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Incest: Immoral or Moral?

I was asked this question today by a theist. If there is no God why is safe sex between brother and sister immoral to an atheist? This guy was smart to add safe sex because it closed off my avenue to argue the health issue. So, I was thinking why is it immoral if it is consensual? I understand we find it gross but is that because of Christian influence?

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By paul1967
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It's hard for me to respond to the poll because it says 'Incest: immoral or moral', but then it limits it with one particular example- that actually does not define 'incest'. The most common form of incest worldwide occurs between girl children and their male parents characterizing a drastic imbalance of power that can not be explained or be limited by religion/s, and where invariably girl children suffer lasting damages.
As well, it's not a matter of 'morality', it's exploitation.

Maya405 Level 7 Nov 7, 2017

Thank you!

this question carefully specified that both were adults, consenting, and practicing safe sex. without any single one of these conditions, my answer would have been different

I agree, and I think everyone would agree that is obviously immoral. The word immoral doesn't do it justice, and I can't imagine a word that would adequately describe how horrible that crime is, and that's precisely why I phrased it the way I did. I would never have wasted your time or mine asking the question, is rapping your daughter moral or immoral? The question itself is utterly terrifying. The question, is about consensual sex between two consenting people who happen to be a bother and sister, is that immoral or moral?

paul1967, 'consensual sex between two consenting people who happen to be a bother and sister, is that immoral or moral?' in this case, again, it's not a question of morality to me, but of choice.

My thanks also..I learn so much here...

That's more of a rape than incestuous relationship. Of course it's a sexual activity between related people. So, as you said proper definition should be given for the word in this poll.

awesome answer tackling an element of the subject I had not considered.

Great answer Maya, I am starting to enjoy reading such good common sense.

I don't know if and when religion took hold of incest, but between adults it just is. We mostly don't do it because it's bad for the gene pool. Island people got away with it in time past because they had great genes. But even then, a group has to eventually go outside of an insulated group to keep from weakening the pool. I think any culture has a right to develop its own system of who has sex as long as children are protected and valued.

yes, @Maya405, & we do make our choices based on our moral codes, don't we?

you didn't read the question, which specifically was about SAFE (non-procreating) SEX between SIBLINGS. & that would be a matter of your personal choice, based on an ethical or moral code.

@VirginCotton Parents, no, period. Regarding an aunt or an uncle, there are cultures where this education is respected and revered, and also tightly bound by tradition and ceremony. Under those circumstances, in those cultures, I would not call it incest. Outside of those cultures it is incest, and even in those cultures, outside the formalities and traditions of that education it is still incest and taboo.

@VirginCotton I've checked the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and the Oxford Living English dictionary regarding the definition of the word taboo. Merriam-Webster doesn't mention religion at all in its primary definition, and the Oxford dictionary I searched said "social or religious" in each definition. The word comes from the Tongan word "tabu" which means set apart, forbidden and makes no mention of religion. I also looked up "incest" and it refers to definition by law, not religion although of course in some times and places the two are just about interchangeable. Anyway,I checked the definitions to be sure I understood the words I was using, and now can confidently stand by them: I do not believe I am leaning into religious dogma; my references are social and subjective to the particular society as I mentioned in my answer. I do not know what I can help you with; I do not understand your reference to new territory. Is it because people are taking this discussion far beyond the original, very specific question? For me, it is incest without question, but the morality/immorality of it I cannot decide; it is a matter of choice for the two individuals involved assuming they believe they are,treat each other as, equals.

@Maya405, consensus, or agreement if you will, is the choice here.

@madmac, you just missed reading &/or understanding the original post.

@Rugglesby, nothing was answered in this comment. every single element from the original post was twisted into something else entirely. the question was about consenting siblings having safe sex. Maya405 turned this into a rape scenery between father & daughter, thereby hijacking the post.

