Human Sexual Behavior and Sexual Abuse Incest

INCEST Incest is sexual intercourse between family members and close relatives. [1][2] The term may apply to sexual activities between individuals of close”blood relationship”, members of the same household, step relatives related by adoption or marriage, or members of the same clan or lineage. [3] Theincest taboo is and has been one of the most common of all cultural taboos, both in current nations and many past societies. [4] Most modern societies have laws regarding incest or social restrictions on closely consanguineous marriages. 5] In countries where it is illegal, consensual adult incest is seen by some as a victimless crime. [6][7] In some societies, such as those of Ancient Egypt and others, brother–sister, father–daughter, and mother–son, cousin-cousin, aunt-nephew, uncle-niece, and other permutations of relations were practiced among royalty as a means of perpetuating the royal lineage. [8][9] In addition, theBalinese[10] and some Inuit tribes[11] have altogether different beliefs about what constitutes illegal and immoral incest. However, parent-child and sibling-sibling unions are almost universally forbidden. 12] Children born of close incestous unions have greatly increased risk of congenital disorders, death and disability at least in part due to genetic diseases caused by the inbreeding. [13] ————————————————- Terminology The English word incest is derived from the Latin incestus, which has a general meaning of “impure, unchaste”. It was introduced into Middle English, both in the generic Latin sense (preserved throughout the Middle English period[14]) and in the narrow modern sense.

The derived adjective incestuous appears in the 16th century. [15] Prior to the introduction of the Latin term, incest was known in Old English as sibbleger (from sibb ‘kinship’ + leger ‘to lie’) or m? gh? med (from m? g ‘kin, parent’ + h? med ‘sexual intercourse’) but in time, both words fell out of use. ————————————————- History Table of prohibited marriages from The Trial of Bastardie byWilliam Clerke. London, 1594 ————————————————- Prevalence and statistics

Incest between an adult and a person under the age of consent is considered a form of child sexual abuse[36][37] that has been shown to be one of the most extreme forms of childhood abuse, often resulting in serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest. [38] Prevalence is difficult to generalize, but research has estimated 10–15% of the general population as having at least one such sexual contact, with less than 2% involving intercourse or attempted intercourse. 39] Among women, research has yielded estimates as high as 20%. [38] Father-daughter incest was for many years the most commonly reported and studied form of incest. [40][41] More recently, studies have suggested that sibling incest, particularly older brothers having sexual relations with younger siblings, is the most common form of incest,[42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50] with some studies finding sibling incest occurring more frequently than other forms of incest. 51] Some studies suggest that adolescent perpetrators of sibling abuse choose younger victims, abuse victims over a lengthier period, use violence more frequently and severely than adult perpetrators, and that sibling abuse has a higher rate of penetrative acts than father or stepfather incest, with father and older brother incest resulting in greater reported distress than stepfather incest. [52][53][54] ————————————————- Types Between adults and children

Main article: Child sexual abuse Incest between an adult and a child is usually considered a form of child sexual abuse[55] and for many years has been the most reported form of incest. Father–daughter and stepfather–stepdaughter incest is the most commonly reported form of adult-child incest, with most of the remaining involving a mother or stepmother. [56] Father–son incest is reported less often, but it is not known how close the frequency is to heterosexual incest because it is likely more under-reported. 57][58] Prevalence of incest between parents and their children is difficult to assess due to secrecy and privacy; some estimate that 20 million Americans were, as children, subjected to incest. [56][clarification needed (needs a better source)] In a 1999 news story, BBC reported, “Close-knit family life in India masks an alarming amount of sexual abuse of children and teenage girls by family members, a new report suggests. Delhi organisation RAHI said 76% of respondents to its survey had been abused when they were children – 40% of those by a family member. [59] According to the National Center for Victims of Crime a large proportion of rape committed in the United States is perpetrated by a family member: Research indicates that 46% of children who are raped are victims of family members (Langan and Harlow, 1994). The majority of American rape victims (61%) are raped before the age of 18; furthermore, 29% of all rapes occurred when the victim was less than 11 years old. 11% of rape victims are raped by their fathers or step-fathers, and another 16% are raped by other relatives. 60] A study of victims of father–daughter incest in the 1970s showed that there were “common features” within families before the occurrence of incest: estrangement between the mother and the daughter, extreme paternal dominance, and reassignment of some of the mother’s traditional major family responsibility to the daughter. Oldest and only daughters were more likely to be the victims of incest. It was also stated that the incest experience was psychologically harmful to the woman in later life, frequently leading to feelings of low self-esteem, unhealthy sexual activity, contempt for other women, and other emotional problems. 61][clarification needed (needs a better source)] Adults who as children were incestuously victimized by adults often suffer from low self-esteem, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, and sexual dysfunction, and are at an extremely high risk of many mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, phobic avoidance reactions, somatoform disorder, substance abuse, borderline personality disorder, and complex post-traumatic stress disorder. 38][62][63] Research by Leslie Margolin indicates that mother-son incest does not trigger some innate biological response, but that the effects are more directly related to the symbolic meanings attributed to this act by the participants. [64] The Goler clan is a specific instance in which child sexual abuse in the form of forced adult/child and sibling/sibling incest took place over at least three generations. [65] A number of Goler children were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers, cousins, and each other.

