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why is incest illegal

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The question "why is incest illegal" is complicated, though the incest taboo is generally universal it's imposed differently in different societies. There is contradictory scientific evidence that inbreeding increases the risk for genetic disorders. No one study is definitive, and most do not take compounding — continued breeding within the same family line — into account.

"Incest" is the sexual relations between persons who are so closely related their marriage is illegal or forbidden by custom, or the statutory crime of sexual relations with such a near relative".  Father-daughter and stepfather-daughter incest is the most commonly reported, but mother/stepmother-daughter/son incest is not uncommon.

There is research which suggests that forty percent of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members, and possibly 20 million Americans alone have been victims if incest. Incest as a from of child abuse is still one of the most under-reported crimes in the nation, and the world. It is still one of the least talked about, despite the media attention it has gotten over the last few years, the spread of internet forums where people often speak of their experiences anonymously, and celebrities who have spoken publicly of incest from their past.

There are a variety of Web sites available via search engines for questions on sexual abuse, or child abuse and incest. Should you feel you are being sexually abused, or know someone else who is, please consider reporting it to local authorities or social services or child protective services.

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network is a networking and information site.

Here you will find a list of International Resources on Domestic Violence — the broader term incest is often classified under.

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Why Is Incest Illegal?

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Maybe it's because I am a male with no sisters and hence have nobody to look at me across the table with a wary eye come Thanksgiving dinner, but I don't understand why incest between adults is illegal. This whole Santorum mess has brought up the issue and I think that's good, kind of, in the way that it is good for a society to articulate clearly why it has the laws it has.

I'm not necessarily pro-incest. I don't think it should be encouraged by the state. I just don't understand why it is outlawed by the state. And I have yet to hear an intelligent argument against it. At Slate, William Saletan asks, if gay sex is private, why isn't incest?

Let's leave adultery and polygamy out of it for the moment. Let's set aside morality and stick to law. And let's grant that being attracted to a gender is more fundamental than being attracted to a family member. Santorum sees no reason why, if gay sex is too private to be banned, the same can't be said of incest. Can you give him a reason?

The easy answer–that incest causes birth defects–won't cut it. Birth defects could be prevented by extending to sibling marriage the rule that five states already apply to cousin marriage: You can do it if you furnish proof of infertility or are presumptively too old to procreate. If you're in one of those categories, why should the state prohibit you from marrying your sibling?

Imagine there is a brother and a sister. They are adults. Neither one is capable of having children. They want to jump each other's bones.

Why shouldn't they be allowed to

A) Get married, and/or

B) Have all the sex they want?

I'm not claiming that I am not reflexively creeped out by the thought of bro and sis getting it on (or bro and bro, or sis and sis). But I'm creeped out by a lot of legal behaviors. Being creeped out isn't a solid reason for a law, is it? If that's the case, we'll have to allow that possibly a majority of people are creeped out by the thought of gay buttfucking, so that should be illegal, too.

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About Brian Flemming

  • Since you’re now asking exactly what Santorum suggested, are you letting him off the hook? Nah, I thought not. Neither am I.

    As far as incest goes, I also don’t understand why it is illegal. It’s generally disgusting, but so are spandex shorts on anyone with a body fat percentage greater than about 13% for males or 20% for females.

    But why ignore adultery and polygamy? Why are they illegal anywhere? Adultery can said to have a victim – the wronged spouse – but couldn’t that be handled through the civil courts? Why is it a criminal act in some states?

    What about polygamy? Does the fact that all current examples of this are generally perpetrated by creepy people taking advantage of creepy young girls or foreign women have anything to do with it? Because that might change if it were legal.

    Personally, I’d still go with Samuel Clemens answer when he was asked by a Mormon friend to find anything in the Bible against polygamy: “No man can server two masters.”

    As a Christian, I can think of passages condoning polygamy and passages that aren’t so hot on the idea. But even those are generally directed that those in positions of responsibilty (leadership), not the general Christian population. Adultery and incest are more expressly forbidden, but even incest has come into and out of favor over time throughout the Bible, depending on the extenuating circumstances. And if polygamy is allowed, it’s pretty tough to commit adultery, isn’t it?

    Chalk me up as someone who is against incest, adultery and polygamy (I have to say that, my wife might read this), but wonders why the US criminal courts have any jurisdiction over such matters.

    • “Since you’re now asking exactly what Santorum suggested, are you letting him off the hook?”

    I’d let him off the hook for asking the incest question (as well as polygamy and adultery). I’m no fan of jumping all over people (whether from the left or right) for asking provocative questions.

    The bestiality and child-molestation comparisons were appalling, though. I see no justifications for those. Clearly, they aren’t “privacy” issues. They are consent issues.