@walklightly true, I caught the comment and applied it to the heading, kinda missed the other bit. Reading in full, I guess it's not really immoral to me as an atheist, just icky.

yeah, @Rugglesby, that'll be about it smile009.gif

@VirginCotton A 7-year-old boy is prepubescent and even a 12-year-old girl should not be in any kind of sexual situation with him. An adult male having an affair with a first cousin depends on whether the cousin is at least at the age of consent, generally 15 or so in most states. If she's at the age of consent but below 18, it's still incest and I think he could still go to jail for it. If she's below the age of consent, I think that's the legal version of not through puberty yet, and not only is it incest but also pedophilia, and he WILL go to jail and probably be killed by the other inmates, hopefully by being sodomized until his rectum ruptures and poisons him with fecal bacteria. (Gee, can you guess who was a victim of incestuous pedophilia? At the age of 6, no less.)
If the man having the affair is the grown boy of the scenario with his 12-year-old aunt, he is no less culpable: being an adult means taking responsibility for your actions, even if you are emotionally tainted with a history of incest/rape.

Maya just about nailed it.

Well said, however the original question harks back to the Christian claim that only they have morality...

I agree it is a matter of exploitation. The action also has mental as well as physical consequences.

@Maya405 Yes as you say a brother and sister consent to have sex I can't see the problem. In fact if anyone is having incest that is fine with me. At least they love each other.


first of all, I know people who are the products of incestuous rape that have no deformities. I also knew a lot of people who come from parents not genetically related who have major disabilities, so that isn't an issue. Besides, off you're having safe sex.....

This is one area where we are taught that is gross. But since it happens, it's perfectly natural.

The fact is that morality isn't about what you think other consenting adults are doing. Morality is about conducting yourself with integrity, and not allowing your preferences to hurry other people. So incestuous rape is immoral. Incest between consenting adults is not. Just like any rape is immoral, but sex between consenting adults is not.

Cheri Level 5 Oct 28, 2017

My concern is the medical/genetic point of view. Incest can and does cause genetic concerns. Granted it may not cause it in every case, but the potential is always there. One scenerio poised above was separated at birth, found each other , fell in love, and etc,etc,etc. children in such a case could and probably would gave some genetic abberrations pop up. Genetic counciling and testing would be wise. The moral aspect? I don't see a problem there, but from a legal point of view, there is a problem. In mist states relatives closer than second cousins are forbidden from marriage because of the potential for genetic changes, often times harming th children. I have seen the genetic aberrations from close family marriages. Most suffer mental retardation and physical challenges. Living in the south I have seen dozens of families that had children that had major health problems from incestious relationships. Look at the Middle East. In mist underdeveloped countries many marry family members due to the fact that they seldom move more than a few miles from their homes. In Islamic countries they state that 25% of the population has mental illness due to having children with close family relations. It's not uncommon to seefirst cousins marry. Not just in Islamic countries but in many Asian countries and India. The birth defects in close familial marriages are well documented.


As I understand it, First generation incest causes no disorders; that myth has been dispelled with modern genetics. Recessive genes do get a larger chance of expression but those genes may be beneficial or not or simply not an issue (like hair color). However, this can happen even outside incest if you procreate with someone that has those same recessive geners

As I understand it, It's multi-generation incest that causes disorders as the genetic pool is thinned out to the point of causing heritable mutations.

Well put.

@TheMiddleWay ...probably what happened with Adam & Eve & Caine... imagine.


Lol... I'd rather not... shudder!

@TheMiddleWay According to this study there's a 42% chance of abnormailty in 50% relations, which is pretty high. I'd always thought it was less. I wonder what it is for the general population. [psychologytoday.com]


@girlwithsmiles I don't know! I must have the luckiest family in history. Lots and lots of child molestation going on, but few problems. Maybe my recent ancestors had amazing genes! 😊

@WilliamLee another scenario is if 2 (half) siblings, conceived from the same sperm donor, meet, fall in love, and have children before finding out they are siblings: [slate.com]

Yes if the sex is consented to why not? At least there is love there, If my sister and I want to have sex that is up to us and nobody else.


