The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Should incest be accepted and legalized.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/24/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,932 times Debate No: 57087
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (3)




In this debate I will attempt to provide information to show the benefits, misunderstandings, and reasons why incest should be legalized. I will be providing references for my research on the subject.

This is where I stand:

I. It is morally wrong to tell some one that they are not aloud to fall in love with the person they fall in love with.

I. There are misunderstandings on the risks involved when having children due to incest.

III. There are benefits to incest relationships for those who partake in them.

I will ask Con to leave out any religious arguments as this is not a religious debate. This is strictly a philosophical debate with ideas and relevant references.

I also ask to keep the first round for opening statements; what you plan to argue, and how you are going to argue it.

I look forward to this debate with Formerland1 and hope that it is a riveting one.


Hello, I'm formerland1 and I'm arguing that incest should not be legalized
My three main points will be :
1. Biological reason why incest is bad
2. Phsycoloical reasons incest is bad
3. Economic problems incest could cause

Note: I'm not againsed the marriage I'm againsed procreation
And raising the children.
Debate Round No. 1


I'll start of with the morality behind incest to get it out of the way.

If two consenting adults fall in love with each other, they should be able to have the same benefits and rights as other couples if that couple is an incest one. A brother and a sister should be aloud to marry each other if they fall in love, and have children, and be socially acceptable. By telling these couples that what they are doing is wrong and gross, that they should not be doing it, and we wont allow them to, we are doing the same exact thing we have been doing to interracial, and homosexual couples. We are causing them distress, anxiety, fear, and nonacceptance. It is wrong.

I know first hand what these people feel. Though I am not involved in an incest relationship, I am a transgender, bisexual. People tell me the same things. I get anxiety, fear, a feeling of nonacceptance. It causes depression. It appears that this has nothing to do with my debate, but by knowing what I go through, I can paint a better picture of what these people feel. Like me, they are afraid to be open and honest with themselves.

When the two are found out, they are torn apart. In some cases not aloud to see each other any more. More than often one of them is accused of molestation or rape, and no matter how much the other fights and claims that it wasn't, the court doesn't listen. Their children can be taken away, their lives dismantled, their family destroyed. They live in secret and in fear.

These consanguinamory couples should be able to live in the open. Have confidence to openly have a romantic and loving relationship with who ever they want. It is morally wrong for us to tell them no. You might not want to do it. You might find incest disgusting. We are not asking you to partake in it. Just like gay marriage, pot legalization, interracial relationships; we are not asking you to do it. Just accept it and to let people be happy.


Throughout the evolution of all creatures on earth we have evolved to avoid incest because of the danger it poses to the genetic diversity and general health of the species. For example pheromones that usually attracts a mate will repulse family member so in fact your family smells worse to you than other families.
Adaptations like this would not have developed if incest was healthy for producing successful offspring .
Due to these adaptations cases of incest are very rare but in the case that they do the child dies soon after birth or goes on to have a severe disability often both mental and physical. If the disability isn't to severe it goes on to spread its genes on to the next generation , this is how many negative mutations that are present in the world today came from. This butterfly effect can set us back years as far as IQ , speed , lifespan , and general well being . This is why it is immoral to procreate with ones family , it is a selfish decision that can harm future generations. If we allow people to do it , it most certainly will get more common in areas with low population, people who want attention, and people who think its going to be this new trending thing ( not unlike gender neutral children ). We have noticed in populations with low genetic diversity populations become weakened within very few generations , and that's a sterile environment test in a uncontrolled world extinction could be faced in about four generations .

Negative mutations caused by incest include :

Lower intelligence
Extra digits
Missing teeth
Poor metabolism
Heart failure
Fused eyes
Multiple or no tongue
Fused or multiple limbs
Absence of minor or vital organs
Weakened immune response ( not aids)

Now that is after one generation of incest, if incest became trending the consequences could be devastating .
Not to mention the various complications the mother may have in pregnancy.
Debate Round No. 2


Evolution has made it so that we would not want to procreate with family members. This is not because of the risks. This because our genetic and instinctual make up identify the flaws in us a species and this causes us to subconsciously want to make the perfect human being. We, as animals, want to have children with those we institutionally see as the next and best step in our genetic and evolutionary success. Studies also show that the majority of people are normally attracted to those people that somewhat resemble members of our family. Usually that falls with the opposite gender parent; women find men generally more attractive when they resemble their fathers, and the same is said for men and their mothers.

