Sunday, October 28, 2018

NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Consanguineous) Love #20

"It is sick! These relationships are dysfunctional!" This is almost always a thinly disguised variation of Discredited Arguments #1, #3, or #19. There are many mentally healthy people in healthy, functional, consanguinamorous relationships.

As this blog and others have repeatedly shown, there is no good reason to keep laws, discrimination, or stigmas against consanguinamory (consanguineous or consensual incest sex or relationships) that is consistently applied to other relationships. One of the grasping-at-straws assertions that one might make when all of their justifications for denying rights fails is "people who do that are sick" or "those relationships are dysfunctional."

Before we do anything else, let's make it clear that we're talking about consensual sex and relationships, not abuse. It's not fair to point to abuse, assault, child molestation, etc. by a close relative as an example of how "incest" is "sick".

Alleging psychological problems or mental illness is something best left to mental health professionals, such as a psychiatrist (a medical doctor) or a psychologist. The opinion of someone without such credentials and some experience should be suspect. So, if someone makes the claim that we should criminalize or otherwise discriminate against consanguinamory because the behavior is based on mental illness, they should be asked 1) for their credentials; 2) if they have personally conducted an evaluation of the individuals involved and the dynamics of their relationship, and; 3) if all relationships they personally think are based on mental illness should be likewise criminalized or discriminated against.

You can find mental health professionals who will declare consanguinamory to be a sickness. Throughout history, you could find such individuals or studies and reports saying women shouldn’t use vibrators, being gay is a mental illness, masturbation leads in to insanity, wanting to be with someone of a different race is a problem… on and on it goes. To this day you can find psychologists who’ll insist that being gay is a mental problem and that taking certain steps during a child’s development will prevent them from “becoming” gay.

There are mentally ill people who have these attractions. There are dysfunctional relationships that are consanguinamorous. BUT, having consanguinamorous feelings or relationships is not necessarily a sign of illness or dysfunction. Some people assert it is, but they do not back up that claim. At most, they restate their claim another way, asserting that everyone should either pursue (heterosexual, monogamous) relationships with someone outside the family and not closely related (how close is too close for their approval varies) or should remain alone and celibate.

There are many mentally healthy people with these feelings. There are many healthy, functional relationships that are consanguinamorous or have involved consanguineous sex. The people who are living proof of this, due to laws or other forms of bigoted discrimination, aren't eager to sit down with a mental health professional, or law enforcement and tell them all about it. Medical and mental health professionals tend to deal with people who are having problems. Most people in consanguinamorous relationships or who are attracted to close relatives or family members, who are healthy and happy, do not visit doctors and therapists and volunteer that information to them. That is one of the problems with studies or saying something like "I don't know any that are healthy..." These relationships are common enough that everyone does know someone who is, or has been, involved. Most of the time, we're don't know everything that's going on, because people feel the need to keep secrets.

It is normal for minors close in age to experiment with each other. Coercion is problematic, but if it is not a matter of coercion and no harm is perpetrated, we're not talking about sickness. Genetic Sexual Attraction is also a normal response to the circumstances. And sometimes, for completely normal and healthy reasons, close relatives who have always been in each others lives get involved as adults.

There are a few places where consanguineous sex and mental illness do connect...

1) If someone, due to mental illness, acts out sexually with just about anyone, that may include close relatives. But again, most people who are. or have been, consanguinamorous are not part of this category.

2) People who are otherwise mentally healthy, who experience persecution, discrimination, prosecution, etc. due to having a consanguinamorous relationship, they may experience problems such as depression, anxiety, etc. This is a common harm of bigotry, and anyone concerned that consaguinamory is "sick" should note that often, the biggest problems experienced by consanguinamorous people is prejudice. If someone is truly concerned about the well being of others, they shouldn't perpetuate this. Being told constantly that your NORMAL attractions and desires need to be repressed and should subject you to ridicule, ostracism, and even imprisonment can cause people mental problems. What kind of mental state would you be in if you were torn from the person you love most in the whole world, publicly ridiculed and subjected to imprisonment? Learn how to avoid being part of that problem here.

3) If someone has been abused, they may find comfort in the safety of sexual intimacy or release with a close relative, not wanting to take the risk of being vulnerable with someone they're not certain loves them. Again, most consanguinamory isn't a result of a situation like this.

Maybe you have known some messed up people, and those people have engaged in consanguineous sex. But they also fed their dog, were good employees, etc. Does that make dog-feeding and being a good employee sick? Yes, some people who are attracted to close relatives need professional help. Others don’t. Being attracted to a close relative, by itself, is not necessarily a problem.

I personally know people who are mentally healthy, intelligent, attractive, and have no problem attracting sexual or romantic interest from others, and yet, they are very attracted to a close relative. I can guarantee you know some people like that, too. You’re just unaware of their attractions.

If you want to know what science has to say on these issues, read through the science tag of this blog.

If you want to be part of the solution, you can! If you think you need help, see here.

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 (Consanguineous) Love #19

This is the end of the series for now. Go to the start.
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  1. Hi Keith,

    It makes me to say abuse is dysfunctional to them.

    Stupid people. Wake up people. Know the difference.

  2. children do not need romantic relationships until they’re adolescents or adults

    1. We're not talking about children here, we're talking about consenting adults being allowed to have their relationships without being accused of being 'sick' just because people are related. Same rules apply to consensual incest as apply to any other type of relationship.


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