"So, I was thinking why is it immoral if it is consensual? I understand we find it gross but is that because of Christian influence?"

Yes and no. Incest tends to be a universal taboo. Other species (though not all) have evolved a host of strategies to prevent incest (for fitness reasons). Even plants tend to possess anti-incest mechanisms.

I voted that incest was immoral because most incest does not occur between two consenting adults. With that said, I don't see incest as an immoral act when every precaution has been taken to prevent pregnancy (if between male and female) and STDs between two consenting relatives. However, I find sexual relationships between mother/daughter, mother/son, father/daughter, father/son a bit disconcerting. Young siblings may do it out of curiosity.

The one you are in the debate with assumes it requires a god to see the problems that can arise with incest. It doesn't. Humans have learned by forming and testing hypotheses, building on working models of the social world as they interacted with it, and consulted these models when making moral judgments (Turiel, 1983). If incest wipes out half your tribe, it doesn't take a god or religion to figure out that this behavior isn't in their tribes best interest. Just my two cents.

VictoriaNotes Level 8 Oct 13, 2017

I enjoyed reading your comment. It was well thought out and reasoned. I wish I had waited for this before I responded to my opponents point. I will save it for the next time because this morality position theist hold is a prevalent one. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

Paul, I really appreciate your feedback. Your question was thought-provoking.

Outstanding answer! thank you!


CONSENSUAL, SAFE sex is nobody's business but the the participants!

AnneWimsey Level 8 Dec 18, 2017

I'd still like to make sure they're of a legal age myself. Parents that allow this to happen underage seriously change the ability of the kids to have successful future relationships. Plus the instigator is often the elder and therefore it is still a control situation rather than loving. No/limited insight from children into the potential damage they are inflicting on their younger sibling.


@girlwithsmiles A minor can't legally consent to sex with an adult (except in states that allow for a small age difference where they are still considered peers), so regarding AnneWimsey's comment there's no need to consider non-consentual scenarios.

@DuchessNyx Oh, I didn't know that, and so what's the legal situation with 2 minors? She didn't give ages.

I'm just saying that there was no reason to bring the idea of sex with minors into the conversation. It's irrelevant based on the post and didn't need inserted into the comment.
Just for your own understanding of what you asked, in some states/counties there is an allowance for a couple/few years age difference. For example when I was 15 I dated a 17 year old one grade level above me. Two years later we would have been 17 and 19, myself a minor and he an adult. You're essentially still peers, so many places don't consider it appropriate to apply statutory rape laws to situations like that.

@DuchessNyx because she didn't clarify age it is relevant. Thank you.


As long as it's consensual on both sides and they're the same age and using protection I honestly can't think of any reason why not, other than "eww". But that's not exactly a concrete basis to form our mortality around.

Ariel Level 4 Nov 16, 2017

I honestly don't think I can be rational about my response because the "Ewwwwww" factor is just too high lol

Ha I get that. But hey, who's it hurting? I feel like things are only truly crimes if there exists a victim. That's not to say I wouldn't still judge personally of course.

Thank-you cuz all i could come up with is ewwwwww!


It's not just religion that makes incest taboo. No matter how low the genetic aberration rate is, I don't believe society should condone incestual relations between any two people closer than second cousins. Reasoning: every form of birth control has a failure rate, even sterilization. No one human should decide it's okay to risk giving a child severe deformities.

Incest also increases likelihood of psychological disorder due to misplaced growth of one's "love map." It's never a good idea to encourage obsessive behavior between siblings. There's more than one way this hypothetical situation could go terribly wrong.

I moved 100 miles from the Piedmont of North Carolina to the Western Appalachian Mountains. I see far more genetic aberrations occurring here than anyplace else I've ever lived. Two siblings have no idea how far a genetic physical or mental disorder will travel in a lightly populated area.

