GSA describes the intense, overwhelming attraction a postpubescent person may experience after being reunited or introduced to a postpubescent close genetic relative with whom they've had little-to-no contact since about age seven or before. It can happen when someone conceived through sperm donation meets someone else who had the same sperm donor. It can happen when a woman meets the genetic father who never knew she existed because she was conceived during a one night stand. It can happen when an adoptee reunites with a birth parent or finds an aunt or uncle or full or half sibling. It can happen when full or half siblings were separated because of divorce as young children and raised thousand of miles apart, barely seeing each other until they're in their late teens or older. There are many ways for this to happen.
It's about the phenomenon experienced by an individual. That person may not even tell anyone else about this. It may or may not be reciprocated. If reciprocated, sex often, but not always, results. Trying to dismiss GSA as some deceptive synonym for incest is ignorance or a willful attack on persecuted people, many of whom had absolutely no say in the circumstances that have resulted in GSA.
How do we know GSA exists? How does one prove ANY attraction exists? By analyzing what people communicate and how they're observed behaving. After decades of case after case, it's rather obvious to someone who bothers to look into the matter that GSA is real. GSA almost always involves pain, discomfort, and some hardships. It isn't like there's this big incentive for people to wake up one day and decide it would be fun to put themselves in the path of massive amounts of bigotry, including death threats. Adoption organizations and discussion forums warn about GSA. There is a GSA-focused forum where acting on GSA is discouraged. They know it's real. These are not people trying to pull a fast one on anyone. This is not some game. This is about lives and families.
GSA is not a mental disorder. It's not a character flaw. It's a normal, natural reaction experienced by many (certainly not all, probably not even most) people in a specific set of circumstances. We know this because GSA has been experienced by...
- People who didn't know they were close genetic relatives
- People who did know they were close genetic relatives and had never heard of GSA
- People who did know they were close genetic relatives and were warned about GSA
- People with a strong religious/moral/personal objection to the idea of consanguineous relationships
- People with no opinion about consanguineous relationships
- People who didn't know they were adopted or had a close genetic relative they hadn't met
- People who knew all along they were adopted or had a close genetic relative they hadn't met
- People raised with both biological parents
- People with generally happy and healthy childhoods
- People with horrible childhoods
- People who've had positive relationship experiences
- People who've had one bad relationship after another
- People happily in a closed relationship to which they've remained faithful
- People unhappy in their relationship
- People who have no attraction to any other genetic relative or close family member who isn't a genetic relative
- Highly educated and successful people
- People without higher education
- People who've been pillars of the community
- People who've had a lot of trouble with the law
- Men attracted to women
- Men attracted to men
- Women attracted to men
- Women attracted to women
- (People of any sexual orientation, really.)
There are GSA-initiated consanguinamorous relationships that have been healthy, happy (aside from dealing with bigotry), and have lasted until death. We personally know some, and you do, too, whether you know it or not.
Yes, people can avoid acting on their attractions, no matter how strong. But if they want to be together and are right for each other, why should they have to avoid it? We're still waiting for a single good reason they should be thrown in prison or otherwise discriminated against, including denied their right to marry. Someone else's disgust or disapproval is not a good reason people should have to deny each other and be alone or "settle" for someone else (which, by the way, is severely unfair to the person who is unknowingly taken on as a consolation prize.)
"But you have billions of other people you can be with!" says the bigot.
The American white man, Mr. Richard Loving, had many white women in the surrounding population he could have courted and married. But he married Mildred Jeter, an American "black" woman. That was illegal in many states. Those laws were wrong, as have been the people who have attacked such relationships. Consenting adults should be free to have the relationships to which they mutually agree, no matter what phrases are used to describe the relationships.
Having consenting adults loving each other isn't a problem. It's a great thing. To quote the songwriter, what the world needs now is love. Don't engage in hate pollution.
If you've experienced GSA, know that you're not alone and there's nothing wrong with you (well, at least not based on experiencing GSA!) You have friends in us.
If someone you know is experiencing GSA, please be kind and supportive.
If you want to help all adults enjoy their rights, please do.
There is some help to be found.