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RZ71's avatar

What would your thoughts and opinions on incest be?

Asked by RZ71 (61points) August 19th, 2016

I would like to hear it all; opinions, thoughts, stories, personal experience, etc.
The reason curiosity has sparked in this particular topic for me is because it came up in a forum discussion. Now I would like to hear some more opinions or thoughts on it.

Is there anyone that thinks “incest” is a simple term used to describe the people who have sexual relations outside of what one was raised around or taught so wrongly about?
That maybe incest is really not bad, it’s just an illusion used to deceive people of sexual relations hence the stories about the DNA faults if you supposedly perform incest, blah blah blah.
Religious perspectives are welcome as well. As I said, I want all of it.
Ready, set, GO!

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35 Answers

cookieman's avatar

My first though would be, “ick”.
My second thought would be, “Yuck”.

And my opinion is, I’m glad I’m an only child.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You need to define terms. There is a huge variety of what is considered incest – see the following link

What is incest in Texas, for example, may be perfectly OK in Wisconsin.

That said, the idea of shtupping a family member has no appeal to me.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

My thoughts on it are OMG disgusting, perverted, and just plain wrong, next.

zenvelo's avatar

There are two aspects, both of which raise concerns.

Parent/child, no matter the age of the child, is flat out wrong because it involves coercion, unequal power dynamics, and abuse. I maintain that no child is ever in a position to consent to such a situation.

Sibling is also wrong because of an unequal power dynamic in the relationship based on age, and also just too close genetically. Twins is even worse as too close.

Cousin incest has too many variables for me to make a blanket statement.

By the way, ”...hence the stories about the DNA faults if you supposedly perform incest,” is not some story, but is a demonstrated fact.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@zenvelo said it all. It is taboo for a biological reason, as well.

However, apparently it wasn’t SO taboo back in the olden days since God populated the earth via incest. Twice. (If you believe that stuff!)

Zaku's avatar

I think there is a biological reason not to. And there are social reasons. I know of cases where it was symptomatic of horrible horrible multi-generational abuse, in a family that put on a mostly positive outward face. Parents enabling/denying children having unwilling & very young relations ongoingly, almost certainly sparked by parental abuse, parents ran a day care, covered it all up with moralistic superiority arguments, putdowns, calling victims crazy, and the Tough Love organization. The more responsible members and in-laws afraid to expose the truth – awful awful shyte.

I think in addition to biological concerns, there are more subtle but very real power issues to consider, as well as all sorts of possible social side-effects, stigmas, and other messy bits.

I think it’s good that generally there is also a natural yuck reaction, mostly.

Then on the other hand, it used to be sanctioned for royalty. I think at some level further removed than first-cousins, it might start to be possibly ok for there to be exceptions. I don’t know where that line is, though. I have a hard enough time even understanding what the names for family members beyond first cousins mean.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Dutchess_III – the other point about incest is that if you do it (and a pregnancy results), it is not 100% sure that the child will be deformed or retarded.

Incest adds a couple percentage points of risk – something like 4% – over the chances of a having a healthy baby. I read the numbers a couple of years ago – incest brings a 5% risk, while a non-family partner is 1%, or something like that. So while incest is still risky, it isn’t necessarily horrible.

If the partners do not intend to have children or use significant birth control (or are too old), I’m not sure why the laws would prevent it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think it’s referring to ongoing generations of incest @elbanditoroso. If the child conceived by incest then gets impregnate by her father / grandfather, stuff starts showing up. And then if THAT child has sex with his mother, and they have a baby, and so on..well, genetic predisposition toward illness start getting stronger and stronger. That can wipe out a whole isolated species, eventually.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I read somewhere that that is why the Hapsberg nose was so common in one family. It just kept getting bigger and bigger! Trying to find that source now.

ragingloli's avatar

As long as both parties are consenting adults, I have nothing against it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Here is a good article on generational inbreeding.

anniereborn's avatar

In my opinion it is wrong no matter what age it happens if it is of different generations. Especially parent and child. For reasons that @zenvelo stated.
Other than that, It doesn’t bother me much if both are consenting adults and not both members of the immediate family.

Coloma's avatar

Yep, @zenvelo nailed it. Along with the psychological breach of trust and protection in the parent.child relationship.
The biological implications are extremely high risk. Many diseases like Hemophilia are incest related.

The same holds true for inbreeding animals. Many genetic defects can result. With all the gazillions of people in the world involving yourself in an incestuous relationship means one thing, and one thing only, you-are-a-sick-fuck.

Pandora's avatar

Just gross, perverted and or really freaken lazy. Billions of people in the world with different genetic make up and a person will go for someone in the family.