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During interrogation by police, several of the adults openly admitted to engaging in many forms of sexual activity, up to and including full intercourse, multiple times with the children. Sixteen adults (both men and women) were charged with hundreds of allegations of incest and sexual abuse of children as young as five. [65] In Japan there is a popular misconception that mother-son incestuous contact in common, due to the manner in which it is depicted in the press and popular media.

According to Hideo Tokuoka, “When Americans think of incest, they think of fathers and daughters; in Japan one thinks of mothers and sons” due to the extensive media coverage of mother-son incest there. [66] Some western researchers even assumed this was established fact. However, research into victimization statistics from police and health care systems discredits this, as it shows the vast majority of sexual abuse, including incest, is perpetrated by men against young girls. 67] The Mainichi Daily News column WaiWai, by Australian journalist Ryann Connell, featured often-sensationalist stories, principally translated from and based on articles appearing in Japanese tabloids. [68] On June 28, 2008, Mainichi announced punitive measures. [69][70][71] Mainichi said, “We continued to post articles that contained incorrect information and indecent sexual content. These articles, many of which were not checked and properly investigated should not have been dispatched.

We apologize deeply for causing many people trouble and for betraying the public’s trust in the Mainichi Shimbun. ” [72] Between childhood siblings Childhood sibling–sibling incest is considered to be widespread but rarely reported. [56] It is believed to be the most common form of intrafamilial abuse. [73] Sibling-sibling incest becomes child-on-child sexual abuse when it occurs without consent, without equality, or as a result of coercion. The most commonly reported form of abusive sibling incest is abuse of a younger sibling by an older sibling. 56] A 2006 study showed a large portion of adults who experienced sibling incest abuse have distorted or disturbed beliefs (such as that the act was “normal”) both about their own experience and the subject of sexual abuse in general. [74] Sibling abusive incest is most prevalent in families where one or both parents are often absent or emotionally unavailable, with the abusive siblings using incest as a way to assert their power over a weaker sibling. [75] Absence of the father in particular has been found to be a significant element of most cases of sexual abuse of female children by a brother. 76] The damaging effects on both childhood development and adult symptoms resulting from brother–sister sexual abuse are similar to the effects of father–daughter, including substance abuse, depression, suicidality, and eating disorders. [76][77] Between consenting adults Sexual activity between adult close relatives may arise from genetic sexual attraction. [78] This form of incest has not been widely reported in the past, but recent evidence has indicated that this behavior does take place, possibly more often than many people realize. 78] Internet chatrooms and topical websites exist that provide support for incestuous couples. [78] Proponents of incest between consenting adults draw clear boundaries between the behavior of consenting adults and rape, child molestation, and abusive incest. [78] According to one incest participant who was interviewed for an article in The Guardian: “You can’t help who you fall in love with, it just happens. I fell in love with my sister and I’m not ashamed … I only feel sorry for my mom and dad, I wish they could be happy for us. We love each other.

It’s nothing like some old man who tries to fuck his three-year-old, that’s evil and disgusting … Of course we’re consenting, that’s the most important thing. We’re not fucking perverts. What we have is the most beautiful thing in the world. “[78] In Slate Magazine, William Saletan drew a legal connection between gay sex and incest between consenting adults. [79] As he described in his article, in 2003, U. S. Senator Rick Santorumcommented on a pending U. S. Supreme Court case involving sodomy laws (primarily as a matter of Constitutional rights to Privacy and Equal Protection under the Law).

