Friday, September 10, 2010

Incest Survivor

The phrase “incest survivor” is one reason why I prefer using the term “consanguineous” to describe consensual sex between close relatives. Technically, “incest” means “sex between close relatives”, but mostly the term is used to describe rape by a family member, especially the rape of a minor child by a parent, or nonconsensual sex between close relatives (see this recent article, for example). To me, a better phrase is “domestic abuse” or ‘domestic sexual abuse,” the same way I’d prefer calling someone an “abduction survivor” rather than a “travel survivor.” When you’re abducted, you are being transported against your will. When you are subjected to domestic sexual abuse, incest is being forced on you. Maybe travel isn’t the best example, because even when you travel of your own free will, it can be something you felt like you have “survived!”

Will the terminology ever change? I don’t know. “Queer” used to be used as a slur, but has gained a lot of ground to being used in a positive sense.

For now, I will continue to refer to consensual familial sex as consanguineous sex to distinguish it from domestic sexual abuse.
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