Con brought up the argument that there is a reason why our families smell worse than other families. He is right. The hormones in our bodies are released to attract desirable mates, and to ward off undesirable ones. That being said, it doesn't always work. It is similar to the fact that men are supposed to smell bad to other men, but some men are attracted to their gender regardless. The same can be said for members of the same family. A sister can still find her brother attractive and desirable for any of the same reasons she might find person who is not of her family attractive. I would like to note that I am not only talking about sex, I also speak of romantic relationships.

The only reason that evolution has decided to keep us from procreating with our family members is because we see the small problems that would make our families imperfect. It could be the way the family ages, or a history of heart disease. We recognize these on an instinctual level.

That said, we also want our children to look like us. You hear grand parents say it all the time. Aside from the small genetic issues we all have, we subconsciously find our family to be generally attractive. We want our children to look like us so that they can carry our good looking genes on to their children.

Sometimes our chemical make up, combined with genetics, and instinctual behavior cause us to decide that our siblings, fathers, cousins, etc... are perfect for the continuation of our species, and for a perfect, romantic relationship.

I would also like to interject that I am talking about two consenting adults. Rape, abuse, and molestation of any one of any age, especially children, should not be tolerated.

Now, what of the risks of decreased health and birth defects?

It is true that those children born of consanguinamory relationships are at a higher risk of these problems, it is only a slightly higher risk. Children who are born in a non consanguinamory relationship is around 1.8 to 3% chance of having any health issues, those born in incest are only slightly higher at between 2.8 to 4% chance of defects. That isn't very high. That means about 90 to 95 percent of incest born children will be perfectly healthy.

There are other birth defects that children are at risk of getting with out a consanguinamory relationship. We still allow those people to procreate. Black people have a 6 to 10% chance of producing an offspring with sickle cell anemia. That's a higher chance than any thing that an incest born child could get. People with Huntington's disease have a 50% chance of passing on the disease to their children. These groups of people are not only aloud to have children (which they should), they are encouraged, and get sympathy when they pass on the wrong genes.

There are other groups of people who are aloud to have children but have greater risks of passing on health issues to their children; smokers, drinkers, women over 40, those with a family history of cancer, workers of risky industries, hemophiliacs, drug users, and more. They are still aloud (and should) to have children, and they have a higher chance of passing on negative effects to their children than those who are involved with incest.

The children born of incest are as likely to adopt the negative parts of a families health history about as the parents are. Deformities are still rare, and shouldn't even be expected. The children are normally as healthy and normal as every other kid.

There are options to prevent any problems if you are still scared of it. Contraceptives, abstinence, abortions, (abortions are for another debate.) etc. These are the same things normal parents can do to avoid any problems they might have with their children. The brother and the sister can still have a perfectly fine, loving, romantic relationship with out having kids.

I conclude this round with these points:

I. Though evolution has made it undesirable for most of us, it can still be desirable for the same reasons for other people.
II. Evolution makes us want our children to look like us.
III. The health risks for incest born children is only about 4%
IV. Other members of the human race are aloud to have children despite higher chances of birth defects.
V. Kids will be born normally and healthy up to 95% of the time.
VI. Consanguinamory couples can be happy and healthy with or with out children.

Thank you.

Sources; In no particular order.


First off incest has significantly higher rates of mutation, so I would like to know your sources . And yes people are attracted to people similar to them , that is because it ensures its not too different like say a monkey or a camel.