Most people at some point have had that one cousin that is so hot looking that you wish you weren’t related and yet they manage to move on and find someone else. But I’ve yet to meet anyone who thought that way about family. Well except for Trump, but I haven’t met him.

It has nothing to do with my religion either. You will read plenty of stories in the bible where men had to marry their brothers wives if they passed away. I thought that was gross in itself. Even though they were not related in blood, I felt you would see your in-law as a brother or a sister. Back then it was acceptable because it was more about providing for the widow and your brothers family. To me that still feels like incest.
My parents were cousins and although I lucked out, my daughter seems to have a bunch of inherited ailments that run in my family line. I cannot help but wonder if it wasn’t for my DNA, if she may have come out as healthy as her cousins on my husbands side and my folks side. My sister also has a lot of illness, along with my brothers son and my 2 nieces. I know it would mean that I would not be born, and I know it means she would not be born, but my point is that it made her DNA weak. The grand children of my father and my mother may not have suffered the same consequences if they had married other people. My son and my nephew are the only ones who did not have any inherited ailments or conditions.

kritiper's avatar

My cousin used to say “Incest is best!” but I never pressed her for details.

imrainmaker's avatar

@Pandora – so you’re saying all those issues are because of your parents being cousins? I’m totally against it but not sure if every single issue your family members have been caused because of it.

flutherother's avatar

It is wrong, very wrong.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It reinforces the trait @imrainmaker. It’s a double whammy on the dna structure, passed on by both parents.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Not my thing.

Also, who the hell am I to judge?

cookieman's avatar

Plus, have you seen the people in my family? ::SHUDDER::

PriceisRightx26's avatar

I’m a little uncomfortable by how often this question comes up on this site.

Darth_Algar's avatar

My thoughts – as long as both parties are informed, consenting adults….whatever. Life’s too short to concern myself much with what other folks do in their private lives.

As for genetics – one generation isn’t really much of a thing. It’s when there’s inbreeding over multiple generations that traits really start to pile up.


What you’re thinking of is the “Habsberg jaw”, not nose. It’s a protruding jaw that may, but doesn’t necessarily, cause problems with teeth alignment, impede speech or cause difficulties in chewing. It’s known as the “Habsburg jaw” because it was especially prominent within that family due to excessive inbreeding.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Right…I got that when I found the article @Darth_Algar .

jca's avatar

In some cases of certain diseases, if both parents are genetic carriers, there is a 25 percent chance the child will be afflicted.

I used to work with a Jordanian man who told me that “before I married my wife, she was my cousin.” Apparently it’s very common in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.

My statistic from above was from this article about inbreeding in Saudi Arabian countries:

Dutchess_III's avatar

And the 25% doubles again if it is incest that creates the next generation. Infertility issues can pop up.

Sneki95's avatar

No. Not even if you give me all the wealth in this world.

One look at Tutankhamen, Charles II of Spain, and almost every royal family out there is enough to make one think that incest is not a good idea at all.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Naked mole rats have been living the incestuous lifestyle for as long as they first emerged as a species and yet they’re still as healthy as they can be and live a life that’s longer than most other rodents close to their family.

As for human, I have no personal qualm so long as it’s not forced upon someone and both parties have fully given their consent.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You have to wonder, though, what kinds of people would actually give consent to such a thing? It is SO forbidden in our society, that there has to be some sort of underlying, sociopathic dysfunction there. Sexual abuse, desensitization, from an early age would be my guess.

@Unofficial_Member Do you have something to back up the claim about the naked mole rats?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yuck @Unofficial_Member! Apparently it does work for them. I’m guessing that like with all evolution, they somehow escaped the bullet, and now the the gene pool is so exclusive that it has literally no negative genes that can give a double whammy to the offspring.
Nature is full of contradictions.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Haha @Dutchess_III. I guess so. But who knows that by studying this species human will be able to counter the effect of incestuous reproduction in the future, doesn’t mean that the practice for human will be widely acceptable by the society, it will only mean we don’t have to worry about breeding our pets/livestock anymore as inbreeding will be just as healthy.

Darth_Algar's avatar

There’s actually less genetic diversity among humans than there is for most other species on the planet (including our primate relatives).

Dutchess_III's avatar

I can see it being a benefit to “pure breed” breeds for sure, @Unofficial_Member.

I read something interesting yesterday. There was a pack of wolves in Russia (or some place) that were so isolated they were beginning to suffer from inbreeding. Fertility issues were cropping up. That pack was headed for extinction.
They introduced one new, outside member and they all got healed.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Pandora First cousins couple to make families or even legally marry all the time in Scandinavia and probably elsewhere. It’s not a big deal.

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