He stated: “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. “[79] However, David Smith of the Human Rights Campaign professed outrage that Santorum placed being gay on the same moral and legal level as someone engaging in incest. Saletan argued that, legally and morally, there is essentially no difference between the two, and went on to support incest between consenting adults being covered by a legal right to privacy. 79]UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh has made similar arguments. [80] In a more recent article, Saletan said that incest is wrong because it introduces the possibility of irreparably damaging family units by introducing “a notoriously incendiary dynamic—sexual tension—into the mix”. [81] Aunts, uncles, nieces or nephews In Florida, consensual adult sexual intercourse with someone you know to be your aunt, uncle, niece or nephew constitutes a felony of the third degree. [82] Other states also commonly prohibit marriages between such kins. [83] The legality of sex with a half-aunt or half-uncle varies state by state. 84] Between adult siblings The most public case of consensual adult sibling incest in recent years is the case of a brother-sister couple from Germany, Patrick Stubing and Susan Karolewski. Because of violent behavior on the part of the father, the brother was taken in at the age of 3 by foster parents, who adopted him later. At the age of 23 he learned about his biological parents, contacted his mother, and met her and his then 16 year old sister for the first time. The now-adult brother moved in with his birth family shortly thereafter.

After their mother died suddenly six months later, the couple became intimately close, and had their first child together in 2001. By 2004, they had four children together: Eric, Sarah, Nancy, and Sofia. The public nature of their relationship, and the repeatedprosecutions and even jail time they have served as a result, has caused some in Germany to question whether incest between consenting adults should be punished at all. An article about them in Der Spiegel states that the couple are happy together. According to court records, the first three children have mental and physical disabilities, and have been placed in foster care. 6] In April 2012, at the European Court of Human Rights, Patrick Stuebing lost his case that the conviction violated his right to a private and family life. [85][86] Cousin relationships See also: Cousin marriage and List of coupled cousins Marriages and sexual relationships between first cousins are stigmatized as incest in some western cultures, but tolerated in most of the world. Currently, 24 states US states, prohibit marriages between first cousins and another seven permit them only under special circumstances. 87] Cousin marriages are rare, accounting for less than 1% of marriages in Western Europe, North America and Oceania, while reaching 9% in South America, East Asia and South Europe and up to 25% in regions of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. [88] Communities such as the Dhond and the Bhittani of Pakistan clearly prefer marriages between cousins as believe they ensure purity of the descent line, provide intimate knowledge of the spouses, and ensure thatpatrimony will not pass into the hands of “outsiders”. 89] Apart from the partial prohibition in the United States, there are some cultures in Asia which stigmatize cousin marriage, in some instances even marriages between second cousins or more remotely related people. This concerns notably the culture of Korea, and some Hindu communities in India. In South Korea, before 1997, anyone with the same last name and clan were prohibited from marriage. In light of this law being held unconstitutional, South Korea now only prohibits up to third cousins (see Article 809 of the Korean Civil Code).

Hmong culture prohibits the marriage of anyone with the same last name – to do so would result in being shunned by the entire community, and they are usually stripped of their last name. In Western Australia over 500 marriages are between cousins. In a review of 48 studies on the children parented by cousins, most of the babies born to cousins were healthy contrary to the popular perception, with birth defects being 4% of births for consanguineous couples as opposed to 2% for the general population. [90] Inbreeding over many generations does increase risks however. citation needed] Incest defined through marriage Some cultures include relatives by marriage in incest prohibitions; these relationships are called affinity rather than consanguinity. For example, the question of the legality and morality of a widower who wished to marry his deceased wife’s sister was the subject of long and fierce debate in the United Kingdom in the 19th century, involving, among others, Matthew Boulton. [91][92] In medieval Europe, standing as a godparent to a child also created a bond of affinity. citation needed] But in other societies, a deceased spouse’s sibling was considered the ideal person to marry. The Hebrew Bible forbids a man from marrying his brother’s widow with the exception that, if his brother died childless, the man is instead required to marry his brother’s widow so as to “raise up seed to him” (taken from Deuteronomy 25:5–6). According to Islamic ideology, marriage among close blood relations like parents, siblings, the children of siblings, aunts and uncles is prohibited. First or second cousins may marry.

Marrying the widow of a brother, or the sister of deceased or divorced wife is allowed in Islam. ————————————————- Inbreeding Main article: Inbreeding Incest that results in offspring is a form of close inbreeding (reproduction between two individuals with a common ancestor). Inbreeding leads to a higher probability of congenital birth defectsbecause it increases that proportion of zygotes that are homozygous, in particular for deleterious recessive alleles that produce such disorders[93] (and see Inbreeding depression#Inbreeding depression and natural selection).

