Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Looking Down Their Noses at Genetic Sexual Attraction

There’s an adoption search and reunion advice blog that, unfortunately, doesn’t take Genetic Sexual Attraction seriously.

Hi, I’m an adoptive mother who recently stumbled on your blog. Our 25-year-old is currently searching for her birthparents with our blessing. Or should I say “my” blessing because her father has been lukewarm about it and then last weekend all hell broke loose when he announced that he had been doing research about “genetic sexual attraction”. Our daughter took it in stride and told him it was the farthest thing from her mind but I guess he read the Wikipedia entry on GSA where they recount a four-year incestuous relationship between Kathryn Harrison and her biological father. Needless to say, this is causing some friction because my husband is adamant this is something we should be worried about.

Unless their daughter is in a closed relationship and has children in that relationship, they shouldn’t be worried about GSA. They should only be concerned the same way they would be about any relationship their daughter would have; that her lover or lovers treat her right. Even then, her partners, and her friends, are her choice.

How serious do you think GSA is?

GSA is real and causes some real problems for people in closed relationships, or who otherwise find the feelings to be a problem. Then there’s the bigotry and unjust laws that applied to consanguineous sex.

Do you have any suggestions for peeling my husband off the ceiling?

If she had asked me, I would have told her to discuss with her husband that their daughter is an adult and has to make her own decisions about her relationships, and to get over the fact that their daughter is also a sexual being and is likely going to have sex (or is having sex.) That is probably his real issue, along with perhaps what many adoptive parents have an issue with; fearing their child will no longer honor them as parents. If they were good parents, and their daughter is a good person, this will not be a problem. If their daughter is rotten, they would be better off with less contact anyway.

From the response given by Latis…

First of all, I can understand why you’re finding it disturbing to read about genetic sexual attraction—all inappropriate sexual activity or relationships are disturbing to read about!

Shall we determine whether or not your sex life is inappropriate, Latis?

From the response given by Artemis…

I think we can alleviate some of your husband’s fears about genetic sexual attraction. While it has happened, it is rare, and not really something for anyone going into reunion to worry about.

GSA is not rare. Conservative estimates have one person experiencing GSA in 25% of reunions. Of course, it takes at least two to tango. But it happens often enough that it should not be something that is minimized or ignored by a reunion blog.

It is form of incest, no more common in normal reunions than incest is in normal families that have remained together.

Again, consanguineous sexual activity is not uncommon.

It is unfortunate a few sensational and shocking cases have garnered so much publicity, and that some people misinterpret fleeting thoughts and impulses as something dangerous and twisted.

GSA isn’t twisted, but it isn’t just fleeting thoughts or impulses, either. The response then goes on to disrespect Barbara Gonyo.

I have been involved for many years in support groups around reunion, and have never personally met anyone for whom this was a real problem.

You haven’t met someone who told you. And why would they? You don’t sound very helpful about this issue. For help, people can go to places like this blog or the GSA forum.

GSA is real and can be a problem in the following situations:

1. One person in a reunion is experiencing it, and another isn’t. Isn’t it always problematic when two people are interacting and one is intensely attracted to the other, but the other isn’t attracted in kind?

2. The feelings are mutual, but reunited do not want to act on it. There are many reasons they may not want to act on their mutual attraction. Maybe they simply don’t want to “go there,” or go there anymore. Maybe they are feeling the external pressures not to go there. Maybe at least one of them is in a closed relationship.

3. They’re not going there, but others, such as a spouse, are sill hurt, upset, or worried or not understanding.

Bullying and discriminatory laws only make the situation worse. Adults who want to be together should have that right. Those who want help to deal with their feelings should be able to ask for it and get it, not dismissals and slurs.
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