As a humanist, incest is the height of selfishness and ignorance as far as I am concerned. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

hemingwaykitten Level 6 Apr 29, 2018

So by your reasoning it should be perfectly OK for a homosexual relationship between siblings.

And by the same reasoning, adults who know they carry defective genes that they will pass on the their offspring causing disabilities should be prevented from marrying or breeding?


@Uncorrugated Some actually are that caring , about their potential children . As difficult as it may be , informed , caring adults , who are aware that a specific relationship, will increase the potential of generically deformed offspring , will choose to behave in a mature manner , and seek alternatives .

@Cast1es I agree that some are. But there are many genetic disorders that have the potential to cause disabilities, but may not - in the same way that siblings may produce children with disabilities, but equally may not.

The argument was "No one human should decide it's okay to risk giving a child severe deformities" Hence my question, 'should couples who know that there is a chance that their offspring might have a disability be prevented from breeding?'


Please don't twist other's words, it's the hallmark of a bad argument. No, I don't think homosexual relationships between siblings are okay. They screw up the family psychologically.

I would hope all couples would make the decision not to pass on genetic aberrations of their own accord. Alas, there are thousands which do not. This is mostly due to selfishness.

Ex. I know a prominent banker in Charlotte who married someone who carried the same genetic defect as he. Both were carriers but neither suffered the the genetic consequence. Knowing the odds were 50/50 for passing on a severe deformity and shortened lifespan, he talked the wife into having 3 children. ALL had the genetic defect...so he divorced her, abandoned the children, and married someone else so he could have his perfect heir. I would wager this happens most often in these cases, rather than the couple being "careful and thoughtful."

Now, should that couple have been banned by law from procreating? While I would be okay with such a law, because a 50/50 chance of a debilitating, life-threatening defect is not a decision I would make or endorse, it makes me uncomfortable because it is a slippery slope from there to eugenics. Eugenics is bad, see? In the third Reich, Hitler tried to eliminate the genetic factors for homosexuality. I happen to love my homosexual friends and don't want them thrown out of the gene pool. I'm sure others feel it is their right to charge society with taking care of children they discard. Unfortunately, American society does a particularly shitty job in this area.

We would need a caring humanist society here with universal health care and comprehensive child care to accomplish it. I don't see that happening in the near future. There is current example of a country endorsing the elimination of Down's syndrome. In Iceland, prenatal screening has led to a nearly 100% abortion rate of zygotes testing positive. The rate of Down's syndrome babies is also declining in the United States, but not as fast due to religious objections to abortion.

In my opinion, Icelandic women have chosen the more humanistic option. When it comes to custom-ordering your child a la "Gattaca," however, that is eugenics gone wild and I find it creepy.

"They screw up the family psychologically."
You do realize this is based on an atomic family model that may not be the end all.

@hemingwaykitten With respect, I didn't twist your words. I merely followed the reasoning behind your argument. the main thrust of which was potential genetic defects of any offspring - the likelihood of which is lower than many of known risks from other relationships which are not legislated against and which you have now also said, should not be legislated against. Whilst I agree that childhood incest can have a detrimental effect on the psychological growth of a child, once siblings have reached adulthood and their 'love map' is formed, the psychological impact is mostly impacted by society's treatment of their relationship.
And in the UK. we do have universal healthcare and mothers are also given the option to abort pregnancies where serious deformities have been identified.

You are not in favour of legislating against the choices some adults make with regard to their offspring, but it would appear that you are if they are siblings. Just because some societies find something taboo, doesn't necessarily make it immoral.

The HUMAN Race pretty much finds sibling sex taboo.

@Uncorrugated, @GregGasiorowski
If she's your sister, there's no way sex doesn't mess with your family dynamic. I don't care if you're parents are trans, poly, or aliens!

Yes, but among adults this really isn't a hell of a lot different than dating a best friends ex, this too messes with a social dynamic but is generally accepted allbeit a hair frowned upon.
Personally I'm very trad atomic hetero, but this is for the sake of argument.

