Monday, June 23, 2014

NOT a Good Reason to Deny Love #1

“It is disgusting.” Also known as the “ick” or “eww” factor, this explains why the person using the argument would not want to enter into the type of relationship or marriage or have the kind sex they want banned, but their own personal disgust is not a justification for preventing other people from doing something those other people want to do. Don’t want to have an (adult) intergenerational or interracial or same-gender or polyamorous or consanguineous marriage? Don’t have one. Some people are disgusted by the idea of heterosexual sex, or their parents having sex, but obviously this is not a justification to ban those things. Some people find prejudice and bigotry, a lack of marriage equality, disgusting. Meanwhile, the people in these relationships aren’t digusted. How they love each other should be be up to them.

There is no good reason to deny an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion, the right to share love, sex, residence, and marriage (or any of those without the others) with any and all consenting adults without prosecution, bullying, or discrimination.

Feel free to share, copy and paste, and otherwise distribute. This has been adapted from this page at Full Marriage Equality:

Go to NOT a Good Reason to Deny Love #2
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  1. The Westermarck effect probably has a lot to do with the 'ew' factor.

  2. This is just my opinion, but I think The Westermarck effect is just another social construct created by mainstream society to deny the possibilities that may exist between individuals if there was no such thing as stigma..

    1. Actually, there's quite a bit of empirical proof that the Westermarck Effect is real. It's just not understood how it actually works, how it can be broken, and what percentage of the population naturally lack it. For sure, though, there are people who are desperate to be in a consanguinamorous relationship, but who refrain because of shame. There are also people who tried a consanguinamorous relationship, and failed because shame corrupted it.

      I don't see why advocates would necessarily even want to go the full Freudian route. If the Westermarck Effect is valid, then that means legalizing and normalizing consanguinamory won't have much meaningful effect on the prevalence of long-term consanguinamorous relationships. It would be related to the number of reunited relatives, and the number of people who naturally lack the Effect, both of which wouldn't be affected by social or political forces. When people understand that allowing same-sex marriage won't turn their kids gay, because their kids either will or won't have same-sex attractions regardless, it's easier for them to accept it. Same-sex marriages and relationships become a negligible issue because they have no meaningful effect on genuine heterosexual relationships. The same could then be said for consanguinamory.

      That said, I still think the taboo specifically is heavily socially constructed, just like the taboo against homosexuality. However, in the same way that the general preference for heterosexuality makes homosexuality relatively rare, the Westermarck Effect makes consanguinamory relatively rare. A taboo is easier to internalize when the actuality of its violation is foreign - no-one sees anyone doing it, so the idea of doing it is that much more bizarre, and thus easier to maintain feelings of disgust against. The taboo just makes it even more rare to see, by pushing it underground. This is why the growing visibility of healthy homosexuals and bisexuals over the past few decades has lead to such a seismic shift in opinions about same-sex marriage. When a taboo is supported by the invisibility of most "offenders", sunlight becomes the ultimate antidote.


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