    Anyway, the most frightening thing he said was not about sex, it was about privacy:

      And that’s sort of where we are in today’s world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn’t have rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we’re seeing it in our society.

    (I know you agree that this is a chilling view.)

    But if Santorum had said: “You know, if we’re gonna allow this butt sex to go on, we might as well allow incest while we’re at it. Let’s get the law out of this area. Meanwhile, I intend, as a private citizen, to speak out against these deplorable acts and encourage other Christians to do the same.” If he’d said that, I would have said, “Now there is one surprisingly principled Republican politician.”

    Anyway, it’s nice to know we agree about one or two things, even if we disagree about the danger that people like Santorum pose to our society.

  • True that, Brian. It’s nice to know that you aren’t completely wrong about everything!

    And yes, I’m teasing. It’s been a long week, and while I’m finally making progress on a design for Blogcritics that might work within MSIE5 while not looking like roadkill in decent browsers, I’m still not there yet, so I’m trying to be careful not to take out my frustrations on others.

  • Help me out here, Brian. Where is Santorum sourced as saying about about beastiality or child-molestation? All of the articles I’ve read recently, including the hilarious one from Utah, stop short of that. By stopping short, they leave the only part of Santorum’s comments that I find truly objectionable the privacy issue. As he has pointed out, in his own defense, even that is a common question. Too common, in my book.

    So I still think he’s a moron, and I hate the thought of him in the Senate, but there are plenty of morons in D.C. in both parties. Kick them all out!

  • Phillip,

      Help me out here, Brian. Where is Santorum sourced as saying about about beastiality or child-molestation?

    In the full text of his interview with the AP. I have linked to it three times–twice in comments on Al’s post, and once in the article above.

    And now for a fourth time.

    I assume when he says “man on child” and “man on dog” he is referring to child abuse and bestiality.

  • Gotcha, I thought I’d seen reference to it, I just couldn’t remember where. Still, you’re reaching here. After several times more clearly comparing “sodomy” with the aforementioned mild(ish) though provocative acts, he later, in a slightly different context, says:

    In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.

    Breaking down the pronouns, it seems clear that he was parenthetically inserting a defense (of sorts) of homosexuality as he probably realized he had focused far more on homosexuality than he intended to or normally would. So I don’t see how “not to pick on X, at least it’s not Y or Z” gets turned into “X is just like Y or Z” is unclear. Maybe I’m just not wearing my “must hate all Republicans” hat today.

    The only objectionable part I really find in the whole interview, given the benefit of the doubt and without hearing the actual audio, is “The idea is that the state doesn’t have rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions. I disagree with that.” And that’s enough. And now reading in detail I also note that he has a very specific legal basis for making even that statement, so when the interviewer gave him a chance to clarify that statement, he rephrased it as:

    The right to privacy is a right that was created in a law that set forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And I don’t agree with that. So I would make the argument that with President, or Senator or Congressman or whoever Santorum, I would put it back to where it is, the democratic process. If New York doesn’t want sodomy laws, if the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn’t agree with it, but that’s their right. But I don’t agree with the Supreme Court coming in.

    And there, again, I can see his point. I wouldn’t want to live in his state, but as an anti-federalist, I agree that many things should be left as local state issues. As a Constitutionalist, I don’t see where any federal branch has ever been granted the right to meddle in people’s private lives to this extent, which is what the law under discussion essentially does (in reverse).

    So here we were, agreeing on something for once, and on a closer reading, I have to backpedal and say that within the context of making a legal argument, I believe Santorum has a strong factual basis for his legal position. His personal animosity is a little ridiculous, but that’s another story. I’d be curious to see whether this logical legal thinking extends to issues where it might result in a decision Santorum wouldn’t like. Is he principled enough to be consistently anti-federal? Frankly, I doubt it. Politicans all suck.

  • As a little sister with three older brothers, I have to bring up one issue of incest not necessarily related to law.

    It’s a power thing. Incest is rarely fully consensual. The relationship between the parties would make that almost impossible.

    That being said, I do think it is in the jurisdiciton of local state government,not federal.

    Okay, I have to go throw up now.

  • Phillip,

    You are clearly wearing your “I must love all Republicans hat.”

    The pronoun “it’s” obviously refers to “marriage.”

    I don’t think there can be any reasonable doubt that the idea Santorum is trying to communicate, explicitly, not implicitly, is this:

    Marriage is not these three things:

    man on man
    man on dog
    man on child

    Because marriage is “one thing”: Man on woman.

    He’s not saying homosexuality is “one thing.” He’s saying marriage is one thing. And he’s saying that he’s not “picking on” homosexuality only, because he excludes a lot of other things from marriage, too. Such as bestiality and child molestation.

