Skip Nav
Our Favorite Books of the Year (So Far) — You Won't Be Able to Put Them Down!
13 Signs You're Obviously the Favorite Sibling
55 Creative Tattoos You'll Want to Get With Your Best Friend

Switzerland Might Decriminalize Incest

Switzerland Might Decriminalize Incest — Would You Support That?

Incest is all the rage today. A well-respected Ivy League professor was arrested for having a three-year affair with his 24-year-old daughter, and now Switzerland is considering a law that would decriminalize consensual sex between parents and adult children as well as between siblings. A Swiss justice department spokesman explains: "Incest continues to be a taboo in our society, but it's not up to criminal law to stop every morally reprehensible aspect of behavior. Rather, the law should be for punishing behavior that's particularly socially damaging."

Of course many people would argue that incest is socially damaging, and our instinctual "ick" reaction tells us something must be wrong with it. People in favor of keeping it illegal often point to the risks associated with inbreeding. But using that logic, we should forbid sex between anyone with a known increased risk of passing on hereditary diseases. Plus, the genetic risk with incest isn't as high as people think. Putting aside the health concerns, there is an argument that incest is never consensual, especially in the parent-child sexual relationship. Like in the case of a boss-employee relationship, the power dynamic between a parent and child might mean that consent can never really be given.