Now for my next argument

Phsycolological reasons againsed incest are numerous . For one the children of incest parents lets assume thier child ended up normal . The child would not get a varied parenting style as the brother and siter would have had the exact same upbringing so the child would likely not have a good discipline. The openness of the family would cause a lack of authority in a young life , unless the parents could counter it . Also sibling rivalry ( the evolutionary response to increse competitiveness among siblings) would make a long lasting marriage difficult .
Without the stress of children an incest relationship could last .
But of course my objection was to the children and not to the marriage .
From a phsycological perspective this means an incest relationship would be much more prone to domestic violence due to sibling rivalry .
Debate Round No. 3


I have posted my sources. I have shown why the deformities are at only 4% which is only a 2% increase with other children.

I am glad that you brought up the sibling rivalry, and the parenting in your argument. I plan to tackle those ideas as well.

I would like to first add to my last argument real fast. There is another phenomena that causes members of the same family to become attracted to other members. This is called Genetic Sexual Attraction. These are cases in which members of a family, more often siblings, are separated for long periods of time. Usually from birth to during or after adolescence. It is about 50% chance that one of the two involved will develop some feeling for the other person.

That will lead me into the different parenting styles. Consanguinamory is not always between brother and sister. It can be cousins, aunt and nephew, father and daughter, etc... If it is a sibling relationship, they could have been separated and is now facing GSA. In each case, each partner would have been raised differently. They would bring different parenting styles to raising a child because the parents have been raised differently. Even if siblings were raised together, with the same parents, they would still bring different parenting styles to the development of their kids. You'r cousins are usually raised some what different to you. The differences in each person's personality would bring different styles. There is no reason to believe that a child who has incest parents would not have any discipline or only one style of parenting.

Sibling rivalry was brought up as a reason that marriage between a brother and sister could have violent results. I disagree.
It is said that about 50% of all marriages end in divorce. First, why shouldn't consanguinamory couples have the same opportunity? In non consanguinamory relationships, 25% of marriages experience domestic abuse. About a third of those relationships end in spousal homicide. Nonconsanguinamory relationships will have those problems as well. In fact, I argue that incest relationships have a higher success rate.

Family members squabble. They all do. It is normal. The majority of families stay together. Brothers and sisters for example are usually in tune with each other, even if they argue some times. As I said, 50% of marriages end in divorce, and I know that not all families stay together and they fall apart, but in most cases, your sister is there your entire life. Usually, family members are there for you no matter what. If a brother and a sister fall in love with each other, then two people are getting together who know each other, are in sync with each other, and who normally never fail to make the other happy.

There are other benefits for those who are in a consanguinamory relationship.

I. Less risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Odd are you know your family members disease history, so you are normally aware of any sexually transmitted diseases he or she might have. If they do have one, they can do what any other couple can do. Protection.

II. Know the health risks for possible children. You probably know the health history of your brothers family. You are in his family. You know what your child can be born with and weather or not it can pose a threat to your child's health. (If there is any thing in the family history to worry about.)

III. Convenience. If you happen to fall in love with a family member, they are always around. You can see, talk, be with, and have sex with them any time the two of you want to. An example would be a brother and sister in high school. Normal students juggle school work, hobbies, family, and dating. By dating a sibling, you are effectively combining two or more of those things. Dating can be family time as well.

IV. Deep connectivity with your partner and a wonderful experience. This one is based on the experience. Consanguinamory can be a deep and loving relationship. Normally brothers and sisters have deeper connections with each other than with other people. This doesn't mean they are interested in each other, but siblings who have that sort of connection with each other can experience a very deep and rewarding romantic relationship with the other sibling. There is less chance of envy, and a higher chance of a powerful love.

V. Family Harmony. As I said before: all families bicker. People in a relationship bicker at each other too. It is pretty much unavoidable. Couples are less likely to bicker, however, if they enjoy playing and making love together. Siblings who engage in a romantic relationship are likely to be well connected, love to play around with each other, and probably like to make love with each other. This is not the same with every case. Just like non incest relationships, it all depends on the people involved.

VI. Avoidance of in laws. When you marry some one, you are entering their family. That family is entering your family. A lot of people do not enjoy their in laws. They don't want to meet a new family, and they sometimes don't want them around. Again this is different in every relationship based on the people involved. If you marry your sibling, you already know every one, or most every one in the family, so there are no in laws to tolerate. There is only your own loving and hopefully supportive family.

There are other benefits, but like every other relationship, it depends on the people involved.