    Do you really think he meant “homosexuality is one thing”? If so, what on Earth could he mean by that? It doesn’t make any sense.

    I don’t think this is a matter of an interpretation that goes either way. It’s clearly the only intepretation of what he said that makes sense. I think you really have to blur your eyes to think that “it’s” can refer to anything but “marriage” in that paragraph. Or I guess you can put on your “I love all Republicans” glasses.

    As far as the legal analysis goes, would you agree with this statement:

    “It is okay for a government to create and enforce a law regulating private behavior, as long as it is a state government, not a federal government.”


    Yeah, it is gross, I imagine even more so for someone with opposite-sex siblings.

    Are you saying that the power relationship between, say, a 40-year-old brother and his 36-year-old sister is so out of balance that any sexual act between them would not be consensual? I’m not challenging that idea, I just wonder if that’s what you’re saying.

  • On Santorum: See, this is where an audio source would be nice. It took three tries with accents on different syllables before I finally read it the way you’re suggesting. Having done so finally, yep, I can definitely see how that could be what he meant. Had I the time, I’d post audio of me reading those sentences both ways. Anyway, as I’ve said, it’s an ignorant view, but the legal basis for his overall statements seems worthy of consideration. Er, and obviously it seems so to you as well, hence this post. So we’re back to agreeing on this one, mostly.

    Your revised question is interesting, because it has been a matter of some debate within my circles of family and friends for some time. My answer is that I think that there should have to be some commonly held compelling interest to the local jurisdiction. Sadly, this is vague enough to lead eventually to a local police state, but I’m not sure I can make it any more specific. In the end, all societies are derived from the consent of the governed (though obviously many times that “consent” can be based on fear or misinformation, a fact to which murphy alludes), and if enough people in an area decide it is against the law for someone to own a yellow car, that’s what happens.

    Of course, owning a car seems like a private behavior, but then one can argue that buying or selling such a car would be an act of commerce, which is different. Some better examples might be community compacts which require a homeowner to keep his yeard so and his house so because the community is concerned about property values. Or that prohibits more than X number of people per bedroom, ostensibly for the same reason. Now I hope that anybody can see that this seems an unreasonable restriction, since it presumes that all family groups of more than X people per room will necessarily act in such a way to bring down property values, which isn’t necessarily so. But it’s the “law” in many areas.

    So it’s a gray area. It all hinges on what constitutes a compelling interest, and many good and honest people will naturally disagree on that. Homeschooling – does society have a compelling interest? Some states say yes, some say no, and most are somewhere in between (which technically means “yes”). What about drug use? Some states or even cities would like to decriminalize the use of certain narcotics (an act of which I’m generally in favor, by the way), and I would be much more comfortable with that decision being made locally than the way it is handled now. (Speaking of reasons to be greatly peeved at Ashcroft, though in this case he’s following well-established guidelines, just more zealously than some)

    There are plenty of other examples, but I think my answer is probably clear enough. Let me know if not.

    On incest: I saw an episode of ER once where these teenage siblings had committed incest during their time of trauma and grief after their mother’s death (I think that was it), and their father found out because the pretty nurse talked about it when she shouldn’t have. Granted, it’s television, but there’s one example in which power didn’t seem to be a factor. Generally, though, I agree with Murphy that most incidents of anything sexual have primarily to do with power. Certainly sexual harrassment in the workplace is a reflection of power and control more than anything else.

    Frankly, I’ve got a teenage sister, and I can’t even imagine her as a nearly-adult person, with all that implies, let alone as an object of desire. Nothing personal, sis, I’m sure you’re desirable to somebody, it’s just hard for me to wrap my head around, so I’ll stop trying.

    So yeah, Murphy’s probably right, but there are exceptions to everything, which is why one-size-fits-all laws should usually be better reasoned out than they are.

    Now, Brian, these interesting comments keep taking me away from stuff I’ve got to get done, on Blogcritics.org’s backend and otherwise. So stop it! 8^)

  • For a relatively well-reasoned argument on why even Christians should not (and mostly do not) support making every Biblical restriction into law, see Eugene Volokh.

    I know, it’s only circumstancially applicable to this post, but I couldn’t remember where else we had this conversation about mixing Christianity and politics, so this’ll have to do. 8^)

  • Phillip,

    I suppose it is a gray area if one thinks that zoning laws and buttfucking laws are somehow in the same category.

    The color of a house can be regulated without violating a privacy right because everyone in the neighborhood sees that house’s exterior. The house’s exterior is not the least bit private–it directly affects others, to the extent that they see it.

    For this reason, I would fully support a law against public anal sex. Your property or not–you can’t have sex on your front lawn. Go do it in private. But if the local community wants to follow you INSIDE your house and regulate your sexual behavior there, I would support a judge putting a stop to that.

