Man, maybe I should stop multiquoting. It's making these kind of cumbersom.
I dunno, I can only see tolerance of incest as getting in the way. We would have to determine what's rape and what's slightly more legal rape. It would only lead to more bullshit obstructing the way of justice.
Yeah, every action we do to give others more rights, it just opens a new can of worms. It always does.
Yeah, but "a can of worms" isn't always bad. It just means that the arguments have logical ends that should be acknowledged, but people refuse to. That's exactly what regressives have been moaning about as far as gay marriage. Once people acknowledge that a line is arbitrary, many will want to move it until it stops being arbitrary. It's called ethical and philosophical consistency, and I don't have a problem with it, especially when completely harmless people benefit from it.
The real "bullshit" obstructing justice is our culture's attitudes towards female sexual empowerment, rape, and coercion, as well as a disregard for victims and the powerless. In many of the consensual cases, it's quite obvious that it's consensual. That's why they prosecute both parties. It's the same problem as with people who grow up and marry their former teacher, secretaries who marry their boss, or any other situations where there is a prior history of some kind of power difference. It's the same problem as discerning coercion and consent in sexual relationships in general. Date rape, blackmail, and other things make sex and relationships in general complicated, and we already have existing laws and frameworks for dealing with them. Rape by an authority figure is rape by an authority figure, but "incest" laws won't protect anyone from their local priest. It's called life. It's called not punishing one person for the sins of another, especially when there's nothing to be gained by it for anyone.
^^^ But... but creepy uncles. Let that sink in.
Well, if it is a rape, then it is a rape. Let the law enforcement deal with these "uncles" as they see fit.
Exactly. I'd like to say, the current laws and taboos don't stop familial rape, and don't stop "creepy uncles". "Incest" laws also lump in standard uncles, uncles your own age, and uncles who you've never met before until you're 25. It's not clear why they should all be considered the same. There are also no laws stopping strangers on the street from being creepy. They're all bad behavior and should be socially stigmatized for the same reason. One kind of creepiness and disregard for consent and personal boundaries should not be priveleged above another.
Yeaaaaaah I don't personally advocate incest or polygamy.
I also see a lot of potential for abuse in laws that are even a little lax with incest and polygamy; it could lead to a lot of creepy uncles getting their way.
Practitioners of incest and polygamy probably represent a tiny fraction of the population, maybe about the same fraction as there are pedophiles and sex offenders. I see absolutely no reason to pander to them, and so it's different from gay rights since LGBT represent a much larger fraction.
Yes, but there's an uneven application of rape laws (and even "incest" laws) now. At best, it wouldn't be that much worse than it already is, and the ability to go public with things would make it easier to shine a light on abusers. Don't people remember that arguments about child abuse were rampant in the early days of the gay rights movement, and are still used by some regressives to tarnish homosexuals? Why should a couple of men with a house in the suburbs be thrown in with rapists and molesters? Similarly, why should two siblings with a house in the suburbs be thrown in with rapists and molesters? If removing laws and stigmas that don't even explicitly apply to rapists and molesters is that much of a problem, that it would lead to people not caring about victims of rape and abuse, then we have more serious problems in our society than whether or not we legalize consanguineous sex. Such a society clearly has no respect for human dignity, consent, or personal autonomy. I'd say we should address those issues, and stop wasting time worrying about whether that couple down the street who look really similar are siblings.
And they are a minority, but so are homosexuals. The best estimates put homosexuals at, at most, 5% of the population. Trans* people are even fewer. Bisexuals are the most common of all, but also frequently blend in better with heterosexual society. Bisexuals are also thrown under the bus by homosexual activists, so even by their own standards some LGBT+ activists are not fighting for true equality.
Non-monogamous people are a larger portion of the percentage of marriages and long-term relationships than same-sex relationships, and there's a lot of overlap between the poly* community and the queer community.
Psychologist Geri D. Weitzman has a new paper out, "Therapy with Clients Who Are Bisexual and Polyamorous" (Journal of Bisexuality, Vol. 6, Issue 1-2), where she summarizes some of the little that's known:
Page (2004) found that 33% of her bisexual sample of 217 participants were involved in a polyamorous relationship, and 54% considered this type of relationship ideal. West (1996) reported that 20% of her lesbian respondents were polyamorous, while Blumstein and Schwartz (1983) found that 28% of the lesbian couples in their sample were. Blumstein and Schwartz found that 65% of the gay male couples in their study were polyamorous, and that 15-28% of their heterosexual couples had "an understanding that allows nonmonogamy under some circumstances" (p.312).
As for consanguineous relationships, that's hard to tell. Getting statistics on more than just sex acts is hard (the fact that there was ever a survey at all on just sex acts is itself amazing). I've done rough estimates, but it's all speculation. Regardless, why should the rights of a group be proportional to its size? It isn't an issue of rights for one group. Same-sex marriage is a universal right. Whether one chooses to exercise one's right is a personal thing. It's the same for other types of relationships. They deserve freedom, respect, and dignity, because they are human beings who treat their fellow humans justly, contribute positively to society, and have moral value as sentient persons. The structure of the law is more about hashing out the wrinckles that inevitably come from trying to constrain nuanced ethics into the rigidity of written and enforced law. That still doesn't mean that the law should be allowed to ignore their dignity or moral worth. Their life choices are their own.
