Thursday, July 28, 2011

Should She Tell Her Fiance About Her Half-Brother?

Dan Savage got a letter about what was likely Genetic Sexual Attraction and resulting consanguinamory.

When I was 14, my parents informed me that I had a half brother. He was my father's son by another woman. My parents were already married when my brother was born, but I hadn't come along yet…My half brother came to live with us after his mother died. He was 16.

We all know where this is going, right?

My half brother got me pregnant. He didn't rape me; I wanted to have sex with him. Everyone in the family found out…and it took me years to get over it and stop blaming myself.

She should never have “blamed herself.” And did she even have the information and access she should have had to contraception? Sexual experimentation between siblings and stepsiblings close in age is not unusual. Throw in the reunion situation, and it should have been expected.

Now I'm 26 and engaged. What do I tell my fiancé? My parents wound up divorcing — my mother called the police on my half brother…

Chances are, then, that her fiancé will find out. It is better he hears it from her, and that she presents him with facts, including the facts behind GSA and consanguineous sex in general. If he can’t take the news, even after being informed about the realities (as opposed to the myths), then it is better to know that before getting married rather than after.

If she is a good catch, and she is truly done with the consanguinamory, then her fiancé would be a fool to let this break them up.

I get panic attacks when I think about having to tell my fiancé about any of this, Dan, because I don't want him to see me as sick.

That is sad. She should not be so tortured. This is part of the problem with the bigotry and prejudice allowed to fester. She did not give herself this brother. She did hide his existence from herself for all of those years. She did not move him in to the same home.

Savage went to Debra Lieberman, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Miami, to get information about GSA and the Westermarck Effect into his response.

"TSA and her half brother were not raised throughout childhood together and neither observed his or her mother caring for the other as an infant," explains Lieberman. "These are the two cues that have been shown to lead to the categorization of another as a sibling. When these cues are present, strong sexual aversions tend to develop. Without these cues, no natural sexual aversion will develop."

It is important to note that sexual aversion may not develop between siblings raised together. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. It is common for teenagers to engage in sex and experimentation. It is not uncommon for teens who are siblings to share such things.
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