    I don’t know what other protection there would be. And the right of homosexuals to bone away as much as they want however they want is important enough to protect, I think. Just looking at a gay person who is in jail for expressing his sexual desire and saying, “Hmm..too bad, I don’t agree with that, but the local community DID make the law” isn’t good enough.

    Whatever value there might be in achieving some ideal state of separation between local communities and the federal judiciary is negated by the fact that some gay dude is sitting in jail only because he wanted to bone another guy up the butt in private.

    Re: Ten Commandments. Volokh’s argument is good, and I’ve always known that many, many Christians prefer a secular government to any hint of theocracy. I personally know lots of these Christians.

    However, if you could go and convince the millions of Christians who most certainly wouldn’t agree in this strict separation, I’d really appreciate it. They’re the ones I’m worried about. Not all Christians. Those Christians–the dangerous ones.

  • For what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure that the incest laws are a holdover from people realizing that many of the health problems they had were a result of inbreeding — such as the hemophiliacs that ran rampant through the courts of Western Europe — and wanting to prevent them in the future. Then they stay on the books because no one wants to come out as pro-incest and no one respectable is lobbying hard to get the laws changed. Then they’re only used in reported abuse cases and to prevent intermarriage.

  • Brian – In #9, you stated that I must be wearing an “I love Republicans” hat to be able to hear anything other than your chosen interpretation of Santorum’s comment regarding truly perverse acts.

    I note that no less a Republican than Dan Savage – in an article entitled “G.O.P. Hypcorisy,” no less – makes the same “mistake.”


  • Yeah, he made the same mistake. It isn’t a hard mistake to make. I did at first. But once you actually think about that parapgraph, I don’t think it’s easy to retain that conclusion.

    Explain the meaning of

    “It is one thing.”

    I submit that you can’t do it without gymnastics.

    Whereas if “it” means “marriage,” the entire paragraph makes sense, and has the bonus of being consistent with Santorum’s views on marriage, and consistent with the Christian Right’s tendency in general to frame every attack like this as a “defense of marriage.”

      In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.

    The topic sentence is about marriage. The concluding sentence is about marriage. The paragraph is about marriage.

    “It” means “marriage.” And if “it” means “marriage,” that means Santorum was lumping sodomy in with bestiality and

  • Louie

    In america we are not free,But only as free as they allow us to be.

    Ban the laws!


    I disagree with you vehemently! I had a body fat percentage of 11, and I STILL looked disgusting in spandex shorts!

  • Eric Olsen

    Incest is rightfully illegal. Society has the right to draw lines and say “this behavior is never okay, is never appropriate or acceptable,” and the only way to officially do this is through law. Incest is unhealthy physically and even more important, emotionally: immediate family members should have only one relationship with each family member, that of “family member,” and to confuse that with sex and all the baggage attendant to such a relationship is insanity.

    And this has nothing to do with equal rights or hereditary predispositions as we discuss so frequently here vis-a-vis gay rights, etc – an immediate family member is NEVER the “right one” for you. Period. No exceptions. Ever. Shut up.


    But what does that have to do with how hot I don’t look in biker shorts?

  • Bricklayer, we don’t disagree at all. I concede that you look dreadful in biker shorts, and would at any body fat percentage. Moreover, I never said otherwise.

    What I said was “It’s generally disgusting, but so are spandex shorts on anyone with a body fat percentage greater than about 13% for males or 20% for females.” I never even addressed the subject of people with body fat percentages under those levels, and it’s clear that many of them are also disgusting, including you.

    Nothing personal, of course! 😉


    (Assuming the voice of Emily Latella) Oh, um, nevermind.

    I think I’ll dissapear now.

  • shayna

    i just want to know one thing… does it count as incest for a girl to fuck her step brother?

  • It depends, Shayna? Are you hot?

    No, seriously, the reason the taboo is functional in society is because of the potential for child abuse and poor boundaries. You can make an argument that adults can make better choices in this regard once everyone’s a consenting adult, but it’s still definitely a bad idea to keep it within the family (especially the primary/ nuclear family). Yes, the genetic thing is largely a myth, but there’s clearly a social and cultural disadvantage (if you want to talk in anthropological terms) to endogamous rather than exogamous pairings.

    I don’t think prohibitions through the law are the answer to most issues and I’m not familiar with where the law currently stands. I would say that anything involving minors and children should definitely remain illegal, as should all such sex (whether incest or not). I’m also inclined to say consenting adults within the primary family unit should still also be disallowed since there’s the inherent potential for coercion and abuse. And I think for cousins and step-sisters and the like (which I think is legal), move to West Virginia … mazeltov.

    That is all.

