Another instance of invoking biology

Okay guys, I was not expecting to be mentioning Donald Trump on this website again so soon, but since this article appeared appeared in my inbox it looks like I have little choice. Quite uncreatively called ‘Why it’s Biologically wrong for Trump to have the hots for Ivanka’, it offers nothing more than the same tired repetitions of typical misunderstandings. Let’s take a look at this one shall we.

A recently uncovered Washington Post draft revealed that Donald Trump occasionally ponders the evolutionary underpinnings of human sexual behavior. The President-Elect is said to have wondered aloud: “Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?”

If this quote is true, then the USA now has it’s first consanguinamorous President about to take office. It’s quite natural that he would be curious as to what causes such attractions, same goes for all consang people at one point or another, they might wonder where people like themselves might fit into the bigger picture, and that’s the same regardless of who you are. Whether you like or loathe this man for his politics, if he is one of us the he is seeking the same answers we all seek.

Yes. Yes it is.

No, no it isn’t.

You see, you cannot label an attraction for another adult ‘wrong’, you can say that such an attraction is ‘not for you’ or ‘wouldn’t be right for most people’, but you cannot possibly make such a blanket statement that these attractions are always wrong for everyone all the time. Not everyone fits neatly into this box called ‘conventional wisdom’, when it comes to something as complex and as varied as human sexuality, there is no ‘one size fits all’. We must be tolerant and respectful of each others orientations and preferences providing that nobody is forcing themselves on anyone else.

There’s a reason most people balk at the idea of Trump and his daughter Ivanka (sorry, Tiffany) having more than a father-daughter relationship — a rumor that his previous remarks have done little to suppress. If, like he insinuated in a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, he actually wants to have sex with his daughter, he would be violating some of the most basic laws of evolution.

You know, people don’t really give evolutionary science much thought when choosing a partner. Did YOU think to yourself before choosing your boyfriend ‘will any offspring I have with this man be at an evolutionary advantage?’ I doubt it. An attraction to another person is something that just is, and the science behind sexual attraction is not yet fully understood to say the least.

Evolution allows for some members of a species to deviate from the established norm of the majority. We see this all the time in the animal kingdom.A small number of animals from all species will mate with a close relative. Obviously the evolution of these species doesn’t come to a screeching halt because a small number of them are consang. So clearly, nature allows for this, which means nobody is ‘violating some of the most basic laws of evolution’, as you put it.

The biological objective of every individual life on this planet is to pass on its genes to the next generation. Doing so, as a human, ensures doing everything that you can to ensure your kids will be healthy — which includes making sure your choice of mate checks out.The biological objective of every individual life on this planet is to pass on its genes to the next generation. Doing so, as a human, ensures doing everything that you can to ensure your kids will be healthy — which includes making sure your choice of mate checks out.

Which is why nobody who has an inheritable disease gets married or ever has a sexual relationship, or why no woman over 40 can expect to get laid, why gay people who have no chance of procrating do not exist, and why everyone and their carefully selected sexual partner must submit DNA samples to the hospital, just to make sure that their offspring are going to be perfectly healthy. [/sarcasm]

Get real. Life happens. People just do not think in the way you are suggesting. That paragraph exhibits a level of ignorance of human nature and emotions so monumental that it ranks as one of the stupidest things I have ever read in an internet article, ever.

Generally speaking, the kids that result from incestuous relationships do not live long or healthy lives.

While it is true that there is an increased risk of genetic problems, it isn’t something that is guaranteed to happen. Actually most children born of incest are perfectly healthy and enjoy the same quality and quantity of life as everyone else. Providing that it isn’t a case of repeated generations of inbreeding, it’s much safer than you would expect, with around a 9% probability of some problem of some kind popping up for immediate family combinations. This is similar risks to a woman over 40 bearing a child, to keep it in perspective here.

To shed light on Trump’s disturbing contemplation, it is wrong to be more sexually attracted to Ivanka than Melania because Ivanka shares half of his genes, while Melania shares none (as far as we know). The chances that any latent genetic diseases in the Trump bloodline would be magnified if he fathered his daughter’s child.