"The HUMAN Race pretty much finds sibling sex taboo."
Human taboos remain to be a very primitive form of morality.

Humans remain primitive. Just a thin veneer of civilization slapped on makes us think we've changed. Nope.

Having behavior dictated by taboos doesn't help this.

@GregGasiorowski @Uncorrugated I think you guys are making this issue too complicated and intellectual. If there are two consenting adults, have at it. But, incest is rarely about two consenting adults.

@hemingwaykitten If homosexual people didn't marry and have children with straight folks , there'd be no concern about them passing on that gene , if there even is such a thing . A problem has been more along the line that homosexuals have been afraid to , "Come out ," so married and had children with straight , even though it wasn't what they truly wanted . I am pleased that , in this day and age , same sex couples can both marry and also adopt a family . Although I can't speak for all , the ones I do know , seem to be doing a great job of parenting !

@crazycurlz Then if there is a lack of consent or involves children it is child abuse and rape and therefore immoral in my opinion.

I see consenting sexual relationships between adult siblings of any gender as being nobody's business but theirs.

@Uncorrugated actually I agree with you although I think 'consent' can mean one thing to one person and coercion to somebody else so it might be a slippery slope in many circumstances. And, yes, thanks for differentiating between kids and adults.

@GregGasiorowski The human race has its head up it's ass when it comes to defining morality and declaring taboos. Besides taboos are dying off for the same reasons religion is dying off. And this, what's so great about "primitive morality"?.

Ask hemingwaykitten.


For starters, the incest taboo lets humanity keep moving forward instead of dying off from inbreeding. That's a good thing.


In theory, incest wouldn't be immoral. But the way our culture works, brothers and sisters, children and parents do not have sexual relations. For this reason, there is too much emotional baggage and damage potential. I would not condone a sibling relationship, because it is fraught with potential for serious problems.

If I met someone who told me they were INVOLVED in such a relationship, depending on the details, I wouldn't feel the need to end the friendship or lecture them. I could accept it in some circumstances, I think. But relationships are hard enough without adding cultural baggage and emotional damage.

CatByrd Level 4 Nov 9, 2017

If it is safe sex, as stated, and the two people are adults I see no problem. The issue of incest has been mostly due to religious restrictions and due to the fact that if children are born from the union of the two people certain genetic abnormalities are very possible. As long as there are no children from the union then who am I, and why would society, have anything to say about two people enjoying each other sexually. Interestingly, due to my upbringing, my emotions are telling me to take away what I have just written above, but my mind over rules and says that if two consenting adults choose to enjoy a sexual union without children, why not?

JabberingJohn Level 4 Nov 3, 2017

Why is it immoral do you have to ask? It shouldnt even be a question you should know it in you that its wrong on multiple levels. I don't need religion to tell me right from wrong especially when the catholic church for example has been molesting children for centuries.

Commonsense Level 5 May 14, 2018

It is Immoral because it upsets the harmony of a family unit.Ethics are what we are talking about here & not morals. Ethics are about good behavior that makes it better to live in community.

Walter1968 Level 6 May 11, 2018

Morality is subjective. The morality of theists comes from a book which, taken literally, says we are all products of incest. So much for the religious argument against.

antitheism Level 5 Oct 30, 2017

I believe that if both parties are consenting and their intention isn't to have children, it is moral. Like other commenters are mentioning, incest can lead to birth defects and gentic mutations that would lower the quality of life for the offspring. If contraceptives or other methods are used, I see no reason why two relatives couldn't have a prosperous relationship.

jadeb99 Level 3 Oct 20, 2017

A great answer, consenting adults are the two words that in my mind make the difference.
Falling in love is the most beautiful experience ever and if it is true love felt from the heart people should be able to grasp it and enjoy it without the disapproval of others


As atheists, we understand that society at large - the community as it were - dictate morality. Individuals do not. And as a society, we've deemed it "wrong"... and that is not arbitrary. In fact it's actually illegal in most states.

