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Old 03-23-2009, 02:29 PM   #1
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Romania Debates Legalizing Incest

Charming.

Romania Weighs Decriminalizing Consensual Incest
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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Are you familiar with some US state laws on the matter?
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:25 PM   #3
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Incest is defined as sexual intercourse between people too closely related to marry legally.
What a poor definition.

Where does the argument against incest stem from? The idea that procreation may cause birth defects?

History shows long lines of keeping it in the family as far back as the Bible.

When does it become "right", 2nd cousins or 3rd cousins? What if you're adopted into the family, is it ok to have a consentual relationship with your 1st cousin?
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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Im kinda surprised about Spain, France and Portugal already having it legalised. o__O
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:35 PM   #5
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This is one of those things where I just really don't care and don't want to know what consenting adults do in their bedrooms...
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:45 PM   #6
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This is one of those things where I just really don't care and don't want to know what consenting adults do in their bedrooms...
As long as we're talking consenting adults. But yeah, I really don't want to know either
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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Yeah, it would be helpful to have spelled out what the argument in favor of criminalization is based on (not to mention the often rather thorny--because highly culturally variable--matter of which degrees of kinship meet the definition). Increased incidence of birth defects and increased dubiousness of claims of noncoerciveness are often cited as key reasons for criminalizing incest. On the other hand, arguments like "It's gross," "It's not natural," "From time immemorial human societies everywhere have maintained incest taboos," etc. are not really good arguments from a legal standpoint.
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:16 PM   #8
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As long as we're talking consenting adults. But yeah, I really don't want to know either
If it's not consenting it's illegal. As easy as that.

The procreative aspect is of much concern, as long lines of European "blue blood" can confirm. But apart from that I can't be bothered and don't know why a person should go to prison for that.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:14 PM   #9
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Yeah, it would be helpful to have spelled out what the argument in favor of criminalization is based on (not to mention the often rather thorny--because highly culturally variable--matter of which degrees of kinship meet the definition). Increased incidence of birth defects and increased dubiousness of claims of noncoerciveness are often cited as key reasons for criminalizing incest.
If we're talking about sexual relations between immediate family members, we could also add that incest is psychologically wrong because as human beings, we are supposed to emotionally mature and detach from our family as we grow older, and have emotional ties with those outside of our family. I would think anyone who keeps their Oedipus complexes, brother-sister lust, and so on, right into adulthood has emotional and psychological problems that would need to be treated.

But if we are discussing sexual relations with first cousins, some scientists say it's not as genetically risky for them to procreate as previously thought. So, I wouldn't think first cousin relations should be criminalized.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
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But if we are discussing sexual relations with first cousins, some scientists say it's not as genetically risky for them to procreate as previously thought. So, I wouldn't think first cousin relations should be criminalized.
The thought of having sex with a family member gives me the creeps, I don't care how distanty related we would be. On the topic of genetical defects, I'd intuitively say that it would only become a significant problem after several generations of inbreeding but I really don't have anything to back that up. I just wonder if the chances of genetical defects for a child that's born from sibling parents exceed the odds for genetical defects we'd deem acceptable in other circumstances.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:15 PM   #11
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^ Wikipedia offers this, fwiw:
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The inbreeding is computed as a percentage of chances for two alleles to be identical by descent. This percentage is called "inbreeding coefficient". There are several methods to compute this percentage, the two main ways are the path method and the tabular method.

Typical inbreeding percentages are as follows:

Father/daughter - mother/son - brother/sister -> 25%
Half-brother/half-sister -> 12.5%
Uncle/niece - aunt/nephew -> 12.5%
Cousin -> 6.25%

An inbreeding calculation may be used to determine the general genetic similarity among relatives by multiplying by 2, because any progeny would have a 1 in 2 risk of actually inheriting the identical alleles from both parents. For instance, the parent/child or sibling/sibling have 50% identical genetics.
I don't really understand precisely what those numbers represent in terms of consequences, but obviously the gist of it is that you get an increased likelihood of destructive recessive traits being expressed. I don't think[?] that the statistic for cousins given there suggests a likelihood of defects all that different from, e.g., what the likelihood of Ashkenazic Jewish parents producing a child with Tay-Sachs was prior to the advent of genetic screening--although, Tay-Sachs is just one specific defect, whereas you're presumably looking at a greater array of potential problems with a cousin match. I'm sure you're right though that multiple generations of inbreeding would yield far more defects than a single incident (on the other hand, when it's legal, then at least in theory that raises the possibility of it becoming commonplace among certain groups).
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If we're talking about sexual relations between immediate family members, we could also add that incest is psychologically wrong because as human beings, we are supposed to emotionally mature and detach from our family as we grow older, and have emotional ties with those outside of our family. I would think anyone who keeps their Oedipus complexes, brother-sister lust, and so on, right into adulthood has emotional and psychological problems that would need to be treated.
While I personally agree with this, I'm not certain whether the overwhelming majority of mental health professionals internationally would, as this sounds like a specifically Freudian model of normal human development. In general, if you're going to claim in a legal context that something should be criminalized because it's a mental health hazard, then you need to have empirical support for that claim; you can't just appeal to an abstract ideal of what's "normative."
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Vincent Vega View Post
If it's not consenting it's illegal. As easy as that.
I suppose legally, but to me, if two adults consent.. I don't know. Let them do what they want?

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If we're talking about sexual relations between immediate family members, we could also add that incest is psychologically wrong because as human beings, we are supposed to emotionally mature and detach from our family as we grow older, and have emotional ties with those outside of our family.
Yes. I think through some evolutionary phenomenon we're supposed to find our immediate relatives sexually repelling. I can't remember enough to elaborate, sorry
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:23 PM   #13
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If it's not consenting it's illegal. As easy as that.
Exactly. I'm obviously not OK with something like a father raping his pre-teen daughter, but to me that's beyond incest, that's rape. If it's not rape (statutory based on age or otherwise), then as I said before I really don't care, or what to know, what two consenting adults do behind closed doors.

As far as the genetic issues, I don't know what to think about that. The only things I know about human genetics are just what we touched on in my core biology classes. I know far, far more about dog genetics and in that case, line-breeding (inbreeding) is not rare and is beneficial when done correctly. Plus, there's a lot of genetic abnormalities that occur outside of incestuous relationships. I know a family who had 4 kids, and the 4th one has cystic fibrosis. There's a 1 in 4 chance, so 1 of their 4 kids has it and after he was born, they stopped getting pregnant and adopted instead. Should they not be allowed to be in a relationship anymore because she *might* get pregnant and have another baby with a genetic condition?
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:31 PM   #14
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I think through some evolutionary phenomenon we're supposed to find our immediate relatives sexually repelling. I can't remember enough to elaborate, sorry
I think you're thinking of the 'Westermarck effect', which is an observation backed up by most (not all) relevant studies: that people who were raised together--regardless of whether or not they're 'blood' relatives--strongly *tend* not to form sexual attractions to one another.
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