Because most such alleles are rare in populations, it is unlikely that two unrelated marriage partners will both be heterozygous carriers. However, because close relatives share a large fraction of their alleles, the probability that any such rare deleterious allele present in the common ancestor will be inherited from both related parents is increased dramatically with respect to non-inbred couples. Contrary to common belief, inbreeding does not in itself alter allele frequencies, but rather increases the relative proportion of homozygotes to heterozygotes.

However, because the increased proportion of deleterious homozygotes exposes the allele to natural selection, in the long run its frequency decreases more rapidly in inbred population. In the short term, incestuous reproduction is expected to produce increases in spontaneous abortions of zygotes, perinatal deaths, and postnatal offspring with birth defects. [94] There may also be other deleterious effects besides those caused by recessive diseases. Thus, similar immune systems may be more vulnerable to infectious diseases (see Major histocompatibility complex and sexual selection). 95] A 1994 study found a mean excess mortality with inbreeding among first cousins of 4. 4%. [96] Children of parent-child or sibling-sibling unions are at increased risk compared to cousin-cousin unions. Studies suggest that 20-36% of these children will die or have major disability due to the inbreeding. [13] A study of 29 offspring resulting from brother-sister or father-daughter incest found that 20 had congenital abnormalities, including four directly attributable to autosomal recessive alleles. 97] ————————————————- Animals Main article: Animal sexual behavior Many mammal species including humanity’s closest primate relatives tend to avoid close inbreeding, especially if there are alternative partners available. [98] However some chimpanzees have been recorded attempting to mate with their mothers. [99] Male rats have been recorded engaging in mating with their sisters, but they tend to prefer non-related females over their sisters. 100] Livestock breeders often practice controlled breeding to eliminate undesirable characteristics within a population, which is also coupled with culling of what is considered unfit offspring, especially when trying to establish a new and desirable trait in the stock. ————————————————- In popular culture Main article: Incest in popular culture Incest is a somewhat popular topic in English erotic fiction; there are entire collections and websites devoted solely to this genre, with an entire genre of pornographic pulp fiction known as “incest novels”. ———————————————— Laws Main article: Laws regarding incest Incest is illegal in many jurisdictions. The exact legal definition of “incest,” including the nature of the relationship between persons, and the types sexual activity, varies by country, and by even individual states or provinces within a country. These laws can also extend to marriage between subject individuals. In most places, incest is illegal, regardless of the ages of the two partners. In other places, incestuous relationships between two consenting adults (with the age varying by location) are permitted.

Such countries where it is permissible and legal, includes for example the Netherlands, France, and Spain. In Sweden the only type of incestuous relationship allowed by law is that between half-siblings and they must seek government counseling before marriage. [101] A jurisdiction’s definition of an incestuous relationship will also limit who a person is permitted to marry. Some jurisdictions forbid first-cousins to marry, while others limit the prohibition to brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles. ————————————————- [edit]Religious views edit]Jewish Main articles: Incest in the Bible and Jewish views on incest In three places in the Torah, there are lists of family members between whom it is prohibited to have sexual relations; each of these lists is progressively shorter. The biblical lists are not symmetrical – the implied rules for women and men are not the same. Relationships compare as follows:   Forbidden for men Forbidden for women Forbidden for both men and women | Holiness Code| Deuteronomic Code| | Leviticus 18| Leviticus 20| | Grandparent’s spouse (including other grandparent)| | | | Parent’s spouse| Parent| | | | Stepparent| | | | Parent-in-law| | | | Uncle/aunt| Parent’s sibling| | | | | Uncle’s/aunt’s spouse| Father’s sibling’s spouse| | | | | | Mother’s sibling’s spouse| | Parent’s child| Half-Sibling (mother’s side)| | | | | Father’s child| Sibling| | | | | | Half-sibling (father’s side)| | | | Step sibling| | Sibling-in-law (if the spouse was still alive)| | | | Nephew/niece| Sibling’s child| | | | | Nephew/niece-in-law| Spouse’s brother’s child| | | | | | Spouse’s sister’s child| | Spouse’s child| Child| | | | | Stepchild| | | | Child-in-law| | | |

