An Historical Downpour is a new featurette of Rain. It won’t be common, but once in a while I will feature something I wrote on a different blog under a penname. I hope you enjoy.
Originally posted as “Is recreational incest wrong?” at 10:06AM on February 5, 2004.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not condoning or condemning the idea of recreational incest. What goes on between consenting, rational individuals is their business, as far as I’m concerned. If nobody is getting hurt, how can it be a problem?
Today on an online forum, a heated and involved debate erupted on the subject of incest. I’m not sure how it started, but it certainly got everyone involved very rapidly. It seems everyone is an expert on incest. Pretty funny, considering how many people claim to be disgusted by the very idea. Sort of like being an expert in vomit, if you ask me.
Anyhow, debate rages on. Some claim that incest is biologically wrong, and that humans are genetically coded to avoid having sexual relationships with close relatives. Those opposed to the entire concept of incest assert that the offspring of such an incestuous coupling would reveal genetic deficiencies. While I’m not an expert in these things, I personally believe that this is only partially true.
I believe that repeated reproduction in the confines of a limited genetic pool would certainly lead to eventual deficiencies being revealed. I also believe that the converse is true. Some incredible genetic advantages would also be revealed. It’s like breeding race horses. They’re fast, but they’re also fragile. Nature has ways of dealing with non viable offspring. The mule is a prime example.
The advent of effective, convenient and available birth control has more or less rendered this entire biological line of argument against incest irrelevant. We’re discussing recreational incest, not incestuous reproduction.
The question remains whether or not humans are genetically programmed to avoid reproduction (the motivating force behind sex) with close relatives. I lack the resources to conduct a study to explore the situation, and I haven’t been able to find any other studies done on the matter. The rest of the animal kingdom certainly isn’t programmed this way. Animals will have intercourse with siblings, parents and children as readily as any other member of their species.
I wonder, how many boys fantasized about their sisters when they were teens?
If two consenting adult siblings choose to have safe sex, is that wrong? Nobody is getting hurt. There is no danger of genetically deficient offspring from the coupling (especially if the siblings are homosexual) and both parties are enjoying themselves. It can even be argued that sexual experimentation with a caring, supportive sibling is safer and more natural than sexual experimentation with others.
Removing any genetic dangers, perceived or real, eliminates any biological argument against recreational incest. All that’s left are moral arguments, which no longer have, and may never have had, any basis. Trying to justify a moral position with a flawed biological argument is absurd, yet sex between siblings remains taboo.
If it’s wrong, why is it wrong?