship, and I've just demonstrated the inherent problems with most arguments against incest. We’ve also established how if there are in fact any “problems” with incestuous couplings, the “solutions” to such problems have their own severe ethical concerns.


Those with leftist leanings are hardly statists, and tend to feel the government should only be involved if it serves some greater social good: what good is served by the current taboos and legal restrictions? All I see is another group of people who are misunderstood in how they perceive sexuality; how are they any different from asexuals, homosexuals, or transgenders (to name a few) in this regard?

As a society, we are generally taught to be accepting of other people. We have moved, for the most part, beyond an era where it was considered wrong to marry outside your culture, economic class, or skin color. If two people are in a stable, consensual, loving relationship and are not hurting anyone else, why should how different they are control their ability to express that affection freely? If a person can marry someone from outside their nation without fear of legal reprisal, why not decrease the distance completely, so they can freely love someone who was much closer: someone from the same womb?

What are your thoughts? smile.png

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My thoughts on incest? I support it.


Why is it any of my concerns who you sleep with? If its your mother, father, sister, brother, cousin etc etc. If the sex and relations is conseual, then I dont care. Other then that I will not judge for for being in a relations with your family member.


Incest for me... its not for me and I dont want to have relations with my own family. But if you do that and its consensual, then I support you 100%. Love is love. Incest shaming is wrong on all levels.

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Gotta say that I agree with Sonikku-chan on this one. I'm completely fine with people involved in incest, so long as it's a feeling coming from both sides, not just one person, but that applies to love and relationships in general, not just incest.


That being said, even though I'm okay with it, it doesn't mean I'd perform it myself, but I shouldn't have to in order to accept it. Such as me not being gay, but I wouldn't go against you for it just because you are, that simply isn't fair to you and what I'm basically doing there is just telling you that you're wrong on something that you didn't have particular control over and are natural feelings.


I feel like people make a way bigger deal about it than they should, just because it isn't the norm and because they find it disgusting. Odds are, the person involved in the incest in no way forced it upon the person not involved in incest, yet the person not involved in incest has to push on the person involved in incest that they're doing something they believe is terribly wrong. (Could have been worded better, but I hope you got what I was going for.)

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This is my two cents and Im going to be blunt about it. Cousins having kids i see nothing wrong with because each will have ond different side o DNA than the other. But where I completely draw a big line is parent-child or sibling relationship. It is no way ok espcially in the case of parent child.

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Call me whatever you want for thinking this, but that's the one area I genuinely think is straight up wrong. It's not a natural thing, and in cases where it can be claimed to be so, it causes many problems. We aren't genetically programmed to want to have sexual contact with relatives, because it just isn't good for variety in the gene pool.


Sorry, I'm putting everything in a very scientific way, not looking at the personal side I guess.


Well, in my own opinion, I don't think a family can work through incest. You can blame the fact that it's taboo, but that isn't the only problem. It has been proven that birth defects DO happen, and that certain medical problems can arise from it. Just look at most royal families in Europe back in the 1900s, and the many health issues these people suffered from, like, for example, Tsarevich Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia. Again, I'm putting around the issues, but it's because I REALLY don't want to anger or incite any hatred towards those that....engage in this sort of thing.


It's wrong. (relative, I guess.)

Did you know it's possible to have sex without having children

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Ok I'm sorry, I know this will be a controversial decision and clearly the OP put a lot of thought into this topic......


But I'm going to lock it. We in the past had another topic of this controversial nature and it was actually what lead to all sex topics being banned on the forum. While they are two different issues, I believe that this is treading the line a little too closely to what we decided would be allowed after that point. I'm sorry to have to stifle debate when it's respectful and done constructively, but unfortunately I just don't think we can allow it here. 



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