Pope John XII have taken his niece and his mother as mistresses

In the 10th century, Pope John XII is said to have taken his niece and his mother as mistresses. Despite anthropologists insistence that the incest taboo is fundamental to human nature, clearly people have been at it forever. Freud famously argued that everyone’s first sexual desires are directed toward their family, while Melanie Klein considers sexual relations between siblings to be virtually the norm. The real taboo is in mentioning that perhaps it is not a taboo at all. Historian Lloyd DeMause argues that incest is universal. He cites examples throughout the world and refers to the old Indian proverb (“For a girl to be a virgin at ten years old, she must have neither brothers, nor cousins, nor fathers”) as an example of how common incest has been. His examples are endless and worldwide: tribes who have sex dormitories where older adolescents initiate younger siblings into sex; households where parents incorporate the children into their sexual activity in one happy family orgy; fathers marrying daughters when the mother dies, and sons marrying mothers when the father dies. While I can’t verify every one of DeMause’s claims and references, clearly it gets darker than sitting on granddad’s knee. The recent case of the German couple, Patrick and Susan, who were separated as children and later met and fell in love, has made headlines. They’ve been together for nine years and have four children, three of whom are in care. He has served time in prison fighting for his right to love his sister. While my gut reaction is this is monumentally fucked up, why is it illegal? The obvious answer is that it increases the chances of passing down bad genes. But by that logic, everyone with a genetic condition should be outlawed from having sex–which is rude. In fact, the impetus behind the 1908 Punishment of Incest Act was just that–the proponents of the act were the same people who advocated the “sterilisation” of the “feeble-minded”. Siblings generally don’t fancy each other due to something call the Westernak effect: Being reared together forms non-erotic bondsIncest_Mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s