  • Moving Finger

    Many of society’s laws reflect a history where law was created in reflection of morals and ethics, because the lawmakers judged it was their job to enforce moral codes on their society. What was thought to be immoral was then usually made illegal. Witness the histories of alcohol prohibition in the USA, prostitution, homosexuality, drugs. Many forms of tobacco advertising are illegal in Europe – in my opinion it is only a matter of time before tobacco itself is outlawed. Incest is an example of a morally originating law.

    Some of these moral-based laws we may agree with, some of them we may not.

    Surely the proper role of law in this context is to protect the weak and innocent members of society from abuse and/or exploitation, and NOT to prevent mature consenting adults from exercising their freedom of choice? The real question, it seems to me, is whether it is right for any society to impose moral-based laws on its adult and mature members?

  • Society Scroller

    I was having a conversation with someone the other day who insisted that while beastility ws illegal that incest was not between consenting adults. But every time I try to google this to find out statutes I get, well, you know what I get!

    Can any of you kind folks help me out by giving me sites that cite laws prohibiting incest of any age?

    Thank you.

  • Debater

    Personaly, i feel although incest is wrong it shouldn’t be a law because firstly barely anyone will do it becuase they think it is gross and those who do will know the health implications of doing it and so are unlikely to try and have children. Therefore, there is no need to make it illegal as it doesn’t change anything.

  • Question


  • Zedd


    Incest along with murder are the two things that are and have been taboo in all cultures through time. There are some perverted examples in Greek/Roman society but the pupolation thought the acts despicable.

    Also again, marriage was instituted for the sake of propagating the species. We can argue all day but that is the reason it exists. Incest goes against the notion of a viable species as it is known to produce defects as you have mentioned. How many times have couples who thought that they couldn’t concieve, found themselves pregnant. What would prevent related couples from screeming discrimination because they have to present data about their reproduction when non related people dont. Why couln’t they say that they could do genetic testing on the embrio to make sure that it has no defects.

    Also, if it become socially acceptable for brother and sister to engage in sexual activity, those who are growing up in house holds, who are not sterile, will be more inclined to indulge in sexual activity. Babies would result. Also teen boys with their raging hormones would be more apt to molest their younger sisters because the YUCK factor of incest would be removed.

    What would prevent adult brothers and sisters from dating and producing offspring if the taboo is removed?

    Every law exist because we get out of control.

  • Zedd

    Ummmm Santorum looks gay.

    Is it me???

  • STM

    For all those folks who don’t know the answer to this question: many years ago, I found myself on the wild and woolly, largely unsettled west coast of an island State off the coast of mainland Australia (I won’t offend people by naming it).

    It was there, in a very isolated small town, or what passed as a town, having a few houses, a shop and a petrol pump, that I realised all the jokes about the friendly inhabitants of this beautiful said island State having two heads were possibly once based on a kernel of truth.

    You could feel the bad vibes from inside the car. Incest and in-breeding is no joke. And serious health problems are the least of the issues.

    Mind you, six fingers are very handy if you’re a banjo player.

  • Pinkblanket

    My ex was into incense. Never liked the smell. Like being in a head shop ya know. Peace.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “Mind you, six fingers are very handy if you’re a banjo player.”

    If the banjo has only five strings, what are you going to use that extra digit for, Stan??

  • D’oh

    by the frigid nipples of sweet Persephone, can we puh-leeEEEEeeEEEEeeeezzze lock these threads or something that keep getting spammed over and over and flood ongoing topics from the fresh comments page?

    I’m guessing blocking IPs isn’t possible, but at least lock these ancient dead threads…the spam-bot keeps hitting the same ones over and over and over and over and over and over…

    thanks in advance

  • Clavos

    Second the motion…

  • STM

    Incest is illegal because if it weren’t, there’d be a lot of gibberers running around like Erick Norton. Being able to spell Eric properly should be a pre-requisite for being allowed to remain in the gene pool.

  • David Dawson

    Lots of things are illegal that should be legal. Incest is just one of them.

    Let’s start a list!

    1. Drugs – In a “free country”, people should be FREE to use drugs. Don’t piss on my leg & tell me it’s raining please.

    2. Prostitution – The oldest profession should DEFINITELY be legal.

    3. Anal Sex – How can a “free country” tell me where I can put it? If my wife agrees, it should be legal!!

    I’m sure there are many more…

    By the way, read the Treaty of Tripoli (signed by George Washington and many founding fathers) and you will see that THE USA IS NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION… so get out with your xian laws.

  • This might have been said already, but genetically speaking, incest is a slow form of suicide. Read up on your history of various European royal families and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    If you intermarry, the first generation or two might actually show some enhanced genetic characteristics, after that, it’s all down hill from there.

