This issue is raised most often with regards to parent/offspring consanguinamory, but to a lesser extent to uncle/niece and aunt/nephew situations also. The view of society is that because there is a perceived power imbalance between the two parties, then the relationship cannot be healthy and the younger/less powerful one either can’t give meaningful consent or is somehow going to be abused. This article exists to debunk this persistent ignorance-based myth.
Firstly, there are many other types of relationship which are perfectly legal in which there is a power differential between the participants. For instance, a company owner or manager who has an affair with an employee. It might be against company policy but it’s certainly not a legal matter unless abuse of some kind does actually occur (it’s abuse in this case that is illegal, not the relationship). We also do not ban relationships and marriage between a wealthy person and a poor person purely on the basis that the rich partner has more money and therefore more power. Again, it is possible that abuse may occur, but that doesn’t mean that it will. There are many instances of such marriages and if the participants are in a happy and loving relationship, why not? Good for them.
Sometimes people have a problem with age gap relationships in a more general way, I’ve heard some people claim that it’s ‘not normal’… huh? Why? If two people are in love and want to be together and they’re not hurting others or themselves then where exactly is the problem? There isn’t one! The only ‘problem’ is misunderstanding and ignorance. I once heard a completely outrageous argument that a 20 year old with a 45 year old ‘bordered on pedophilia’… WTF? Last time I checked, 20 is well above the age of consent and most young people of that age group know exactly what they’re doing and who they want to have sexual relations with. To say otherwise is an insult to their intelligence and personal autonomy as a human being. Also, pedophilia is a completely unrelated subject in which adults prey upon underage children. Pedophilia is by very definition abusive because the younger party is too young to consent, age-gap love is like any other love, between two consenting adults.
Now that I’ve inserted some logic here, let’s apply it to intergenerational consanguinamory. The argument goes that the parent has too much influence over the offspring for it to be healthy. What people fail to notice is that human beings influence each other all the time, can anybody seriously say that their partner has never influenced them in any way? Obviously not. Most of the time, parents in these situations go out of their way NOT to influence their offspring too much, thus redressing the perceived imbalance. Even if that wasn’t the case, that still doesn’t mean that these relationships ought be banned, as I have pointed out earlier, other types of relationship in which a power differential exists can be happy and healthy… well so can parent/offspring consanguinamorous ones too. If the relationship is happy and loving, what possible benefit can there be for banning such relationships? None at all.
The ‘consent’ argument doesn’t work here either, because if somebody is old enough to consent to sex, they are old enough to consent to it with any other adult, and they are old enough to decide who they are going to have sex with, that’s just basic logic. If a young adult, based on the feelings that they have decides to have a romantic relationship with his or her parent… what business is that of anyone else? None of anyones damn business if you ask me. Telling these young people that they can’t consent is deeply insulting, and in fact is an attempt at infantilizing those young people.
Some people argue that there is more scope for abuse in intergenerational consanguinamory…. based on what evidence exactly? Also, we don’t ban relationships based on the fact that abuse MAY occur. There are plenty of relationships which are ‘normal’ in the sense that they are between same age, unrelated, heterosexual persons that become abusive. People don’t judge ALL relationships as bad based on the few that do abuse their spouse. Furthermore, while it is possible for an incest relationship to become abusive, it doesn’t mean that it will. People do so much assuming and it’s a non-argument really. In all cases, abuse itself should always be illegal, but consenting adults in loving relationships need not be criminalized on the basis that they may at some point become abusive.
I don’t give a fuck if somebody wants to say ‘it’s not normal’, since ‘normal’ pretty much defies definition because everyone is different, that’s actually a non-argument. Intergenerational consanguinamory IS normal and healthy, there is no valid argument based on power differentials that should make them otherwise. If power differentials were such an issue in relationships, then it would be illegal for the rich to marry the poor, or for a physically weak person to marry a body builder, or a middle aged person to marry a young person… see how ridiculous and arbitrary it all is? All of the above happens in real life, and while people may have their opinions, those opinions are not considered to be a basis for criminalizing these relationships… so why the hell is intergenerational consanguinamory considered a legal matter? My point is that it shouldn’t be. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes is none of the concern of the state.