Tag Archives: incest

a thought whose time really hasn’t come yet

I just went out for dinner with my sister and mum, followed by the film Creation, the Charles Darwin biopic. A humble evening out but “one of the best of my life!” according to Mum.

I guess, if you think from a mother’s perspective, having one’s disparate daughters together and to oneself for an evening must be rather a treat.

Darwin, so the theory goes, was terribly guilty about the death of his eldest child. Charles had married his first cousin, so as a scientist he knew he may have biologically weakened his daughter to the point where she couldn’t fight off her illness.

It’s brought to mind again something I’ve thought about, with no answers in sight:

Considering that in our day and age it’s possible, via the wonderful world of hyster/vasectomy, to prevent contraception with no room for error, is there any real impediment to first cousins taking up with each other again?

Actually, the theory also runs to any close relation, but as the title of this post suggests, the idea is so uncomfortable I’m not sure it’s quite ready to see the light of day.

The way I see it, as soon as you remove the danger of inbreeding, the remaining danger of incest is emotional damage. Surely, I think, it’s emotionally toxic to confuse family and romantic relations. Then I think: that’s how many, many people still see homosexuality. As though it’s psychologically damaging.

I’m one of the many who think it’s a no-brainer that same-sex love is natural. It’s love. Will people think the same about love between relatives in 100 years? (Let me be clear – I’m not equating homosexuality and incest, just wondering whether it’s possible our perception towards it could change in the same way.)

By the fact that first cousins used to marry all the time, we can see that it’s not inherently emotionally perverse. It was completely normal back in the day, before the dangers to offspring became clear(er). So if we can take those dangers away?

Anyway, I don’t think this is a comfortable thought for anyone, but it’s an interesting question all the same.