    Negative traits appear and you see increased incidences of retardation and other genetic abnormalities until the whole line ceases to exist.

    Oh yeah, the whole idea is yucky and creepy too.

    My two cents. 🙂


  • Graham McKnight

    It is outlawed, I believe, because sex is the prefered method of procreation for the overwhelming majority. Whilst we may enjoy sex, the fundamental purpose of sex is to procreate, and it is for this reason (I assume) that incest is illegal. Demented children don’t do the economy nay good.

  • your question seems to be rhetorical

  • Jay Brooks

    If man on child is wrong why have the catholic clergy not only supported it but practiced it for centuries, including in current times. Rather than admit any wrongdoing they first move the priest from parrish to parrish in the hopes it will just go away. only after years and a lot of legal work is anything done, and the cases settled rather than fought.
    anything between consenting adults that you cannot stop without 24 hour in HOME surveillance should be legal. Congrats to the Nazi’s that would have your sex life under their strict rules. first it starts with who you can be with. then what you can do. finally how long you can do it for. Then if you screw up Warren Jeffs is telling you your moth… i mean wife has to go sleep with another man.
    In these days we need more homosexuals, smokers, people who don’t wear seatbelts, and all those other things that either don’t make babies or kill the person doing it. why you ask. go down to your local unemployment office. then go to a local homeless shelter. then tell me we need more people. people are for this or anti that, but they don’t fucking look at the bigger picture. only their small minds going “duhh, i think the world should be this way, and i’ll kill to have it”
    frankly if you have two relatives that want to fuck their brains out, the real issue is how far will you go to stop it.
    George W Bush would be more than happy to install the fucking camera’s in your home to make sure you aren’t beating off (to or not to the picture of your hot Aunt). hell, from the paperwork he’ll do it just for the hell out of it. (to alabama) maybe your vibrators are actually al-quida weapons of mass distruction and the reason Bush never could locate them is he won’t admit that its all the first lady gets. (plausable deniability in government) of course there is that anti-bestiality thing, well, and you seen his wife… what a dog.
    look what happened when someone actually suggested teaching masturbation as a SAFE SEX measure.
    Homosexuals should recieve Darwin Award Plaques.
    not for being idiots but by reducing the population.
    fuck we do it for dogs and cats. the same arguments work for people.
    homeless stray people breeding uncontrolably with no resources dying in the streets. please have your young neighbor couples spayed and nuetered today.
    tonight my wife is going to suck my dick then take it up the ass. if you want to come in and stop her i’ll be happy to pull out the gun and improve the gene pool.
    good night.

  • wounldn you like to know

    sounds like someone wants to jump his sister

  • david edsall

    if sex is for procreation and marriage is a way of protecting healthy procreation then marriage should be between a healthy man and a healthy woman who can procreate. So by that logic, no marriage for post menopausal women, no gays, no sick people, no morbid obesity but polygamy with multiple women and multiple men is OK if all parties are are healthy.

  • megan

    going back to comment #2, on polygamy, and the story about Samuel Clemens…usually polygamy is a man having multiple wives, and according to the bible, a woman is NOT her husbands master, but the other way around. Therefore, having two wives is not having two masters. God is Mans only master. and he said MAN. MAN cannot serve two masters…but a woman can.

    just food for thought

  • Angela

    I think that incest shouldn’t be banned. If a family member wants to have sex with the other family member they should have a right. The love they share is so beautyfull.

  • Andrew

    The author has it if you ask me. If two infertile family members want to have sex I can see no reason for stopping them. Thinking about it makes me feel sick, but that should not make it illegal.

  • My understanding is that laws don’t matter much as far as incest goes. We don’t not develop an attraction to our siblings, uncles, aunts, parents because we understood the law as children. I’ve been reading that it’s likely biologically coded. (of course like everything else, it’s a potential with a range not a definite outcome in all cases) That said I’d gag at the though of sex with a Republican but you don’t see me making it illegal. (hmmm, though that is one law that would possibly be helpful to humankind)

  • mackerel

    I doubt its anymore biologically coded to be against boning your family member than being repulsed by gay buttsex is.

    Its because its a social taboo. Other animals readily bone their family members all the time.

    If it was biologically coded to be repulsed by it, then what would be the harm in making it legal? Things would continue as they are now if it was biologically hard-wired.

    In one culture it is a custom for the uncle to bone his neice before she gets married.

    Saying it should be banned due to genetic defects in children is stupid. Plenty of non-related people make “retard” babies. Should they not be allowed to have sex? Should you have to be checked for good genes before having sex? What if the couple is the same sex, sterilized or just got an abortion?

    I’m sure in 50 or so years people won’t be so close-minded and it will be legal.