Hey, I'm 15. I can choose my decisions. I am proof that I can consent with having sex with a 45 year old because I enjoy it and it seems more fun. It's not sexual abuse if I enjoy it and consent with it. I am proof that 14 and 15 year olds can consent.
See, this is the problem. With incest. A person falls in love with their sister or brother with the falsehood of being "in love" and "consent". I mean, if you want to have sex with your sister than go ahead. I don't care if it's behind closed doors. But the idea of everybody watching you while you and your sister shout it out in public is just despicable. There is a difference between gays and incestuous relationships need I remind you. In a gay relationship you have a variety of people you choose to marry and have sexual relationships. But with incest, you have sex with one person, it's not like you can move on right? There is no factual evidence that incestuous relationships are sexually orientated. Only pure bullshit of "Human rights, morality, they can love who they want". The truth is, the thing they are doing is not healthy and massively harmful to their mental state. Which, funny enough sounds a lot like pedophiles and consenting children doesn't it?
A big part of this is about legal distinctions, and what kind of distinctions the law can and should be allowed to make. Legally, a 15 year old can't consent in any jurisdiction in the US, and in many jurisdictions overseas. Adults can consent, however. Laws against bigamy and "incest" aren't about legal, ethical, or moral consent, but about punishing people who fail to conform.
Relationships between adults and minors are also not a permanent social class of relationships. Worst case scenario, they wait a couple years. If an adult can't restrain themselves enough for even that long, and loses interest once the person was over, then it has no relation to love, commitment, or anything else like that. By banning consanguineous relationships, though, we're permanently barring two people not only from getting married, but from being physically intimate. Forever. Forever. That's true legal oppression. Being forced to wait a couple years barely qualifies by comparison with throwing you in jail for having sex with your life-long love, when both are much older, and are socially and economically self-sufficient. The same goes for polyamory.
Minors are people, but they have a separate legal status, and are psychologically - and usually socially - immature. Minors are a special kind of dependent, because their dependency is legally mandated. It's the way the state ensures guardianship for minors, which I don't think anyone would have a problem with if they care about child welfare. If a minor's family can't or shouldn't care for them, then the state takes over guardianship. Their dependency is universal and manditory, unless proven otherwise to a court (i.e. emancipation). Given that minors not only (frequently) lack the social or psychological ability to deal with such potentially exploitative relationship dynamics, but also lack the legal and economic power to extricate themselves from an exploitative situation, age of consent laws make perfect sense. Like I said in my comment (which you ignored), the law exists to provide a tool, which they would not otherwise have, to remove themselves from an abusive situation, and to punish those who abuse their social and legal authority. For adults, other laws already exist to help them extricate themselves.
We're not Bedouins, living in a harsh physical and social environment. As a society, the developed world is rich and safe by comparison. Most people don't leave home long-term for the first time until they're 18. It's hard to argue that someone has the neurological and social equipment to deal with severe power imbalances when they're a middle class 15 year old in the developed world. Still, I'm not trying to force some fixed idea of child sexual psychology onto every minor. Different people are different, and teenagers are people too. Even though they're a minority, not all minors felt traumatized by their sexual encounters with older people when they were young. Some were, but not in ways that are as debilitating. I don't like how society tells victims how they're supposed to react, and that victims must be tormented forever or there's something wrong with them. However, in such a situation there wouldn't be a risk of the minor reporting it. It would be hard to prosecute without the minor party ever assisting. Unlike with consanguineous relationships, the legal threat would disappear once the minor came of age.
The fact that we draw a legal line for the age of consent is mostly just an unfortunate side effect of the limitations of law itself. There are ways to mitigate it - I, for one, advocate Romeo laws - but it can't be completely avoided. The issue is that, for related couples, the legal frameworks in place (as well as the taboos) don't actually justify themselves based on any psychological, social, or even legally necessary properties of the people involved. It comes entirely from a desire to use the legal system to bludgeon those who violate our taboos. Even Westermarck thought that the taboo originated from a desire to punish people for making us feel uncomfortable. All the stuff y'all are coming up with now is post hoc. At the end of the day, y'all think it's gross, just like most of our ancestors, and y'all are defending a legal regime that arose originally from a desire to punish sexual non-conformists - regardless of whatever supposedly legitimate claims such laws might have. Age of consent laws are clearly protecting a group that, for the vast majority of them, needs legal protection. "Incest" laws don't protect anyone that isn't already protect by other sex crime laws. (I'm still open to - and personal advocate - stricter age of consent laws for relationships between dependents and guardians - not genetic parents, but guardians - for similar reasons to why we have age of consent laws at all. That makes more sense than blanket "incest" laws. It protects actual victims.)
