Most people believe that the governments of the world put laws there for a reason, and that if something is illegal, there must be a good reason for it. Sometimes this appears to be true, for instance there are legitimate reasons why it is illegal to run a red light, or to assault somebody, or to steal from them. However, there are some laws in place which really ought not be there, and one of those laws is the law against consensual adult incest.
Something as private and as personal as ones sex life should not be something for the state to dictate. Provided that all participants are of legal age and are consenting to the relationship, where exactly is the harm?
The state would claim that incest is illegal to protect people from sexual abuse, and to prevent deformed inbred babies from being born. So lets have a little look at this logically:
- It is quite possible, feasible and doable to legalize consensual adult incest whilst keeping pedophilia and sexual assault illegal. Penalties are already in place for child molestation and sexual assault (if anything those penalties should be more severe than they actually are). In the exact same way as the legalization of homosexuality did not lead to the legalization of same sex pedophilia, the legalization of incest will not lead to the legalization of same family pedophilia.
- The state sometimes says that even amongst adults, incest cannot be truly consensual where there is a power imbalance. Well, that doesn’t apply to GSA couples or to similarly aged siblings for a start. Here they’re mostly on about parent/offspring relations. However, the power differential here is TINY compared to some of the perfectly legal relationships like boss/employee and rich/poor. Just because it is possible for abuse to occur, does not mean that it will, and as stated above, it is possible to prosecute abusers without simultaneously persecuting consenting adults. Telling offspring in consensual relationships with their parent that they can’t consent is offensive and insulting, because it is treating those young adults like children who can’t make proper decisions for themselves. Again, if they can make the choice to have a relationship with a billionaire or their boss, they can make the choice to have a relationship with a parent.
- On the reproduction issue. I’ve said it before in other articles, and I’ll say it again… Everyone should be held to the same standards. We don’t stop others from procreating who may have a higher risk of birth defects, such as women over 40, drug abusers, alcoholics, heavy smokers, people with existing inheritable medical conditions, people who need medicines which may harm an unborn baby, people who have been exposed to radiation or toxic chemicals…. etc. Some of those people have a considerably higher chance of birth defects than the average incest couple. So in the interests of fairness and equality alone, this argument is complete horse shit.
- The state has no business telling people who they may or may not have a relationship with. It is infantilizing people and not allowing them to make their own choices in life. Big Brother DOES NOT KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU, only you know that, and you should have the legal right to make up your own mind and choose for yourself, especially on an issue as personal as who to have an intimate relationship with.
Some laws which were borne out of prejudice and fear should have no place in the 21st century, and it is my hope that one day, these oppressive and overbearing anti-incest laws are placed in the dustbin of history where they belong, alongside the anti-gay legislation, slave owning, and misogyny which tarnished the past.