Spouse’s grandchild (including grandchild)| | | | Apart from the questionable case of the daughter, the first incest list in the Holiness code roughly produces the same rules as were followed in early (pre-Islamic) Arabic culture;[102] in Islam, these pre-existing rules were made statutory. [103] In the 4th century BCE, the Soferim (scribes) declared that there were relationships within which marriage constituted incest, in addition to those mentioned by the Torah. These additional relationships were termed seconds (Hebrew: sheniyyot), and included the wives of a man’s grandfather and grandson. 104] The classical rabbis prohibited marriage between a man and any of these seconds of his, on the basis that doing so would act as a safeguard against infringing the biblical incest rules,[105] although there was inconclusive debate about exactly what the limits should be for the definition of seconds. [102] Marriages forbidden in the Torah were regarded by the rabbis of the Middle Ages as invalid – as if they had never occurred;[106] any children born to such a couple were regarded as Jewish bastards,[106] and the relatives of the spouse were not regarded as forbidden relations for a further marriage. 107] On the other hand, those relationships which were prohibited due to qualifying asseconds, and so forth, were regarded as wicked, but still valid;[106] while they might have pressured such a couple to divorce, any children of the union were still seen as legitimate. [106] Christian In the Roman Catholic Church, marriage is generally not permitted if the potential spouses are related in the collateral line up to and including the second degree, although a dispensation may be granted permitting marriages etween first cousins or even uncle/niece unions as in the marriage of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor to his niece, and first cousin, Margarita Teresa of Spain in 1666. [citation needed] The Church does not generally permit the marriage if a doubt exists on whether the potential spouses are related by consanguinity in any degree of the direct line or in the second degree of the collateral line. [108] In the Eastern Orthodox Church, marriages are banned between second cousins or closer and between second uncles / aunts and second nieces / nephews (between first cousins once removed) or closer.

Also, marriages that produce children that are closer genetic relatives than legal are also not permitted (unless the genetic relationship does allow marriage between those children). For example, two siblings may not marry two other siblings because legally their children will be cousins, but genetically they’ll be half-siblings. On the other hand, two siblings may marry two cousins. [citation needed] The Anglican Communion allows marriages up to and including first cousins. But in all of the three preceding Christian churches, marriages to uncles, aunts, relatives in the direct line, or their respective spouses are not allowed. citation needed] Islamic Main article: Mahram The Quran gives specific rules regarding incest, which prohibit a man from marrying or having sexual relationships with: * his father’s wife[109] (his mother,[110] or stepmother[110]), his mother-in-law, a woman from whom he has nursed, even the children of this woman[110] * either parent’s sister (aunt),[110] * his sister, his half sister, a woman who has nursed from the same woman as he, his sister-in-law (wife’s sister) while still married. Half relations are as sacred as are the full relations. 110] * his niece (child of sibling),[110] * his daughter, his stepdaughter (if the marriage to her mother had been consummated), his daughter-in-law. [110]| The main differences (apart from relationships between a man and his daughter) are: * a woman from whom he has nursed * a woman who has nursed from the same woman as he * a niece| A Hadith also prohibits marriage to a woman and her parent’s sister at the same time. [111] The same applies for a woman with the male counterparts to the aforementioned. [edit]Hindu

Hinduism speaks of incest in abhorrent terms. Hindus are fearful of the bad effects of incest and thus practice strict rules of both endogamy and exogamy within castes (Varna) but not in the same family tree (gotra) or bloodline (Pravara). Marriages within the gotra (“swagotra” marriages) are banned under the rule of exogamy in the traditional matrimonial system. [112] People within the gotra are regarded as kin and marrying such a person would be thought of as incest. i. e. Marriage with paternal cousins is strictly prohibited. 113] In fact marriage between two people whose parents are related paternally up to seven generations is expressly prohibited. Gotra is transferred down the male lineage while the Gotra of a female changes upon marriage. i. e. , upon marriage a woman belongs to her husband’s Gotra and no longer belongs to her father’s Gotra. Hence marriage with a person having same Gotra as of the original Gotras of grandparents is prohibited[citation needed]. Nevertheless, in Tamil Nadu of Southern India, Marriage with maternal cousins and marriages between Maternal Uncle and Niece were widely in practice a few decades back.

