Regardless of religion, race, or sexual orientation, relationships are one subject that can always be found pre-judged. Some believe that it’s wrong to have a relationship with someone of the same sex; others believe that people of two different ethnicities shouldn’t be found in a relationship together, and it wasn’t until 1967 that interracial couples were allowed to get married. The relationship that is, in the eyes of most individuals, the most offensive and wrong would be an incestuous relationship. Incestuous relationships are those which take place between two members of the same family, immediate, or extended.
The thought of lying with one’s mother or father could or should be repulsive, but some find themselves doing anything in their power to be with someone of their immediate family. In Pampinella Cropper’s Myrrha: Incestuous Passion and Political Transgression, Cropper discusses Myrrha a female character in the novel Dante’s Inferno who has been damned because of fraud, she has impersonated someone else in order to lay with her father. These acts are not accepted in societies today, and could be punishable by law.
These instances aren’t always those of a young girl’s ignorance, there are some instances of incest that have been forced upon those of the same family. Cases where fathers have taken advantage of their daughters and made them participate in sexual acts that can result in pregnancy and children who are born with disorders and live short lives due to their grandfather/father’s selfishness and negligence. “Disabilities arising from missing or duplicate genes are known to occur more frequently in children born through incest.
Children who are not born through incest normally have a genome, the map of their whole DNA, with a high degree of “heterozygosity”, reflecting the fact they received half their genes from a mother who was biologically unrelated to the father, from whom they received the other half. Because of developments in genome technology, and because that technology is now more affordable, doctors are now increasingly able to scan the genomes of individual children to look for missing or duplicate sequences of DNA code, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs or “snips”), that might explain a disability.
The tests they use are called SNP-based arrays” (James, Adams). The relationship between siblings is one that many people cherish, but according to Kacie M. Thompson’s article Sibling Incest: A Model for Group Practice with Adult Female Victims of Brother–Sister Incest this relationship could also be what sparks “sexual curiosity” between siblings (Thompson). These sexual urges are sometimes sparked mentally in an older sibling when they don’t feel nurtured and want to fill a void in themselves.
Small acts such as showing a younger sibling pornography, or making a sexual comment towards them can be thought of as sexual abuse, these types of incest are often overlooked, but their effects on the victim cannot be ignored (Thompson). The older sibling may always seem to be the persecutor, but the younger sibling of the two can also be at fault, they are equally as eager and curious as the older sibling. Incest survivors sometimes have difficulty being in a heterosexual relationship with someone after being abused as a child or adult.
Victims feel like any type of intercourse with the opposite sex is shameful and that the act shouldn’t even be taking place, these victims also usually have problems when a partner is found that doesn’t abuse them. They don’t know how to have a relationship with someone who isn’t planning to hurt them in the end. Buttenheim, Margaret, and Alytia Levendosky’s Couples Treatment for Incest Survivors the three patients each have been physically and sexually abused, they also all have men that are planning to move forward in a relationship, and want to have long-term commitments.
Despite the lack of sexual contact, the survivors expressed a feeling of being valued only for their sexual selves, a fear approaching panic at the thought of resuming sexual activity, and a determination to resist sexual advances by their partners” (Butteneim, Margaret, Alytis Levedosky). Incest survivors have a constant struggle, whether they’re hiding their attacks, or trying to live with them day by day. In situations where there is an instance of father-daughter incest it is often blamed solely on the father for committing the act, but some say that the mother also plays a key role in the situation.
Some mothers are too busy to do some activities at home that are usually performed by the woman of the house and they get their daughters to help out with the “motherly duties” this can be one of the causes of father-daughter incest. According to Groff’s article, “Characteristics of Incest Offenders’ Wives” some wives are aware of the incestuous behavior and actually condone it (Groff). These women are those who are typically insecure and don’t feel like they don’t have a right to stop their husbands from getting what they want.
Many individuals for years have not known how to deal with victims of incest, and try to simply avoid it. They feel as if their feelings about incest are too strong to work through and it’s not their place to have a say so. Individuals use many different methods to avoid the subject and all together not have to deal with it. All workers cannot avoid the subject entirely incest is involved in social and familial problems, in fact, most working in social services will eventually deal with victims or survivors of incest in the course of the time that they’ve worked.
The prevailing constricted concept of incest has been shaped by avoidance, denial, compartmentalization and blaming” (Taubman). These different stages of incest are similar to the five stages of grief, because like those grieving over a loved one, incest victims are grieving over the person who they used to be before they were deprived of their innocence. Also, like those in grief the individuals around them don’t know how to react, or what to do, or what to say when informed of the fact that the individual they’re coming in contact with is a victim of incest.
What some fail to realize is that incest is not always about sexual intercourse, there are some blind forms of incest. People like to believe that if they haven’t touched anything, or made a pass at anyone they aren’t guilty of incest, when in fact, a parent being loving and nurturing to an infant and suddenly letting these emotions turn into jealousy as their child hits adolescence could be seen as a form of incest. Feelings like, jealousy and possessiveness can be seen as incestuous when they’re too strong to handle, even if not acted upon.
When called out on this type of incest individuals still look to blame someone for the way they feel, and it’s usually the person they’re having these feelings for. They don’t know how to handle their emotions and can be hurtful. (Taubman). There was a point in time where family members were allowed to marry their first cousin to keep money, and homes in the same family. Some argue that these acts should still be allowed in today’s society.
Individuals today who feel this way are looked at as a freak, or weirdo that no one takes seriously. Incestuous relationships can cause defects in children, emotionally and physically that can alter the rest of their lives causing deaths, naturally or suicide. Incest is one of the most offensive and unacceptable relationships that can form between two individuals whether there’s rape involved or someone involved who can’t handle their feelings enough to know or realize that what they’re doing is not morally acceptable.