    Anyone who thinks it should be banned because it is “icky” is no better than a crazy religious person who is against gay sex.

  • zingzing

    say you had an incredibly hot sister and a drug-addicted armadillo around. just say you did.

  • zingzing

    and then your wavy-haired brother walks in…

  • zingzing

    [alright, now you make a porno]

  • Sera Sleeklorn

    Because Jesus said it’s wrong.

    No matter what anybody says, our government is based on religion — it has from the start, it forever will be.

  • michelle

    i dont think incest should be illegal. you cannot help who you fall in love with. my father and i are very much in love and our relationship is amazing. sure we both felt guilty at first because when we first realized our love for each other at this level he was still married to my mother. we dont feel guilty anymore and we’re living a good life together and hopefully starting a family soon.

  • jpilot

    Incest is taboo and should be avoided. More practically can lead to uncovering of recessive alleles, i.e. birth defects. Moreover I find it difficult to imagine an interest would exist. History of cousins marrying appears abundant but risk of birth defects still exists. Studies show attraction among phermones different from oneself and logically this would be found more readily among genetically unrelated people, although I don’t think the study looked at attraction between related people.

  • bob37

    i think that it should be ok to marr your cousin.

    Also a father might be able to marry a stepdaughter he hasnt raised personally.

  • Troubled

    Children have no rights as it is. If incest is allowed to be legal, then children are even further at risk. When you tell adults that it is okay to rape and abuse children just because the adults are responsible for the children being here, it gives them prime reasons to exact revenge for the child having been borne. There are some very sick people out here and if we allow incest to be legal, the children will suffer even more. Another reason incest should be illegal is because man kind is supposed to be the superior animal, however, if incest is freely practiced, then what distinguishes us from the four-legged creatures? There will be no distinction; we will be four-legged creatures that stand on two legs. I would like to think that we have better morals. But maybe we don’t.

  • BeckaS

    I don’t understand why it would be either. If two people love eachother they should be allowed to be together. Birth defects aren’t a major thing, plus no parent cares what their kid looks like and society shouldn’t either. There is no true reason for this to be illegal. The government is controlling too much of the people’s personal lives. Next thing you know we’ll be living in a society like in The Giver where the government says what you will be, your name, your spouse, how many kids you can have, and when you can do all of that.

  • Shawna

    So, I was just reading this, but I don’t completely understand why incest is illegal. Not that I’d go off and have sexual intercourse with any of my siblings. I just don’t understand why, if both sides are willing and of age, they can’t be married and have sex, do what they please.

  • facts

    incest isn’t illegal if both people are of age (16 or 18 can’t remember which) and are both consening (not rape basically. Incest is frowned apon and there are moral-based laws however the police can’t actually do anything if as i said above, of age and consening, the police don’t go out looking for it like they do with thieves and arsonists, etc

  • Liz

    We’re human after all. We are unable to control our bodies reactions to intimacy. I say, if you want to just do it.

  • The rabbid ButtFucker

    I do believe incest shold be legal

  • Clear As Mud

    Away from religion, I think incest is wrong because:

    1. We cannot keep track of who gave birth to who! Take a male mates with his sister who gives birth to a new (male/female), for example. Now how will the child relate to those two people? The male gets “father/uncle,” for relations, while the female gets “mother/aunt!” Huh .. what?!

    2. There is medical evidence that the close blood is more prone to carry stronger candidates and causes for serious life-lasting and/or life-threatening illnesses regardless of having a child or not. Don’t forget that bodily fluids are mixed and interchanged during intercourse.

    3. How would the child inherit (moneis/properties)? It seems to me the rich would become richer and vice versa!

    4. How would siblings inherit when death occurs? Is it going to be as husband/wife or as siblings, or as both!?

    5. How would society look like ten or even five years from when incest becomes legal? I mean in terms of health, looks, relations, population growth, etc? I do not know the answer but I am sure everything will be different; will change! It is worth thinking about. Here’s a scary thought. Sleeping in the same house is a family of 5 or 6 people who happen to be all in heat at least once a week all at the same time while incest is lagal and all/few of them are “non-religious”! Think population growth!

    6. What would happen to the traditional family structure. I think families, as we know them, will vanish. Is this something we want or even can afford in terms of individual dependancies, etc? Or would families restructure and how? I don’t think a nursing moher, of her own sister gifted to her by own father, would would look at her own biological (who happens to be her aunt as well) mother as close person whom she can go to when she is suddenly competition to her social position! I’m confused too .. lol!

    7. Legalizing a fundamental no-no in society could lead to confusion, rioting, and possible lowlessness! Imagine what could be next up for debate! Think how gay marriage being legal might be related to this debate now and think if incest becomes legal, then what might be the next debate? Here is a scary thought. What if a debate begins over legalizing citizens killing prisoners because they are a burden on society?! I am sure this could happen just like we were debating gay relations and just like we are debating incest right now!