We should not tell people who love each other that they are not aloud to be with each other. Even if that relationship is incest. In my sources I will post success stories of people who love each other, have happy and loving relationships, and even have happy healthy children.

I used brother and sister in most of these arguments, but be reminded that consanguinamory relationships are not just between siblings. they can be between any members of close families.

I'll conclude my side of the debate with these last statements;

I. It is wrong to tell people who they cannot love.
II. By telling them that their practice is gross, and and wrong, we are calling them gross and wrong.
III. Children are at only a 4% risk of birth defects.
IV. Couples who have other conditions have higher chances of causing birth defects in their children.
V. There is a possibility of less violence in the relationship compared to other relationships.
VI. The children born of incest are likely to have healthy parenting styles.
VII. The benefits of Incest outweigh the risks.
VIII. There is a less possibility of sexually transmitted diseases.
IX. Consanguinamory couples are likely to have a deeper and more meaningful relationship.
X. There is an increased likelihood of family harmony in accepting families.

I would like to boldly claim that about 80-95% of people in the U.S. alone have experimented with one of their family members at some point in their youth. Incest happens more often than people are willing to admit. Experimentation does not lead to romantic or sexual relationships.

Lastly. It is natural. And to claim "It's unnatural" is a hypocritical remark. We all enjoy our unnatural pleasures. Computers, Smartphones, video Games, and Soda.

I thank Con for accepting this debate, and I hope I have done enough to make people at least think about true marriage equality. Even if I lose. At least look through the sources. Thank you all.



Now I understand your reasons for marriage as I always had , but it is difficult to stop people in love to not procreate or even adopt so allowing it increases dramatically the chance of those things , as for the sexual attraction gene i was planning on bringing that up. That gene is to determine that the new parent has sucsessful genes for example black hair green eyes , the attraction would be because you know that someone with black hair and green eyes produced a viable offspring . Now on another note I believe that homosexuality is caused by a mix up with the attraction gene. Anyways back to the debate, if people want to find someone. As you would say who are in tune with one another thy can use dateing websites after all thats what they are for.

Back to the economic reasons . Lets assume they produce a child hat is not viable it will be a drain on the economy, and we're already in a recession . This child could drag thier whole family into the ground without the support of another family .
The mother could die in pregnancy ( which is quite common ) and hurt the family that much more . Without the supourt of two families its near impossible to get through the recession as many single parents know . When both parents are working there are less family members to pick up the slack . And I also bring up a scale as reference for the genetic defects caused by incest so:
Least dangerous - cousins the genetic defect rate is high but the child usually dies young or before birth
Mid danger- sibling the genetic defect rate is very very high and the survival rate of the child is also higher so the phsycological and economic reasons become more prevalent in that case.
Most dangerous - parent , due to the similarity in DNA the survival rate and mutation rate is much higher as well as pregnancy mortality rate.

The reason the rate without severe disability apears so low on your chart is likely A, what they consider to be a disability and B, many with disabilities die under four .
The disabilities they consider major do not include Down syndrome missing teeth and poor metabolism . They consider actual deformities severe mutations and that is why its seems so low the actual numbers is about 7% chance for a normal couple and 56% for an incest relationship. Also people won't be doing it out of love for this person many just want to be counter cultural and do it for attention so in short .

You can love each other , but you can't procreate and allowing marriage is encoraging them to procreate.

Sorry if my skills are a bit rusty I haven't debated with anyone with actual intelligence in a long time .
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Formerland1 3 years ago
I did touch on areas with heavy incest and those problems didnt I ?
Posted by schachdame 3 years ago
I don't see why we don't allow incest couples to be in love but disallow them to produce offspring. If they desperately want to be parents they can surely adopt or use sperm donations like any good gay couple.
It's ethically unfair to judge them for being in love, but its not wrong to judge them for producing children. Someone that risks the safety of an unborn child and this child's offspring to fulfill a desire he could fill otherwise is certainly unethical. By outlawing their reproduction we could encourage a societies approval of the marriage and relationship as we grant society that there is nothing to worry about.
Posted by schachdame 3 years ago
Not sure if anyone as yet mentioned it, but seriously: sources need an in-text-reference.
If I can't track what belongs to what, it is not sourced at all, because the sources is not explicit.

