The Stream

Brotherly love

The Stream looks at the stigma around consensual incest.

For most people the thought of a consensual sexual relationship among adult siblings immediately elicits reactions of disbelief and shock. There are those who believe it’s everyone’s right to sexual self-determination. Germany’s National Ethics Council recently voted to decriminalise incest between consenting adults, stating that “criminal law is not the appropriate means to preserve a social taboo”. Critics of the decision immediately point to the greater risk of genetic defects in the offspring, but proponents state that non-incestuous couples who are more likely to have special needs children are free from legal restrictions. While Angela Merkel’s ruling party has rejected the Council’s decision, some are now asking whether we are innately against consensual incestuous relationships or is it a social construct? And is it necessary to prosecute these consenting adults? Join us at 1930GMT.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Debra Lieberman
Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Miami

Says he’s in a relationship with his half-sister

Brad Dacus @PacificJustice
President, Pacific Justice Institute

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.