Considering all this, do you still agree with the Swiss that the government should stay out of the bedroom, even in the case of incest?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
katialoves katialoves 6 years
very much agree with the above.
Janine22 Janine22 6 years
I agree with the last poster, I think that it is almost always an abusive or controlling pattern. Would most young girls or young women consent to sex with their father or older relative if they were not manipulated or abused? I seriously doubt it, you can look at the example of Mckenzie Phillips, she claimed that the sex with her father was consensual at first. Later on she said that it was not, her father was feeding her drugs at a very young age. That is the not the definition of a healthy father daughter relationship. After studying anthropology and psychology, there is such a thing called 'the incest taboo' and it is largely a universal phenomenon in human cultures, particularly between close relatives. I believe that it is psychologically and culturally normal to feel disgust at the idea of incest and generally our culture is revolted by it. I don't think that it is natural or right even if both parties are supposedly 'consenting' adults. The other thing that scares me is that a law like this could potentially protect some pedophiles. Why is it that a girl of 18 is suddenly considered an adult when she may not be mentally or emotionally mature enough to take accountability for being pressured or 'groomed' to be a sex partner for her father or relative? We certainly don't need to give sickos who sexually abuse their children any more power in our society, they hurt enough children every single day.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
I can see arguments for both sides. Personally though, I believe that laws shape morality, so I do not agree with people who say that someone who wants to pursue an incestuous relationship will do so regardless of the legal situation. Also in the case of parent and child, it's almost always an abusive or controlling pattern, even if it starts at an older age.
Silly-Btch-Therapy Silly-Btch-Therapy 6 years
@Stephly: they claimed that of children born out of biracial relationships... wouldn't be surprised if they claimed that of gay relationships as well though! @zeze: While I agree that whether legal or illegal those who want to do it will still do it, I think that by keeping it illegal it discourages people considering it. If it became legal people may assume that means it is safe, healthy and accepted. Think of children born out of incest, they will grow up with their uncle/father and auntie/mother and thinking that they should grow up to marry their own cousin/brother. It's the same thing that comes from children born in polygamist families, they grow up seeing it as completely normal and will often choose that lifestyle for themselves while most other people would disagree. Except in this case, of the children follow in their parent's footsteps they will increase the chances of birth defects in THEIR children exponentially. I doubt it's worth the risk. At what point WILL the risk to the children make the incest illegal again? Inbreeding may not have a huge effect to a first generation brother and sister but what about two more degrees in?
looseseal looseseal 6 years
All I have to say to this is: My sister! (slap) My daughter! (slap) My sister! (slap) My daughter! (slap) She's my sister AND my daughter!
zeze zeze 6 years
Not really though, a child-adult relationship is always illegal, incest or not, whether incest is legal or not. So basically, the way I see this debate is that it's makes for good higher education class discussion, but is pretty meaningless in the real world.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 6 years
Agree with Zeze. The law doesn't stop anyone from doing it. However, it does protect the child if the parent is taking advantage sexually
zeze zeze 6 years
So what? It's not like the legality is really influencing anyone, just because it is legal doesn't mean everyone will wake up and marry their brother - the people who accept it and do it are already doing it (no pun intended) and the people that want to throw up thinking about it will still feel that way. All this means is that those people who do it won't get prosecuted in the off chance someone finds out about their consensual relationship. And to be honest, if 2 people are CONSENSUALLY agreeing to be doing that, I would want my tax dollars somewhere else. For those saying it isn't consensual and etc...well in that case, regardless of legality of incest or not, it would still be abuse/rape/kidnapping etc...and the legality of consensual incest would not matter.
Epicdoodle Epicdoodle 6 years
WTH!?! :o :o :o This is sick, so wrong on so many freakin levels!! :s There are more than a trillion people in this world to choose from so why would these people choose to sleep with their own child/sibling?! Just plain nasty!!!!
stephley stephley 6 years
Did people really claim that children born of gay marriages would have a greater risk of birth defects? :ponder:
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
:sick: no. No, no, no, no no!!! Disturbing on many levels. How many people in the world? I think we can find partners we aren't related to.
Silly-Btch-Therapy Silly-Btch-Therapy 6 years
This is a really interesting topic. Every argument I can think of was once used to ban gay or biracial marriages/relationships. - It could hurt the children that may be born of it through either birth defects or social stigma. - It could greatly affect them mentally and encourage the children to become involved in incestuous relationships as well, increasing the chance of birth defects - it's icky. - It is just straight up wrong etc. etc. etc. My initial reaction is "OMG no, gross, get away, keep it illegal" but my logical mind kicks in and says "Government should stay out of the bedroom." This a difficult decision. I think I will still go with the "it's icky" argument but I can see how this topic could be debated and I could be swayed.... it's still icky though. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Check out my new site at for more advice and information about sex, love and everything in between.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I agree that parent-child incestuous relations, despite adult age, is not entirely consensual and still mirrors severe dysfunction and abuse. It should remain illegal. Sibling relations is trickier, but I still think it can be argued as abuse.
a-million-suns a-million-suns 6 years
But if incest were more socially acceptable so that siblings have children who marry each other and have kids that marry each other, then there would be really major problems. I could maybe see it being legal for siblings only if they couldn't have children, but parent-child is just way too wrong.
stephley stephley 6 years
The problems can go beyond icky, but if Switzerland wants to deal with it, fine for Switzerland.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I meant law not issue.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
This is a little disturbing. On one hand I can agree with what Natale is saying, but on the other, what if the dad has been brainwashing her for all her life and now she thinks she is in love with him? This is a very delicate issue, and I don't feel qualify to give an objective opinion. I can only say that this will be a very controversial issue.
amber512 amber512 6 years
I completely agree with Natalie.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 6 years
As disgusting as I find it, I see their point- that if rules were set on what we thought was gross, we'd have a skewed society. And if adult siblings really want to be together, and no one is abusing anyone, putting them in jail makes no sense. Even though I find the topic icky, I can understand how "live and let live" could work, especially between two consenting adults. The parent-child case is more disturbing, as you mentioned, because it's a position of power, and might be related to childhood abuse, or the parent may be manipulating the child, as the only way they can get love from their parent is sexually, which is terrible... This isn't a black and white issue, but I see why they ruled the way they did.
Sexy Photos of Male Dancers
Sexy Tattoos For Women
Sexy Harry Potter Guy Boudoir Shoot
Vagina Facts
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds