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Legal Incest? 
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Post Legal Incest?
I was surfing through YouTube and came across this news article clip:

German siblings trying to get incest legalized so that they can continue their relationship.

While I don't have a problem with 2 people choosing to live however they wish, I do disagree with Dr.Wilhelm's assertion that incest isn't socially harmful. When siblings end up producing children from their union that suffer from inbreeding depression, that definitely has an effect on society unless the entire family completely isolates themselves from the rest. How? By putting those recessive genes into the overall pool. Then again, IMO, if that German couple had any brains, they'd probably have decided not to have kids to begin with.


Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:38 pm
Post Re: Legal Incest?
i remember this from way back.

ideologically, yeah they can do what they want, produce as much as stupid genetically defected children as they want. but c'mon. to put it mildly, i wouldn't encourage it. as for the question, if it should be made legal, well, ...yeah. they're 2 consenting adults. what can you say?

this is just as fucking weird now, as it was a year or so back.


Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:56 am
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Post Re: Legal Incest?
aameen wrote:
i remember this from way back.

ideologically, yeah they can do what they want, produce as much as stupid genetically defected children as they want. but c'mon. to put it mildly, i wouldn't encourage it. as for the question, if it should be made legal, well, ...yeah. they're 2 consenting adults. what can you say?

this is just as fucking weird now, as it was a year or so back.


I dont think even the legal consenting adults argument washes here because the relationship does direct harm to everyone involved and also to society which now gets an inbred gene pool.


Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:18 am
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Post Re: Legal Incest?
It's not as if society is completely awash of in-breds at the moment, but it doesn't sound like the sort of secret you want to find out about Mom and Dad when you grow up, does it?


Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:57 am
Post Re: Legal Incest?
This is a more complicated (legal) problem than you might think at first sight. Is it really justifiable to make incest a criminal offence?

On appeal of the siblings mentioned, the German Federal Constitutional Court (think of a specialised version of the U.S. Supreme Court) has held in a 7: 1 decision, that qualifying incest as a crime does not infringe human rights (here: freedom to act/ sexual self-determination) for two reasons: First, incest is socially harmful (disruptive to families). Second, there is a higher risk that offspring may suffer from certain illnesses.

The counterarguments are:
- Incest is too rare an occurence to disrupt the social fabric.
- There are other sexual activities, which may disrupt the structure of a family, which are not criminal (adultery)
- There are no victims if the incest is commited by consenting adults. Whose rights are protected by the law?
- Incest is criminal even if contraceptives are used, i.e. if there cannot be any offspring, who may suffer from genetic diseases.
- It is not the state's job to protect the gene pool-
- Sex between consenting adults, who have a genetic disposition which may affect offspring, is not illegal.

Whether incest is legal, illegal or even criminal is pretty much a cultural issue. Incest is not criminal in nations, which have modeled their criminal law on the French code pénale, for instance. In ancient Egypt, it was even expected of rulers to marry their sister/brother (at least in the Ptolemean era - Cleopatra was married to her brother).


Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:32 am
Post Re: Legal Incest?
Those are all good points, and there's also the fact that marriage between cousins is legal in some states, so why the shouldn't marriage between other family members also be legal?


Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:05 pm
Post Re: Legal Incest?
Vexer wrote:
Those are all good points, and there's also the fact that marriage between cousins is legal in some states, so why the shouldn't marriage between other family members also be legal?

It shouldn't be legal because of the possibility that such unions will produce children suffering from inbreeding depression. There is a reason that incest has been considered taboo for much of the recorded history of humanity. Even people hundreds of years ago realized that breeding only within families wasn't good in the long run. There are of course examples that show people not only thinking that incest was OK, but in fact required, such as the line of pharoahs in ancient Egypt. Another good example was in European nobility in the 19th century, particularly among the various royal families- but that also provides a good example of the negative effects of inbreeding.


Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:32 pm
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