Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Devil's Advocate

So, a lot of talk of how weird incest has arisen because of the premises set forth in Hundred Years of Solitude, and Isabel even did a blog post on it last week, however, I don't quite understand why it's so bad other than the fact that it's taboo. Typically people point to the higher risk for birth defects argument, however, that only becomes a really prominent problem if the incest has been going on for generations. Even so, if other people that have known genetic illnesses are allowed to breed, why shouldn't they be allowed to if love is truly there? So I pose the question to y'all, other than the fact that it's "weird," why is it so bad?

8 comments:

Isabel Celata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isabel Celata said...

Alex, we've had this debate before! My argument, besides the whole genetic illnesses aspect, was that incest disrupts the sanctity of a family. A family unit is a special thing, and it involves a special relationship. Family should be a place away from sexual advances. Your family is supposed to be the group of people who always has your back, and is there for you through thick and thin. That will change if sex is introduced into the familial equation.

This argument is especially valid if one of the participants in incest is not old enough to give consent. Children who are victims of incest can grow up to have unhealthy attitudes about sex and may never be able to have a family-type bond with anyone ever again.

alex Monier said...

Why does sex change that dynamic whatsoever? Your family can still have your back even if sex is involved in the equation. Sex is simply a bodily function and if the strong bond emotionally already exists, then sex could serve to strengthen said bond. Also, I did not say anything about abolishing age limits on sexual abuse, that is bad, that is rape, rape is bad. My argument is if two relatives grow up and determine that they truly love each other and want to marry, then why shouldn't they?

Joe D said...

Incest is bad because of the high-risk of failure. Assuming a perfect relationship, incest would be A OK, in the same way that communism would work perfectly in an ideal society. But, as history has shown, communist regimes have never worked out. Even "communist" China has been showing more and more signs of capitalist tendencies. Just as most communist regimes go bad over time, so many relationships (*non* incestuous ones) turn sour, seeing that nearly 50% of first marriages in the United States end in divorce.
If 50% of "normal" (i.e. - non-incestuous) relationships deteriorate so severely, then consider the impact on a family with an incestuous relationship if said relationship were to fall apart. Sides would be taken, gatherings would be awkward, and the entire "family unit," to quote Isabel, would inevitably fall apart. This emotional separation would have far worse results than a regular divorce. In a regular divorce with no children involved, each former spouse can apply an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality toward the other; however, the formerly incestuous couple would be forced to interact after their split, which could very potentially increase tension between the two people involved (and, by extension, the rest of their family).

Joe D said...

Also, Alex: in your original post you said that incest only shows prominent effects if it has been going on for generations. False. If a brother and a sister have a child, their DNA is so similar that, when recombination occurs, the offspring does not have the typical genetic diversity seen in "regular" children. This lack of diversity has been empirically proven to be a direct cause of hemophilia and cystic fibrosis, among others. Further, the lack of diversity leads to a weak immune system because the limited number of types of genes can only protect against a limited number of types of genes.

To read more, see http://genetics.thetech.org/ask-a-geneticist/genetics-inbreeding

Sri Korrapati said...

So I do understand your points Joey and Isabel, but if you look at it from the perspective of a family member where incest has occurred, things are different. My family has had one case of incest of which I am aware of. My uncle is also my aunt's uncle. Their children were not born with defects. These two members of my family are a part of the family, and they have not been outcast or whatever because that was common in their age. Nowadays it wouldn't happen but it was common back then. My family is okay with it, and we love them. They love each other. Nothing is wrong even though technically it's now illegal. It isn't bad, and we don't see their love as something wrong. Also keep in mind that the marriages back then were arranged. It was not "rape" or pervertedness.

Isabel Celata said...

Joey, I agree with you completely!

Sri, I am glad that there was no problem with the example in your family. However, though your example shows that it is possible to achieve an ideal outcome from an incestuous relationship, your example does not show the probable result. It is true that incest can occur and the offspring of the incestuous relationship can be perfectly fine. However, there is a very high chance of deformities, due to the reasons Joey explained. The risk is so high that it is irresponsible for family members to attempt to procreate. Also as Joey stated, with such a high rate of divorce, it is very likely that the relatives will end up separated, making family reunions even more awkward that usual and causing a family unit to disintegrate. Again, I am glad that this wasn't the case in your family, but the likelihood of serious problems resulting from incestuous relationships makes it clear that they should not occur.

Joe D said...

Correction: the last word in my original post should say "diseases."

Sri, I never said incest was considered rape (entirely unrelated). Sorry for the ambiguity/misunderstanding. I agree with Isabel's comment.

(this obviously doesn't count towards my three posts)