    I can go on and on. It is obvious that incest is wrong and it is a fundamental undermining element to societal structure as we used to know it before legalizing gay marriage!

  • Paul Middleton

    I wonder that if Adam and Eve were the first man and woman on this planet then how did billions of people survive till this day. There had to be some incestous feeling and activity. I am an elderly type man who would like to bed my daughter, who is in her sixties. But she tells me that we would be commiting incest, which is a sin. Though I do not believe in sin as a punishment from god I must respeot her feeling about it.

  • Paul Middleton

    When was inest made a sin. If god had not endured mankind with the most satisfying emotion then why did he make it so. Ot would seem to me that he could have made making children moreplentiful by making procreation less emotionally satisfng. Remember, he knows all things. He made the the fish that swim, birds that fly and everything on earth and beyond. So, why make incest a sin. It makes no sense.

  • Paul Middleton

    In thebible it states that god created heaven, earth and all things. He then created man to resemble himself, he then took a rib from adam and created woman. How did billions of people come from without incest being involved. Should we innore the obvious conclusion that god knew incest had to be in order for the population to increase.

  • Clear As Mud

    Outside the realm of religion it gets confusing! And just like many other things.

  • Nick

    The moral law is a good point. I think that the only real purpose incest laws have now is for rape/child molesting, as two people in a consenting relationship wouldn’t go turn themselves in. I actually don’t see it as disgusting or wrong, it is as much of a lifestyle choice as homosexuality.

  • unknown

    Personally, I believe it’s none of the government’s business who we do and don’t fall in love with. As far as a sex crime, I would have to say that rape should be the prime issue in law. Unwanted sex is unwanted, period.

  • loving brother

    Incest for Love and pleasure Should be allowed. I have maintained a Loving sexual relationship with my older Sister for years And ouR Spouses Know And Approve. Everyone Else Hug And KiSs Their Siblings With Love, Why Not More

  • Dr. Megan Soryu

    I say that neither incest nor zoophilia should be illegal, i say, that it is a show of love, and as long as it is consensual, nothing, sexually, should be illegal as long as it is consensual, and has love behind it; it may just be me, but, i take it as: love is love, it doesn’t matter what relation, species, gender, or age the participating parties are, as long as both are accepting of this and other shows of love.

    • Anon

      Incest, if consensual.
      Zoophilia, non humans cannot give consent.

    • Rosey

      Yes I agree, love is love 🙂

    • Dev Edwards

      I agree. If the loce (incest in this case is consensual, then there is no harm. Lets take for instance a brother and sister engage in incest, as long as they’re WILLING to do sexual activities, then I see no problem at all. I may have been brought up to believe love should exist between: a man and a women, two people un-related, etc. But, I say screw that! It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, lesbian, trans gender, bi-sexual, metro sexual, pan sexual, black, latino, asain, or any other sexual orientation or ethnic group. All people have a right to love!!! As long as, and I repeat, it’s consensual/okay with the other person or people.
      Thanks for Reading….
      P.S. I support all sexual orientations, interracial lovers, those of any fetish.

  • Obsidain

    What i dont understand is why relations not abuse of a sister brother cousins ect is so wrong people should at least be allowed to be with whoever they want family our not hell one of the presidents was married to his cousin….

  • pinklover

    I was in a relationship with my second cousin for 6 years. Both of us consented, both of us knew what we were doing, and we saw nothing wrong with it. He is the love of my life, no other guy can compair to him (not even my husband). I see nothing wrong with incest, IF the two are in agreement.

    • JohnnyUtah

      Haha, this made me laugh… You’ve been with your cousin for 6 years. If he’s perfect, why’d you marry someone else, or much worse, have you been cheating in that poor man for 6 years? Either way, he deserves better than you. Leave him and go marry your cousin.

      Also cheers if you’re trolling.

  • Carole Di Tosti

    I learned in a law class that incest refers to immediate family, i.e. not cousins. Non of us could believe it when the lawyer told us this. She said if you marry your first cousin it is not illegal…not against the law. On the other hand, if you have sex with a brother or sister…or father or mother? Bad news, folks. And of course throw in uncles and aunts as well. However, first cousins? No. I still am shocked…but that’s what she said and she’s a practicing attorney…and this is NY.

  • AnonOpinion

    I dont see why it is illegal, it isn’t causing harm to anyone, the only problem people think of when it comes to incest is that the children will have a mental or physical defect but children are born everyday 2ith physical or mental defects, all incest does is increase the chance but the couple would know beforehand about the higher risk of it occuring.