MartinDeBourge Level 2 Oct 13, 2017

I like the way you put that. I'm preparing my response, now so I may incorporate what you said in my response. I was heading in that direction, but you worded it better.


I would vote 'amoral'. In some cultures, brother/sister incest in the royal family was require to keep the blood line pure (Egypt and Hawaii are examples). This of course, assumed there would be -- and even encouraged offspring.
It is really only very recently that fertility could be sufficiently controlled that a child would not result from a sexual relationship (given almost perfect contraception and the option of a medically safe abortion). In that case, the original basis for making incest taboo -- the probability of genetically undesirable characteristics appearing -- no longer holds.
In our society, incest is not uncommon, the most common being sibling incest. This form is not associated with nearly as much mental health damage as is parent/child incest because with siblings there is very seldom the power differential or the coercion seen in other forms. In fact in many cases the participants identify the relationship as consensual.
To follow the logic, then, if there will be no offspring and there is no coercion (physical or emotional), then it probably follows that it's difficult to make a case against it. (I will admit it still makes me uneasy, and I cannot identify the basis of this discomfort.)

ladyprof70 Level 6 May 4, 2018

actually there is often a great deal of trauma involved in sibling relations. Anyone who has grown up with brothers and sisters knows all to well the power differentiation and coercion of a sibling just two yrs senior, let alone 5 yrs.

There are other biological indications that incest is not intended in the evolutionary process. Did you know a girl is likely to defer onset of her period if she lives with her father. On the other hand if she lives with a stepfather she is likely to start her periods early (a potential genetically compatible mate)

Today's birth control methods , while good , are not 100% effective , but most especially so , if one member wants to have babies , and tampers with the control methods .

@MsDemeanour sounds very interesting. Do you have a good source you could share?


Perhaps mine is not going to be a popular opinion, but my moral compass is governed by the principle of doing no harm. If incest is consensual and they aren’t trying to reproduce, then it does not harm anyone and both consenting adults have a right to be happy.

You should ask said theist how Adam and Eve populated the earth. Or remind them of the daughters of Lot.

Sntrada Level 2 Dec 24, 2017

if it's between consenting adults, it's fine. just like all sex. i don't understand why the question still comes up or why people can still be arrested for having consensual sex.

basher Level 3 Nov 4, 2017

I agree. I find it unappealing myself but I also find gay sex unappealing but I don't judge anyone for it and I know if they're happy and it makes sense to them I'm all for it.

How about if its between consenting adults, and the younger adult was raised to believe that it was ok and that was his or her role in that relationship from childhood? Is it ok then?

@rafferty that wouldn't be between consenting adults. you answered your own question.

No i didnt. I was describing a particularly awful form of sex slavery, and the very opposite of free thought. Monstrous. Ive seen the results such criminality.

@rafferty grooming a child into adulthood to be your sex slave is not a consensual relationship. obviously.

@basher But I believe that without some sort of investigation into it, they would seem perfectly consenting.


I find this hard to vote for one way or the other. Incest may be an emotionally safe scenario if there's no power-play going on, as siblings know each other well and (if raised well) have healthy trust for each other. On the flip side, there is SUCH a stigma attached to it, their lives would be devastated if found out. Why risk it? So, I can't make a moral judgement, as I think that is a false dichotomy based on an outmoded value system. I think what I'm saying is that morals are a construct that can be good or bad.

(...see what I did there???) smile009.gif

Hominid Level 7 Nov 3, 2017

I have to tell you that I like the way your brain works and even better the way you express your thought verbally. I do disagree on this point. The fact that society stigmatizes incest doesn't impact the question of is it moral. The issue should read, is it moral to you? I personally think it's unquestionably moral and very unadvisable. When I say it's moral I'm not implying good I'm saying it's not bad and my assessment of what is moral or immoral is based on is it Bad? Or not bad. I don't use, is it Good or bad because something that is moral doesn't necessarily mean it's good or advisable.

