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Old 12-14-2010, 04:54 PM   #16
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I just mean that sexual harassment doesn't have two consenting persons one side is not consenting therefore the harassment, this story is a little different.
Why should it be different?

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Right but my point had to do with the parent/child relationship. Ali's post seemed to infer that the imbalance of power was always leaning towards the parent, but I've known of a story where the imbalance was definitely on the child's side.
Was the parent mentally infirm? Otherwise is it not incumbent on the parent to say no?

That would be like defending a doctor against the advances of an amorous patient. Either say no or end the doctor/patient relationship and take up a sexual one.

However, the parent/child relationship (and imbalance of power) never ends.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:00 PM   #17
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But the responsibility lies with the parent simply because they are the parent. They are in the position of power (or supposed to be).
I think some parent/child relationships go through power shifts at certain ages. Some healthy, some not so healthy.


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It's not a matter of seduction but how the relationship is normally structured.
I guess my point with the example of seduction is should one party be found completely innocent just because they are the child in the relationship?
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:03 PM   #18
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However, the parent/child relationship (and imbalance of power) never ends.
As I mentioned earlier, it can and does happen (in the US) that both parent and (adult) child are charged, because the act of incest is prima facie illegal, independent of any alleged inherent power imbalances or considerations of consent.

I happen to agree with you that the greater moral responsibility always rests with the parent, and that could constitute an argument for automatic assigment of legal responsibility to the parent, as well. Nonetheless, that is not how most states actually define the crime.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:12 PM   #19
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Why should it be different?
Because for all intents and purposes it was two consenting adults. I can't think of any other instance where an adult loses their legal consent status just because they are an offspring?

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Was the parent mentally infirm? Otherwise is it not incumbent on the parent to say no?
Well in this particular case the mother's mental status was questionable, but she was never actually diagnosed. She was sleeping with her son for two years(he was in his 30s), it was always a very strange relationship.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:10 PM   #20
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There is nothing I can say about this that doesn't end with me vomiting all over my laptop.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:51 PM   #21
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Anyway, yes I believe consensual incest should be punishable by law due to the participants obviously being mentally ill for doing so. I think anyone who commits unhealthy sexual acts and relationships has serious problems forming healthy relationships. In this case, it seems both the father and the daughter have power issues and cannot have relationships with other people. And clearly fail to see other as family with whom sex is prohibited.

Those who commit consensual incest should be sentenced to a mental ward rather than prison, where they won't get the help they need.

I also think it is rather naive to file consensual incest under "its no one's business" and "its consensual adults", etc. How far do we go to say certain things are no one's business as long as its consensual until someone gets hurt?
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:01 PM   #22
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I think it's dangerous to decriminalize or even possibly to take away the social stigma, because there are abusers who will groom their victims for future "consensual" sex once the child has reached legal age, in which case would more rightly be called sexual abuse. Many abusers groom their victims now, and I could see them using an "hey, incest is really okay between consenting adults" argument as an excuse to justify it.

Just because the victim is over a legal age would not make them less of a victim in such cases.

Would it be different if two family members who didn't have a parent/child or sibling relationship (i.e., an adopted family member later meeting blood relatives) embarked on a sexual relationship? Maybe, I guess. I'm sure there exist somewhere a couple in an incestuous relationship who are the exception to every "no" explanation raised in such discussions.

I don't know how you go about separating those relationships from the ones that are an abuse and/or manipulation of power and parental (or other family member) control, though.

*attempts not to vomit*
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:09 PM   #23
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^ Exactly.

I'm not familiar with how incest law currently works or how it might be differentiated from criminal abuse but in my opinion the parent/child circumstance is abuse, full stop, whatever the age.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:52 PM   #24
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I guess my point with the example of seduction is should one party be found completely innocent just because they are the child in the relationship?
Yes. Two wrongs don't make a right. Both parties should know better, but one carries the responsibility of knowing better.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:25 PM   #25
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I think it's dangerous to decriminalize or even possibly to take away the social stigma, because there are abusers who will groom their victims for future "consensual" sex once the child has reached legal age, in which case would more rightly be called sexual abuse. Many abusers groom their victims now, and I could see them using an "hey, incest is really okay between consenting adults" argument as an excuse to justify it.