However the tradition of getting married to maternal uncle has declined considerably now and may soon become a relic of the past. In matrilinial societies of Kerala marriage between first cousins were common. It is said to have helped in preserving family wealth. Buddhist Buddhist societies take a strong ethical stand in human affairs and sexual behavior in particular. Most variations of Buddhism decide locally about the details of incest as a wrongdoing, according to local cultural standards. [114] Sexual misconduct is mentioned but the definition of what constitutes misconduct sex is an individual issue. 115] The most common formulation of Buddhist ethics are the Five Precepts and the Noble Eightfold Path: one should neither be attached to nor crave sensual pleasure. These precepts take the form of voluntary, personal undertakings, not divine mandate or instruction. The third of the Five Precepts is “To refrain from committing sexual misconduct”. ‘Sexual misconduct’ means any sexual conduct involving violence, manipulation or deceit – conduct that therefore leads to suffering and trouble. [116] Buddhist monks and nuns strictly forbid any type of sexual misconduct but incest is not specifically efined as sexual misconduct, and therefore depends on the culture of the area, not on mandate from Buddhism itself. However, there are no enforced rules for laypeople in Buddhism, only guidance. Incest Incest is sexual contact between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e. g. , parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc. ). This usually takes the form of an older family member sexually abusing a child or adolescent. Laws vary from place to place regarding what constitutes incest, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and rape. How common is Incest?

There are very few reliable statistics about how often incest occurs. It’s difficult to know how many people are affected by incest because many incest situations never get reported. There are many reasons that the victim might not report the abuse. * The victim has been told that what is happening is normal or happens in every family, and doesn’t realize that it is a form of abuse * The victim may not know that help is available or who they can talk to * The victim may be afraid of what will happen if they tell someone * The abuser may have threatened the victim The victim may care about the abuser and be afraid of what will happen to the abuser if they tell * The victim may be afraid of what will happen to them if they tell * The victim may also be concerned about how many people will react when they hear about the abuse * They may be afraid that no one will believe them or that the person they confide in will tell the abuser * The victim may be afraid that people will accuse them of having done something wrong What makes Incest different than child sexual abuse?

All forms of child sexual abuse can have negative long-term effects for the victim. You can read about some of those effects here. Incest is especially damaging because it disrupts the child’s primary support system, the family. * When a child is abused by someone outside the family, the child’s family is often able to offer support and a sense of safety. * When the abuser is someone in the family, the family may not be able to provide support or a sense of safety.

Since the children (especially younger children) often have limited resources outside the family, it can be very hard for them to recover from incest * Incest can damage a child’s ability to trust, since the people who were supposed to protect and care for them have abused them. * Survivors of incest sometimes have difficulty developing trusting relationships * It can also be very damaging for a child if a non-abusing parent is aware of the abuse and chooses—for whatever reason—not to take action to stop it. * There are many reasons that a non-abusing parent might not stop the abuse. The non-abusing parent may feel that they are dependent on the abuser for shelter or income. * If the non-abusing parent was the victim of incest as a child, they may think that this is normal for families. * The non-abusing parent may feel that allowing the incest to continue is the only way to keep their partner. * The non-abusing parent may feel that their child was “asking for it” by behaving in ways that the parent perceives as provocative or seductive. * Unfortunately, many non-abusing parents are aware of the incest and choose not to get their child out of the situation, or worse, to blame their child for what has happened.

This makes the long-term effects of incest worse. INCEST Liberalisation and the development of society have led to many forms of sexuality to be accepted. Something which was considered as scandalous is now more or less normal. If you search the term “incest” online, you will get the impression that this is yet another variation of normal human sexuality. Still, scientists claim that incest is sexual perversion which often signalises the family`s dysfunctional trait. Incest usually occurs in socially isolated families and points to pathologic relations within the family. What is it and what are its consequences?

Incest is defined as sexual intercourse or any form of sexual activity between closely related persons, especially within the immediate family. Incest between an adult and a child is known asinterfamilial child sexual abuse. – Even one third of child abusers are the parent or their spouse which is not the child`s birth parent. Relatives or close family friends are the abuser in 85 percent of child sexual abuse cases – doctor Gordana Buljan Flander told us. Children who suffered such sexual abuse have serious and long-term psychological damage, especially if parental incest is in question.

Adults who experienced incest in their childhood tend to suffer from low self-esteem, they have difficulties in interpersonal relationships, sexual dysfunction and are at an extremely high risk of many mental disorders, experts claim. Variations to the theme There are several types of incest: Parent-child is one of most common types of incest and statistics show it is usually father-daughter or stepfather-daughter incest. Other reports include mother-son incest or stepmother-son incest, while father-son incest is rarely reported. Sibling incest is considered to be widespread, although experts believe it is rarely reported.

