There’s child sexual abuse, and there’s incestual relationships. People often seem to automatically link the two, but though there’s some crossover, they are not necessarily connected together at all.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with incest if they are consenting adults. Even the risk of a child with a genetic defect is only slightly more likely than if two strangers have a similarly recessive gene in common (speaking as someone who doesn’t know too much about genetics).
I’m with you, Bufftabby. I find the entire thing disturbing and sick. I keep trying to tell myself that they are consenting adults, but part of me is brandishing a pitchfork and shouting “Burn the witches!”.
Well, I seem to have a minority opinion in this thread. That being said:
YOU DON’T HAVE SEX WITH YOUR CHILD. PERIOD. I don’t care how old you are; I don’t care how old the child is; I don’t care if the kid initiates it; I don’t care if they only met in their 40s and 60s respectively; I don’t care if the father knows and the kid is ignorant. None of this matters. YOU DON’T HAVE SEX WITH YOUR CHILD. Your child is NOT a sexual being to you- not at 1 year old, not at 18 when they grow breasts and muscles, and not at 31 when you’re lonely and they need a father figure. It is your responsibility as a parent to mitigate your urges when/if you feel sexually for your child. I don’t understand why, in the absence of the child, people would be OK with this. I mean, what if the girl is 18 and the father is 38 and they “just meet”? Is she old enough to make the decision?
It seems to me that people are seeing the ages and letting that color your perceptions, with this knee-jerk “people can do whatever they want past a certain age” reaction. You guys would definitely find it more squicky were the girl younger, whether you admit it or not.
Hell, i find it squicky now. If it were up to me someone would be in jail right now. I don’t know about the law in Austrailia, and I’m not really sure about incest law in the US, but I thought it was illegal.
Well, no shit, sherlock. You’re a fucking major genius to have figured that one out.
The age of the protagonists matters, because, well, the age of the protagonists matters. The fact is that, in terms of the way that relationships form and the way that people react to one another, age and maturity are a factor.
Also, it’s not only the age that people are taking into account here; its the particular circumstances of this case, and the way in which the two people met. As the judge himself said, in the transcript i linked above:
While it may satisfy your sense of moral indignation to huff and puff about how all incest is bad, period, the fact is that intelligent people are able to evaluate each case on its merits, and to make a determination that some cases demonstrate evidence of coercion or domination whereas others do not.
You’re still well within your rights to find it icky or morally unacceptable, but when you rant and rave about how the age of the people involved and the circumstances of their meeting are irrelevant, you only look like an idiot.
It is illegal. If you’d actually read the stories that have been linked in this thread, you would have worked that out by now. Here is another link to the sentencing transcript, for those having trouble keeping up.
I’m not arguing that it’s illegal or isn’t. I’m astounded by people saying, “I’d have no problem with it, except for the effect on the child”. As if, were there no child involved, this sort of thing is fine as long as it occurs privately.
ETA: Whoops! Just realized that last point didn’t refer to me. But my other point still stands. Are you arguing that it’s “okay” for reunited parents and children to engage in incest past a certain age, that there’s no power balance going on, and that older parents have no responsibility to their adult children?
Here is some interesting comments by the judge from that link- "As counsel submitted, the present offences are atypical instances of incest. This is not a case where a father has violated his daughter and used his position of authority to take advantage of her powerlessness. Rather, this is a case of a mutually consensual union, formed by adults, who had previously had little contact.
However, the offence of incest exists not merely to protect children from sexual abuse. In my view, other relevant factors include: the need to prevent the high risk of congenital defects of children born of incestuous relationships; and to prevent children, who are brought up in a family unit founded on an incestuous relationship, suffering psychological harm and social stigmatisation. Those factors assume significance in this case."
Well, to be fair, lots of non-incentuous couples do this too. I recently saw a story on CNN about a family where all of the six children had autism, some of them severely. The parents were presented as brave and loving, but it was hard for me not to judge them as a stupid too.
It would behoove all parents carrying risky genomes to make wise reproduction choices, not just those who are closely related.
I always knew the SDMB was open-minded, which is a great thing…but the level of support for these people–or at least the lack of opinions–in this thread is surprising to me. Threads about tipping your waitress have had stronger opinions than a thread about a father fucking his daughter? The main problem–if any–is the fact that they’re having a kid?
I’m sorry. This is fucking sick. Maybe I should say it again. THIS IS FUCKING SICK. It would be one thing if they met under ignorant circumstances wherein they didn’t know they were father and daughter…and then once they knew they couldn’t stop…that would be sad and tragic. But even then I would assume/expect that they would STOP FUCKING EACH OTHER.
As it is? They meet as parent/child and have sex within two weeks? What the flying fuck? On what planet is this OK? They’re “consenting adults” so it’s all good? These people are just fine as long as they don’t procreate?
I can’t wrap my mind around it. Dad meets daughter…Dad fucks daughter…they’re in love.
I don’t see how this is anything but sad and sick and horrible and fucked up.
I’m not even going to address the issue of the kid in that fucked up family portrait. Jesus fucking Christ.
Because it’s only when they have a kid that it starts to affect other people. Until then, they’re two consenting adults living a taboo lifestyle that you, and many other people, find sick, horrible and fucked up. That’s fair enough. I admit that I find the thought of it pretty sick as well. But the point is, what harm does it do to you?
And as for the people suggesting that one, or both, of them should be put in prison. Well, I’m speechless. For how long? What would that achieve?
I disagree with this. Even if genetic birth defects were not a foregone conclusion, there’s still a psychological factor. In their minds, they will always be parent and child. The relationship began with the father thinking a sexual relationship would be wrong. He was hearing his own instincts and he shoved them away. If he has any conscience at all, he’ll be questioning that decision as he watches his family exposed to all manner of difficulties stemming from the incest, consensual or not.
I’d be shocked if there were no psychological ramifications for either party at some point down the road. Especially now that their relationship is public and they are suffering legal repercussions from it. Any existing psychological issues are going to be intensified by that kind of social stigma. It sounds to me like they could both use some therapy to deal with these pressures whether or not they remain a couple.
Lastly, the psychological well-being of their offspring is of the utmost concern, if for no other reason than the fact the children had no choice to be exposed to what is certainly a confusing and conflicting situation.
I’m not surprised by the amount of people who aren’t disturbed by this. In ten years, they may well be in the vast majority here and a slight majority in society. Then, the debate will be about consensual sex between a 21 y/o offspring & a mid-30s parent who were never separated.
Unless this is a tremendous whoosh, I have to say: WTF?
AFAIK the taboo against incest is far wider and more prevalent across the world than the taboos against ingesting controlled substances. Just because those opposed to illegal drug usage are also overwhelmingly against incest, opposition to incest certainly does NOT imply disapproval of illegal drugs.