Apart from that was it an interesting debate but it did not take account (neither side) how the risks of incest-mutations are exponentially exploding in rural areas in the third or fourth generation. One incest relationship is not the doom of the children but following generation-incest is problematic. The risk is adding up. For two generic people it will always stay around 2%, but if you mate incest children again with someone of the same gene pool or another incest gene pool the risk is adding up; worse of course if you have another in-line-incest than between two generic incest children. But they would still combine their risk. So even further generations would bring in a higher risk, even when they don't mate with their family members again. Do I need to source that right now for you?
Posted by PinValentine 3 years ago
AdamKG, if you refer to my arguments and my references, you will see that I gave as detailed defenses as I could to that subject. It takes several generations to cause a mutation. Simple biology. You might have learned that in biology class in middle school. Evolutionary traits are mutations too. The case with the royal family is from hundreds of years, not one generation. I even gave an actual scientific journal on the subject on studies, not one person's opinion.

I am not saying that every one will or should commit to incest. It is not something every one will share, and certainly not every one in every generation of a family.
Posted by AdamKG 3 years ago
"If the "mutation" rate was at 7% for "normal" couples, then we would see a lot more mutants. At 7% there would be a couple hundred in your high school alone."

Just to clarify, a mutation isn't necessarily something visible or even easily noticeable. A common negative mutation (there are positive mutations as well but they don't usually come from inbreeding) is lower intelligence which is common among inbred decedents which can be seen among farm livestock which are notoriously unintelligent due to generations of inbreeding. That is not something you can see or notice unless you analyze their behavior which you wouldn't do with someone who is a mere acquaintance or just see walking down a school hallway. There are other examples as well.

Certain genetic illnesses became common among European royalty before genetics was well-understood. This was essentially due to inbreeding among cousins which was common practice at the time.
Posted by PinValentine 3 years ago
There is nothing wrong with multiple generations. it is the same facts for each generation and the risks do not increase through multiple generations. I also have to dismiss your link. Just because a brother and sister have children does not mean those children will also be incest. Incest, as far as I can tell, is not genetic. It is a biological trait on what we find attractive. You might find your brother attractive, but your son might not find his sister attractive.

The link also talks about child abuse, which I stated in the debate is wrong.
Posted by BblackkBbirdd 3 years ago
How about multiple generations of incest or brother/sister, mother/son etc?
Posted by theocatzop 3 years ago
Both of them were very good debaters but in my opinion pro's arguments were more convincing and moreover, he was the only one who used sources..Anyway, Good Luck to everyone and thanks for this interesting debate !
Posted by PinValentine 3 years ago
Do you think that two black people should be able to have children? Yes this is relevant.
Posted by PinValentine 3 years ago
And incest is found to be common in the animal kingdom. It happens all the time with rarely a negative effect on the offspring.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by AdamKG 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with pro as far as marriage equality goes, but I am still against them having biological children due to genetic issues; I am fine with them adopting. Pro consistently made some spelling and grammatical errors particularly with the word "aloud" (should be spelled "allowed"). Pro clearly has the more convincing arguments. Some of pro's sources are are questionable, but at least she had some. Con failed to cite any sources.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: "aloud"
Vote Placed by neutral 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: In terms of quality of argumentation Pro clear did the better job. Unfortunately, it also reads more like propaganda and drags in very questionable logic about 'evolutionary' causes and rests upon some very questionable moral basis like - you cannot be denied love - well, yes you can. You may love another woman who is married, but you can be denied the right to marry her as well. You may fall in love with a donkey, and that donkey may love the hell out of you too, but you can be denied marriage to it. Same for children. Same for polygamous relationships. etc. There are issues of inequality and abuse. There is also STRONG genetic reasons to avoid these types of marriages. Pro only plays positive and avoids the negative and that is rationalization. Pro also used pretty much the same source, and advocacy group, for all his information - particularly in the subsequent rounds. Con however, lets face it, did a terrible job.