Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear Prudence Prints a GSA Letter

At, I found another relevant edition of the Dear Prudence column by Emily Yoffe. This one deals with what is likely case of Genetic Sexual Attraction. The title is provocative: “My Wife is My Sister.” The letter-writer wrote…
When my wife and I met in college, the attraction was immediate, and we quickly became inseparable. We had a number of things in common, we came from the same large metropolitan area, and we both wanted to return there after school, so everything was very natural between us.

Sound familiar?
We married soon after graduation, moved back closer to our families, and had three children by the time we were 30.

Notice, no problem is described as far as the children.
We were both born to lesbians, she to a couple, and me to a single woman. She had sought out her biological father as soon as she turned 18, as the sperm bank her parents used allowed contact once the children were 18 if both parties consented. I never was interested in learning about that for myself, but she felt we were cheating our future children by not learning everything we could about my past, too. Well, our anniversary is coming up and I decided to go ahead and, as a present to my wife, see if my biological father was interested in contact as well. He was, and even though our parents had used different sperm banks, it appears so did our father, as he is the same person.

So, they are genetic half siblings. This is going to happen more and more, because they are more attracted to each other than the average other person they may encounter by chance. We know it has happened to others. Cases like this demonstrate that Genetic Sexual Attraction can’t be merely mental or emotional; there is a biological component to it.
On the one hand, I love my wife more than I can say, and logically, done is done, we already have children. I have had a vasectomy, so we won't be having any more, so perhaps there is no harm in continuing as we are. But, I can't help but think "This is my sister" every time I look at her now.

If I was talking directly to this man, I would say she is your wife and the mother your children. You did not know her as your sister. Do not let the thought of her being a genetic half-sister destroy what was apparently a happy marriage and break up a home. There is no rational reason to stop living as they have been. Don’t let prejudice obliterate happiness.
I haven't said anything to her yet, and I don't know if I should or not.

If the information falls into the wrong hands, it could mean that discriminatory law enforcement could invalidate the marriage, and, depending on where they live, they could be prosecuted if they make love again. Ridiculous, yes, but very real possibilities until we have relationship rights and full marriage equality for all adults.
Where do I go from here?

Consult a family law attorney and join the GSA discussion forum here, and the Kindred Spirits forum.

From the response by Yoffe…
I think you have to sit her down and show you what you've discovered. Then you two should likely seek out a counselor who deals with reproductive technology to help you sort through your emotions...Yes, you two will have had a shock, but when it wears off you will be the same people you were before you found out. Shocking news has the effect of making people feels as if the waves it sends out will always rock them. But I think you two should be able to file away your genetic origins and go on.

Kudos to Yoffe for supporting their love.

The laws need to be changed and people need to be educated so that consenting adults, whether brought together through GSA or not, are free to be together and free to marry if they want to marry. In this example, they married and had children and, from the sound of it, are happy together. What’s the problem? Why deny them their rights?
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1 comment:

  1. I agree with you 100%. They belong together, and they should not let this discovery ruin the wonderful relationship they have.


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