Research conducted by scientist Floyd Martinson at an American university yielded interesting results. 10-15 percent of students admitted to having sexual experience with a brother or sister. Of those, 30% reported negative reactions and 30% reported positive reactions. A similar study conducted in 1993 in the USA showed that 16 percent out of 930 adults were sexually abused by their brother or sister before turning 18. This form of incest is often reported in families where the parents are often absent or are emotionally unavailable.

Apart from these forms, there is incest that occurs between cousins. Some countries believe marriage or sexual relationship of a widow/widower and a brother or sister of the deceased spouse is somewhat incestuous. – Psychiatry puts incest next to paraphilia, i. e. pathologic sexual activities which is a group name for every sexual activity that is considered unnatural in psychology and sexology. Apart from incest, paraphilia also includes paedophilia, sadism, masochism, sexual fetishism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, necrophilia, nymphomania… Some are legally regulated, others are not.

Also, there is a thin line for some: if unusual sexual activity is in question which the majority of people do not practice, a sexual disorder or behaviour which is morally condemned by the society – said doctor Domagoj Stimac, psychiatrist of Zagreb`s Policlinic for the protection of children. Why does incest happen? Science has not yet determined what makes people attracted to one person and repelled by others. – Sexual attraction is largely credited to something we all know as `brain chemistry`, i. e. the central nervous system.

Also, upbringing and earliest childhood experience affects who we will be attracted to. Still, scientists have yet to determine the exact `cause` why we are attracted to some people – doctor Stimac told us. Not fantasy, but reality There is a new case of incest in the media every now and then, reminding us of the fact that it is an actual occurrence and not something that happens somewhere else. At the beginning of last year, a German court sentenced a 38-year-old man to 2 years and 3 months in prison for forcing his wife to have sexual intercourse with their teenage son.

The first time she slept with him, he was only 15. After several times she was forced to have sexual intercourse, the wife reported the case to the police. What if love is in question? Recently, a story was published in Germany about a brother and sister, Susan (22) and Patrick (29), who are living together and have 4 children. Despite the fact Patrick has spent more than 2 years in prison and the environment cannot accept them, they are fighting to legalise their relationship and think banning incest means “denying sexual freedom”. They love each other and want to live together in a real marital union.

Although aware their love is unusual to say the least, they do not want to give it up. Another case is a sexual-love affair between 61-year Australian and his 39-year-old daughter, who made their relationship public during a TV show when their daughter was born. – Incest is actually much more common than we would think, i. e. hope. It is more common in primitive societies, but it is still present in developed ones. This can be concluded from so called xxx websites, which offer us stories, photos and films with incestuous sexual relations.

Still, incest is still a taboo, few people dare to openly speak about it – doctor Domagoj Stimac believes. INCEST Incest is one of the most interesting taboos of our time. The definition of incest is a highly controversial topic. Yet, the definition of incest is one of the most important definitions for the people involved, though the legal and psychological meanings are not much the same. Incest needs to be similarly defined for the incestuous parties, both by the law and by psychologists. The definition of incest should be determined by the cases of incest.

The people who commit incest and the types of incest should be considered when making this definition for the law. Why incest occurs has a great deal to do with the people and the types of incest. With the definition dissimilar between the law and psychologists, it is very difficult for the involved to do anything about it. The definition is both stated as wrong by law and by most religious morals. According to psychologists, incest is defined as: A) any intimate physical contact that is sexually arousing between non-married members of a family. Justice, pg 25) What this is interpreted as is that sexual intercourse does not need to occur for a situation to be considered incestuous. Stroking, fondling, or even intimately kissing can be considered incest. This is not all true for the legal definition. In Georgia, incest is defined as any sexual intercourse between known relatives, by blood or by marriage, (meaning a step-parent and step-child. ) Incest laws basically exist to prohibit marriage or inbreeding between family members, and the sentences are almost never carried out. Kosof, pg 53) So incest is stated as wrong, but not enforced. The Bible states that incest is wrong, just as the law does. A Cursed be he who has relations with his father’s wife… Cursed be he who has relations with his sister or half-sister! (Deu 27:20,22. ) Therefore, the definition can be altered to fit the needs of the definer. The different forms of incest are as follows: father-daughter, mother-son, brother-sister, and father-son. Conditions of incest don’t always involve intercourse, but still hurt the included. So, the conditions should help to define the firm meaning. But surely at fourteen, I should have been capable of escaping…” (Armstrong, pg 7)Father-daughter is the most common form of incest. Three-fourths of all reported cases usually involve dad and his oldest daughter. It is usually non-violent, and the daughters usually feel unattached to their mothers. (Kempe, pgs 48-51) Sometimes the daughter may act in a seductive manner toward her father, or the father might act as a big brother forcing his little sister to misbehave. (Armstrong, pg 235) If the daughter is seductive, then she might gain power over her father.