Just because the victim is over a legal age would not make them less of a victim in such cases.
I fully agree with you on all of this. Believe me, I do. Like I said earlier, my response is most definitely in line with those of you who find this puke-worthy, and your point about people grooming children for that purpose is a great one-I've no doubt you are right that that would definitely happen. Problem would come down to being able to prove that that's what's happening-it wouldn't be impossible to prove such a thing, but it can be difficult and iffy. Which, of course, would be a great reason alongside the issue of abuse for just not allowing it to happen at all, to avoid the complication altogether.

But if it could be proven that both parties can claim full consent, and they both are okay with the setup and are both over legal age, I just don't know how much one really can do to stop them, much as we'd like to. And certainly incestuous relationships have an effect, a negative one mostly, on the family in general, but that would be something the family ultimately would have to deal with.

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Old 12-14-2010, 09:44 PM   #26
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Anyway, yes I believe consensual incest should be punishable by law due to the participants obviously being mentally ill for doing so.
There is a clear disconnect in that sentence.

Even if it did start when she was a consenting adult, her father was a person in a position of authority and trust for 21 years and I find problems with that.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:08 PM   #27
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There was a book some years ago, a memoir of the author's affair with her father. I didn't read the book, but if I recall correctly, while he was her biological father, he was not in her life while growing up and they did not meet until she was an adult.

Something like that. Kathryn Harris? Harrison? I think the book was called The Kiss.

Is it different when the parent/child relationship hasn't been there? I don't know. The mere concept was off-putting enough that I had no desire to read the book, but I remember reading about the book when it came out.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:07 AM   #28
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But the responsibility lies with the parent simply because they are the parent. They are in the position of power (or supposed to be).

I agree with that 100%. I don't care how old the child is when it starts or any of that, because it all ultimately falls to the parent because of the relative position the parent is supposed to hold in the relationship.

Like the Mackenzie Phillips situation. Because of the parental responsibility and power I don't believe incest can ever be consensual. It's an extremely emotionally manipulative situation that no child, no matter what age, should ever be put in.

From a Feb 2010 article

"I'd like to reframe my word consensual," Phillips said on Tuesday night's "Joy Behar Show."

"As I was writing ['High on Arrival'], I thought, this word, it kept sitting wrong with me. But I used it for lack of a better word," she said. "Since then, I've been schooled by thousands of incest survivors all across the world that there really is no such thing as consensual incest due to the inherent power a parent has over a child.

"So, I wouldn't necessarily call it a consensual relationship at this time."

Phillips, 50, revealed on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" last September that she was 17 when she began sleeping with her famous father.

She recounted over 30 years of constant sexual contact, even though she eventually married and had a family of her own. The actress even claimed she had an abortion after her father, who died in 2001, impregnated her.

Phillips documented her controversial relationship in the book "High on Arrival."

During her recent appearance on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab," Phillips got some insight from Dr. Drew Pinsky -- incest is never consensual.

"The child is trying to make sense of this situation she feels as though the only she can survive it is by saying, 'I'm creating it, I have some power in this, I'm consenting to it.' When the fact is, the kind of relationship a parent has with a child makes consent actually impossible," he explained.


Read more: Mackenzie Phillips explains incestuous relationship with father, John Phillips, was not consensual
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:11 PM   #29
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Even if it did start when she was a consenting adult, her father was a person in a position of authority and trust for 21 years and I find problems with that.
Are you saying this should be the sole basis for criminalization? (don't know what the law is in Canada) What about siblings? There isn't always such a clear power dynamic there.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:40 PM   #30
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Switzerland is now considering a controversial new bill to decriminalize incest. A Justice Department spokesperson explains, "Incest continues to be a taboo in our society, but it's not up to criminal law to stop every morally reprehensible aspect of behavior. Rather, the law should be for punishing behavior that's particularly socially damaging."
http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet...3/swiss_incest



What has this world come to when consensual incest is being decriminalized? Obviously, those who do this have mental and social problems, and society is expected to turn a blind eye to it? Simply because its no one's business? Shouldn't people's well-being and health be everyone's business?
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