Ill make the moral judgement. One person has gone ftom bathing and feeding and taking the other person to school, to fucking them, and its now a romantic relationship dynamic, controlled and defined by the "parent". There is no way for this not to be abuse.

Also, people are going "oh brother and sister is ok.." Really? Where's this? Alexandria in the 1st Century? (Ptolemies like Eurgetes "potbelly" or Chickpea were reviled and openly mocked as inbred degenerates, which was true) or Caligula's Brothel palace? He would make everyone swear loyalty oaths on his sisters names to put that they were fucking in people's faces, specifically to offend thier senses of morality, and it got him assassinated. cassius Caerea cited "Degeneracy" as a valid reason, and proof he was a lunatic.


Because no age parameters or relationships were given, I am going with immoral under the assumption that there is a significant age gap, disparate levels of education/power/wealth, or other inequalities that would put one party at a disadvantage. For example, a girl and her Father vs two 35 year old first cousins are vastly different scenarios.

DispatchKara Level 4 Oct 30, 2017

There were no parameters given, so I will say immoral when it's father/daughter or uncle/niece. (I've read older male on younger female is most common form of incest.) The power within the authority figure in such cases bring me to the immoral side of the argument. I would also say immoral if it's mother/son or aunt/nephew. I believe even well into adulthood there is always that authority figure issue with parents and aunts/uncles. Now, sister/brother or first cousins are relationships that should be judged on a per-case basis. Is one more dominant than the other? It would, of necessity, have to be an egalitarian relationship for me to go to the moral side. I've enjoyed reading everyone's comment on this topic.


I don't know if I would say that it was moral as much as i don't think its inherently immoral. Of course that statement has to be qualified. I think if both parties are consenting adults, and that assumes that there is no coercion, then I can see anything objectively wrong with it.

Davetheatheist Level 2 Oct 28, 2017

Your family is a place of safety where all emotions can be explored but the boundary to sex shouldn't. Physically, genetic mutations make it rightly taboo and emotionally it should be taboo as you can go out into the world and literally fuck up your life, but you shouldn't fuck up your family and place of refuge.

Hugene2002 Level 7 Oct 17, 2017

Why would one bother about this question?
One should not worry about morality because their is no unversial edition of it.
Just learn to own your decisions!
Is it moral to pollute the air by driving a car?

PontifexMarximus Level 7 May 2, 2018

Actually , the air was much , much more polluted , just a few years ago . Adding air cleaners to the automotive system AND having them routinely tested , has made dramatically cleaner air . While I think contraceptives would lesson the concern about genetically damaged children , there will be , "mistakes ," made , and there will be those who challenge the concept , and decide to have children anyhow . Even being careful , there are likely to be problems , because some children don't know who their sperm donars are , whether it was a matter of artificial insemination or whether it was a matter of adoption or even mistaken identification of the true father .

If you keep talking sense your gonna piss people off.

@Casey07 I know , My boss once told me , I shouldn't be a Federal employee , because I'm too logical . Keep wondering if that was as much of a comment about me . as it was about the government .


Society has certain rules be you a religious or not. There are many religions, I'm sure that would welcome the practice of incest. I like to consider myself a liberal, live and let live, blah blah, but I also work in family law. The cases I have seen in 35 years with incest somehow end up to be more one-sided. Again, with the male convincing the female the it's ok. In fact look at all these people on this website that agree with me. I'm sorry but I disagree. If the only person you can find to form a loving sexual relationship with is in your immediate family, you might want to seek counseling.

Movdsouth Level 3 Mar 4, 2018

This! Am I the only one who finds it troubling that the men on this thread are the ones arguing for incest over and over? I don't care if this is an academic exercise. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SAFE SEX! There is no way accidents would not happen in the absence of the incest taboo. Period.

It's kind of sick that people keep digging up this thread and trying to justify incest using PC words like consent and SCC and RACK. The taboo is older than any religion because it leads to birth defects. Too many birth defects lead to extinction. It's almost as if the men arguing incest is moral don't understand that babies happen no matter what. Even with birth control. Even with botched sterilization. That's enough reason not to practice incest!