Please re-read my above paragraph, increased odds yes, but not as much as you’d think. At this point it is also important to remember that people have sexual relationships for reasons other than procreation. Were that not so, there would not be large portions of the population using contraceptives of one sort or another. Nor would there be sex between infertile people, post menopausal women having sex, gay people having sex, women who are already pregnant having sex…etc. Sex isn’t wholly for procration, it is an expression of love. Most sex that occurs on this planet does not result in a pregnancy. So it’s important that we differentiate between the act of having sex, and the act of procreation, the former MAY lead to the latter if it is biologically possible for the couple and contraception is not used.

Let us explain with a quick genetics refresher: If Trump is carrying a gene for, say, alarmingly orange skin, there is a 50 percent chance that Ivanka also carries it. The chances, then, that their child would get a copy of the Orange gene from both parents are 50 percent — much higher than the odds that would result from a relationship that was not consanguineous.

Okay you get a pass at high school level genetics, but in truth it is far more complex than that. Many aspects of a persons physical development are rooted in more than one gene. While this example works perfectly for something like eye color, genetic disorders often result from more than a single mutation. So to make this simple: say that a certain genetic disease is caused by three different genes being bad copies… if just one of these genes is a bad copy or even two then the disease doesn’t get expressed. So, lets take the example of a parent offspring couple: the offspring shares half of the DNA with the parent, that is well known. If they each carry a bad genes but it is not expressed because they have a dominant copy of a healthy gene, then the chances of two copies of a bad gene coming together are ONE IN FOUR. If THREE bad genes in combination are needed to produce a disease, then the odds of that particular disease are 0.25 /3 = 0.8333% This assumes that parent and offspring are both of heterozygous genotype for all three genes and that the disease carrying copy is recessive to the healthy copy. This goes a long way to explain why serious genetic disease is rare.

It’s for similar reason that 19th-century European royals, many of whom were offspring of first cousins, h ad weird, devastating diseases within their family trees: Hemophilia, a disease that blocks the ability to form blood clots, affected the offspring of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, who were first cousins, and thereby spread throughout royal families across Europe. Similar reasoning has led scientists to think that the Egyptian boy-Pharaoh Tutankhamen had a cleft palate and a congenitally deformed foot because his parents were siblings.

What you’re forgetting is that in these examples, there was multiple generations of incestuous procreation. This isn’t going to happen in the general population of modern society. The risks increase with every generation. This is very different than the occasional incest couple having a child.

Of course, the nearly worldwide cultural revulsion to incest is rooted in much more complex ideas than the simple magnification of certain genes, though studying its unfortunate biological effects can show us why humans have learned to be grossed out by it.

No, people are grossed out because they have been taught to be grossed out. It’s CULTURAL. How many people 100 years ago were equally disgusted by the idea of gay people having sex? Of course some people are naturally grossed out by it, but were the cultural taboo not there a lot of people would likely feel indifferent towards it.

It’s been shown to cause significant psychological damage to individuals, especially kids who are forced into sexual relations with their parents — especially daughters victimized by imposing fathers. These women, according to one study in the journal Professional Psychology, consequently suffer from low self-esteem, difficulty in intimate relationships, and repeated victimization.

Well that isn’t the type of incest we’re focused on is it… what you’re talking about here is clearly child abuse and molestation. The psychological damage caused by pedophilia is well documented, and the damage occurs whether the offender is a family member or an unrelated school teacher or priest. My point is that child molestation has nothing whatsoever to do with incest between consenting adults. These two subjects are very different things and should be treated as such.

Neither Trump nor his daughter Ivanka, diminutively named after her glamorous model mother, Ivana, have spoken out about the list of allegations made about their relationship, so we can’t know for sure whether Trump has actually crossed the incest threshold or is just unable to avoid mentioning his daughter in his consistently sexist rhetoric. What we do know to be completely true, however, is the sense of revulsion we have when we’re forced to think about it.

The solution is simple: Don’t think about it if it grosses you out, nobody can force anyone to think about anything. You have control over your own mind.

Whether they’ve crossed the line is irrelevant really, not to mention none of anyones business even if they have. Ask yourself this: even if they have, how does that impact on your life? Not at all. Does it impact his ability to do his job as the next President? Not at all. If this were not such a ridiculous taboo then this would fall into the ‘who the hell cares’ category.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s