"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Short Discussion About Incest

“The only unnatural sex act is that which you cannot perform.”
Alfred Kinsey

There is a whole genre of erotic or pornographic literature which deals with the subject of incest, indicating that there are those out there who either participate in incestuous affairs or who fantasize about it. Now, a fantasy is not reality and most people know the difference and how to keep the two apart. In the book Masters and Johnson on Sex and Human Loving (1982), the authors say this about fantasies, at page 274: “Our research also indicates that for many people, transforming fantasy to fact is unsatisfactory, resulting at times in a complete loss of the erotic value of the fantasy.” At page 275 they go on to quote Karen Shanor in a book entitled The Fantasy Files: “Only if the acting-out experience is amazingly good does the [fantasy] remain prominent. . . . Most of the time reality does not live up to the excitement of the fantasy. . . .”

Richard A. Posner, in his book Sex and Reason (1992), at page 200, says this: “Sibling incest would be rare even if not prohibited, because persons brought up together from early childhood rarely find each other sexually attractive. . . . But some siblings are not brought up together, and others do not possess the avoidance instinct.” Any children who are “brought up together from early childhood rarely find each other sexually attractive.” This includes adoptive children; children not genetically related to each other or their parents.

In footnote 36 of the same page, Posner goes on to say--noting the work of Pierre L. van der Berghe, “Human Inbreeding Avoidance: Culture in Nature,” 6 Behavioral and Brain Sciences 91, 96-98 (1983)--that in early childhood children are “imprinted” in such a way that the thought of having sex with someone they were brought up with will be repulsive to them, making sibling incest rare.

However, in a father-daughter incestuous relationship, this type of imprinting only affects the daughter. But this then assumes, as is so often the case, that the relationship begins when the child is a minor, usually quite young, which, of course would be a violation of her rights. And, as Posner says in his footnote, many teenagers who run away from home are running from their father’s incestuous behavior.

As to early separation, where siblings, or children and their parents are separated when the child is at an early age, quite often there is no incest avoidance if they are reunited as adults. In fact, there can be the opposite effect, leading to consensual incestuous affairs. (The Wikipedia site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_sexual_attration
discusses this phenomenon more fully.)

The above is an excerpt from Section V of my "52 Perverse Questions: What Would You Do If You Had To?"

As part of my curious mind's questing for truth (objective reality)I wondered why, in our modern society, adult consensual incest is prohibited? Obviously, there is the problem of reinforcement of bad recessive genes. But, as Mr. Posner pointed out in his book, that can happen to any couple, related or not, and we don't require a genetic srceening test before we get married. But as Mr. Posner also pointed out, most people understand that risk and with the contraceptives available today, most consensual incestuous couples would wish to and could avoid pregnancies. (Of course, not all children born from incestuous sex are genetically damaged.)

In a world that allowed full adult rights (a mythical world in which the principle of "inalienable rights" exists) there would be no secular reason to stop adults from having sex even if they were closely related. I don't have any incestuous thoughts about my sister. And, to the best of my belief, neither does she about me. We were raised together in a close and loving family and were "incubated" against that behavior. But, incest, like any other consensaul adult behavior that has been outlawed--illegal drug use, gambling, prostitution--still goes on. (Not to be confused with non-consensual behavior such as murder, rape, child molesting, robbery, etc., all of which violate the rights of non-consenting others and rightfully should be prosecuted and punished.)

My point is simply this: If it involves adults only who wish to be in incestuous relationships, that is their business, not the government's. If their friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. know about it and wish to shun them, that's their right. If the incestuous couple are stupid or not careful and produce children, then they are fully responsible for the care of those children, like any couple should be, whether the children are genetically healthy or not.

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