"Incest" laws aren't about protect the "victim". They popped up independently of rape laws, and several countries retain laws for rape and statutory rape without having "incest" laws. "Incest" laws are about punishing both parties. If the younger party (if there is one) refuses to say they were victimized, usually the court will punish them too. The more adamantly they insist it's consensual, the more they'll be punished. "Incest" laws are about allowing third parties to punish "deviants" on behalf of the "community". If people want the punishment for rape by a guardian to be harsher than general rape or statutory rape, then they should just pass a law for that specifically, and leave consenting adults relationships alone. It's not just that "incest" laws make no sense. Even by the standards of helping victims of abuse, and of preventing disabled children - the usual attempts at arguments besides "eww" - they're way too broad and blunt to actually achieve either of those goals. Even by the arguments y'all are giving, they're bad laws which don't achieve what y'all want.
There is no factual evidence that incestuous relationships are sexually orientated. Only pure bullshit of "Human rights, morality, they can love who they want". The truth is, the thing they are doing is not healthy and massively harmful to their mental state. Which, funny enough sounds a lot like pedophiles and consenting children doesn't it?
Considering "incest" aversion is certainly genetic to some degree, it would make sense that some people lack the genes for that aversion. It's not a "sexual orientation", per se, but it's not like they're doing it against their own biology. Biology, population genetics, and humans, are diverse, and that diversity in and of itself is not a reason to punish people. I wasn't arguing it was a "sexual orientation". Regardless, I'd like to point out that if hardwired, exclusive attraction for a specific class of person is the only justification for allowing it legally, then bisexuals should only be allowed to have sex and marry someone of the opposite sex. After all, their "sexual orientation" doesn't exclude the possibility of someone of the opposite gender. As many claim for people in relationships with family, can't they find "someone better"? Someone more... socially acceptable? The whole idea of "sexual orientation" was created to make a discernible minority out of homosexuals to make arguing for legal rights easier. That does not mean it's the strongest, or the best argument. The truth is, people shouldn't care what the genitals of someone else's partner look like, or whether they are or aren't having children. It's an unhealthy obsession for a society to have, it violates human rights, and it corrupts the goals of a democratic legal system. I just think the same applies for polyamorists and people in consanguineous relationships.
What's your basis for saying "the thing they are doing is not healthy and massively harmful to their mental state"? First, so what? I have yet to see you or anyone else argue for laws against codependent relationships. The law also doesn't allow third parties to prosecute abusers of someone else, unless it's a child. Only the abused adult can initiate prosecution of their partner. Why do we hold people in relationships that aren't emotionally or physically abusive to higher, arbitrary standards than drunks who beat their wives? Second, on what basis do you claim any of that? Your opinion? The self-selected cases of people who came forward because they were in abusive, coercive, or manipulative relationships with an older relative? That would just be sample bias. There's little to no understanding of people in consensual relationships, because people like you are backing up laws that make it illegal for them to out themselves, and perpetuate taboos that would threaten the careers of academics who would pursue such research. Of course, that's probably in your interest. The harder it is to understand these people, the less evidence their is in their favor, and the more you can harangue them publicly while they shut their mouths.
I don't understand why y'all feel so comfortable trashing these people, and arguing for legally abusing them. Is it because y'all don't know them personally? Well, I do, and they're perfectly nice, reasonable people. Actually, some of them are nicer than the "normal" people I've met. They love one another. They take care of their kids. They pay taxes. Emotionally, I don't understand how people can hate that so much. Trust me, just because you don't think you know such a couple, doesn't mean you don't. The closet for both is large, and the closet for consanguineous couples is massive. It doesn't mean they like living in fear and secrecy, and they shouldn't have to. However, it's easy enough for them to get away with it that they don't risk rocking the boat.
It seems like what y'all want is to shove them into the closet and tell them to shut up, so y'all don't have to be confronted with personal discomfort. Why should your personal discomfort have any relavance to law in a liberal country which enshrines protections for the rights of minorities against the tyrrany of the majority? How does shaming people and telling them to shut up encourage abuse victims to come forward? And more importantly, how can you demand such a contract when it isn't in good faith? These couples do hide in the closet. The problem is that when other people find out accidentally, they hunt them down and throw them in jail, even if they hid it well.
They need to fight these laws, because there is never any guarantee that the law won't be used to abuse them, regardless of how they behave. The majority always loves telling minorities to shut up and go away when they complain. Meanwhile, minorities complain because, regardless of their silence and isolation, the majority still abuses some from time to time to make an example of them. There's no other way for them to protect themselves, other than to fight the legal and social regime. Of course, most feel like the cost of fighting is too high, which is why it takes decades of momentum to get more to come out of the closet. That doesn't mean they stay in the closet because they acquiesce to this "agreement". They're just afraid. They're afraid of y'all. They're adults with otherwise normal lives, who've done nothing to anyone that could ever be construed as harmful or destructive. Yet y'all have the power to uterly destroy them. Is that just? Are y'all really comfortable being potential threats to perfectly nice people, some of whom you may know? I don't want to be a threat. I don't think anyone should have the right to be - not towards good people like them.