There should be a third option..like depends. Because if people were separated for years through adoption or father was a sperm donor..if they somehow found one another and started a relationship..only to find out later on they were related..how can we as a society deny them when they were not aware of the relation? If two men and two woman either twins or brothers and sisters close in age start fool around..its taboo and morally wrong but if god does not exist like most of us believe..how is anything immoral? Who makes these rules? As long as you are not causing harm to others who cares what someone does. So I guess incest is fine in my book within reason..appropriate ages..and situations..and 100% safe sex so children can not be spawned from such actions.

Ravenwolfcasey Level 7 Nov 5, 2017

If its first generation brother sister the deformity rate is still relatively low. It when generations keep doing it that causes health risks

Also, parent and child relations is a lot more likely to cause problems than between siblings.


As a victim of brother/sister incest, ....it is simply hurtful to not know enough about yourself as a small human that you arent able to defend yourself against sexual acts forced upon you by other humans. children are sexual beings but arent ready for physical acts until they go thru puberty. With a no frills sex education and current societal norms in place, children can at least learn to determine what they should do if confronted with incest.

It is damaging to children to have to deal with sexual situations before they are grown. anyone that tells me otherwise needs to be chemically castrated. as you can tell, i feel strongly about this...my brother is not a child predator. if my parents had taught him about his body, hormones, and puberty....i would not be a victim. shame on my parents and its a shame kids are still being denied sensible sex education.

cheepsie Level 4 May 30, 2018

This is far more serious as abuse and possibly rape,

@NormCastle yes norm...it was. It also lead to sex with my other brother whom I was very close with. We came from a fractured family in the late 60s. My mother cared more for her happiness than ours. Our father was distant at the time. But long story short...all is forgiven.
Good has come from it.
I'm very much a child advocate to this day and have a decent relationship with my brother.

@cheepsie I am pleased you have made that progress...your answer upset me to a point and then it was very well recovered. Sad there had to be something to forgive, but forgiving did dump the whole thing back on them...Love you for it.......<3

@NormCastle it did take a while....but by the time I was in my mid twenties...I felt ok about it.

One of the scariest almost rapes happened to me at an outdoor week long concert. A man followed me into a port o John but I used self defense methods I learned in a karate class and was able to get the hell out of there. Now that was awful ...it made me wonder how would I have dealt with an actual rape. Having to think about this and talk to daughters and young women, to teach them how to protect themselves just plain sucks. A woman always has to be on the look out for sexual violence whether it is verbal or otherwise. I don't understand it..iit's like being hunted. Those thoughts are always in my mind and it's really hard to be friendly to men. I still am afraid to look men in the eye when out in public. At my age, that's sad.

I guess I will always carry the above as scars...I don't think of it as baggage...just scars.


Now that the moral goal post have shifted and many jurisdictions have legalized marriage between partners of the same sex the argument of unwanted congenital defects in offspring is no longer an argument for same sex couples. Consequently the whole question has to be reevaluated. I think many people confuse morality with taste. So there is the temptation to sweep everything under the moral carpet.
I was thinking of Pitcairn. Those who know the story of the Mutiny of the Bounty might no the place. A couple of years ago the total population was estimated to be 48. The censors must just have been confused or to lazy to just count them. Now would you tell these brave souls that incest is a taboo?

PontifexMarximus Level 7 May 9, 2018

Or St. Helena

The issue on Pitcairn was not just incest, but paedophilia. It was mostly the young girls that were "broken in" by the elders. The girls were raped as had no way to provide informed consent. Whether they were related to their abusers, in my opinion, is not relevant to the morality of incest.

@Uncorrugated but this was not part of the question. The is about incest. The issue of pedophilia depends largely on the definition of a child.

@PontifexMarximus In many societies the "coming of age" for a young girl was around 12 yrs old when she was given to or married off to a much older man for bearing children and other things.

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