This is not always true for mother-son incest. Mother-son incest is usually brought on as a way to highly express love, “sex education”, or the mother is promiscuous. If the mother feels like she is expressing her love to her son, then she uses sex as a means of closeness. (Justice, pg 102) There is either no husband or a passive husband. The mother can be very seductive and encourage the son to have sex with her and limits the son’s social life. She acts on a “don’t leave me” attitude to keep her son tied down. Sometimes the son gets aroused my his mother and then becomes the aggressor. Justice, pg 103) If he isn’t attracted to mom, why not be attracted to his sister? This is the case in brother-sister, or sibling incest. It is less traumatic and the male participant may be proud about it. The brothers can become violent and force their sister to join in, although usually the sister is willing to participate. (Justice, pg 105) When both of the children are shy, the girl sees him as the only boyfriend she will ever have and becomes flirtatious. The two could also have mutual admiration, and then become sexually attracted to each other.

This leads into the most rarely reported incest of the four. Father-son incest is rarely reported because it violates two taboos, homosexuality and incest. (Justice, 196) Males want to protect their masculinity, so they will not tell anyone. They pretend to like girls, and they date them, but tend to be attracted to boys. When they move out of the house, they sometimes choose to be a male prostitute. The fathers can be alcoholic and very abusive. The fathers of any incestuous relationship can have psychopathic or symbiotic personalities.

Him who has a psychopathic personality seeks stimulation, and has a “get even” aggressiveness. No feelings of guilt and a powerful need for aggression seem to happen often in most cases. “I literally could not walk out of the house without my father wanting to know where I was going, with whom, and when I would be back. ”(Kosof, pg 17) He may be promiscuous or pansexual, (meaning that all he can think about is sex. Everything is a sex object to him. ) (Justice, pgs 83-85) The father with a symbiotic personality hungers for intimacy. The only way of expression he knows is through sex.

There are four types of symbiotic personalities. The introvert, the rationalizer, the tyrant, and the alcoholic. The introvert is very protective toward his family and fells Aunder attack. “He cannot trust people and is easily disappointed. ” The wife usually denies him sex. The rationalizer shows what “love” is, or teaches “sex education” to his daughter. The tyrant is the authoritarian; he uses threats and physical force to get what he wants. He pretends to have everything under control and hides the problem at home. His daughter “owes” him sex.

He is very jealous and paranoid. The alcoholic is a dependant, although he tries to hide it. 10-15% of incest committers are alcoholics. Mothers share most of the characteristics of the father. The mothers may be promiscuous and long to be taken care of. Incest might begin as innocent sleeping with her son and then drifts into more physical things. She is not likely to have intercourse with her son, but she implies that someday she will give herself fully to the son, which can lead to the son being a violator, which is rare because the children of incest are mostly victims. Justice, pg 145)”Sex is not sex for the incest survivor. ” (Blume, pg 207) Different children of incest act in different ways. It mainly depends on how the incest was brought about. Some may act untouched by the experience and seldom are able to defend themselves. When they reach adulthood, the might start experiencing flashbacks or amnesia. They live in denial and have an emotional shutdown. (Blume, pg 322) Sometimes they result in schizophrenia or multiple personality disorders. They also seem to have sexual shutdowns and are uncomfortable with it. But why does this occur?

Incest usually occurs when sex stops between mother and father. Mom either denies dad sex, there is a major life crisis, or opportunity knocks. The opportunity for incest occurs when mother is gone all the time and so the daughter assumes the role of the mother. When this happens, there is a need for treatment. This is when the definition of incest is most important. The children are very scared and need confidence. If he/she tells a psychologist or teacher, that person is required by law to tell the authorities. (Kosof, pg 53) When the authorities are contacted, the definition comes into play.

The child wants to feel safe, and if their definition of incest doesn’t live up to the law’s, then the charges could be dropped and the child gets into more problems with incest. Therefore, the background of the incest is very important to the law’s definition. By the people involved, the form, and why it occurs are critical to helping the child out when defining the term. The definition of incest by the law should be closer to the definition of psychologists in order to help out the family. “It is evident that we still know very little about how to treat the sexual offender and the abused child effectively. ” (Kempe, pg 109)

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