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The Contender
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Should incest be legalised?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2014 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 620 times Debate No: 44812
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)




This is for legalising 2 incestuous consenting adults. (Adults being the legal age of sex relative to the country you live in). Rape and child abuse laws would still be in place and would apply to this law.
Yes there are chances of deformity BUT what are the actual statistics? I've looked long and hard for a general statistics that says there is (x%) chance of deformity but information is so varied and unclear, so much so that is it arguably subjective and depends on the family history.
Surely a law against cystic fibrosis carrying parents should be put in place as they have a chance of producing a deformed child. Similar with mothers who smoke, drink and take drugs during pregnancy and also with parents who have history of cancers within the family and similar medical issues.
Why should incestuous couples not have rights like homosexual couples do?
If you don't agree with it, why? Is it because you find it 'gross' or 'disgusting', does that mean those who want to take part in it have to suffer?
It may be idealist to want it legalised but if we don't throw controversial topics like this out in the open how can we ever expect to make a change? If the suffragettes or black people had that opinion they wouldn't be where they are today.
In history it was fine so why not now!
It may only be a minority of people arguing for it but why should that mean the law should be in place? Also if it is only a minority does it really matter so much that there should be a law. The argument the NHS or health care system cannot afford to take on the extra amount of deformed children is flawed in this case as it is such a small number. Obesity is more common than deformity by incestuous parents but banning McDonald's isn't an option.
Incestuous couples don't HAVE to have children, they have other options like donors, adoption and fostering. Legalising marriage between incestuous people doesn't necessarily result in them having children. Often couples take part in these activities for the sexual side where contraception is used and children aren't even a thought.
What about those couples that find out they are related when they've been separated at birth? They are together for love and cannot be together anymore even if they've planned a life together.


Thank you for the debate.

Now I'm sure the reason why the majority are against incest is a lot more than the fact that we find it "gross" or "discussing". Personally I don't care what adults want to do with their sex lives as long as it doesn't cause harm to others. The harm in this case being the offspring of these incestuous relationships. I am not interested in the disgusting element. I am mainly concerned about the welfare of the resulting children.

You acknowledge that there are increased chances of deformity among children as a result. In fact the chances of a child deformity from incest are much higher:

In short there are genes called recessives. Recessives are for the most part not good. If two people with the same recessive gene (and the odds are very high that close relations will share that gene) have a child the chances of that child showing the recessive are much higher. Up to 10 percent higher according to a study published a couple years ago in the Journal of Genetic Counseling which I am afraid I cannot cite as it is a book. However as far as I know this is one of the only figures known to be put on increased deformity chances of incest children. However anyone with a basic understanding of genetics will know that the chances are considerably higher.

The fact that you requested "what are the actual statistics?" after acknowledging that there are increased chances of deformity is a little worrying. As if, if the chances were smaller it would be okay? If only a handful of incestuous children became deformed then that would be okay? The fact that the chances are increased at all means that it should not be condoned. Why should an innocent child (born or unborn) have to suffer from the recklessness of their parents actions? Allowing incest is allowing an increase in child defects no matter what way you look at it. And we must ask ourselves, which is more important, the welfare of children, or the desire to sleep with a relative? I think the answer is obvious.

The reasons why incestuous couples don't and shouldn't have the rights that homosexual couples do is merely down to their offspring. By homosexuals adopting a child they are not placing an increase in the defect or deformity of the child, whereas incestuous couples fornicating are. How can we give right to something that does wrong in other words. Again of course I don't want to deny that a child born of incest can be perfectly fine, physically (I'll get to the mental side later). But how can we say there are some incestuous children who are fine and some who aren't so therefore as a result of the some who are, it should be legal? What about the ones that do come out with defects and deformities? Where's there fair chance in life? Or at least as fair a chance as anyone else.

Again I am a little worried by you saying that "incest was fine in history so why not now?" (paraphrasing). If we followed the traditions of old the world would be a miserable place at this stage.
1. Who could say that they knew a good basis for genetic defects and deformities at these times in history?
2. The care and welfare for children back then and now is immensely different. Thank god that we live in a society where children are seen as a top priority. How can we say that back through History a lot of people didn't care about the welfare of children so why should we now. We have grown as societies and learned to shun acts like incest. Not because it is vile but because it would condone the birth defects of innocent and unknowing children.

I am glad you brought up the point that "Incestuous couples don't HAVE to have children". Whether they have children or not the legalization of incest would still make it okay for incestuous couples to have children. Again this comes back to the argument of which is more important, the welfare of children or the welfare of people who want to bed their brother or sister? etc. Now it is unknown how many incestuous partners actually have children but let's face it if two relatives are willing to have sexual relations with eachother then that certainly shows that they are ok with incest and then I think we can deduce that they are ok with bringing up a child as an incestuous offspring.

We are all aware of the physical harm that can potentially come to children as a result of being victims of incest but what about the psychological effects on a child? Think how warped and confused the child's mind could become after learning that his/her dad is also their uncle or that his/her mother is also their auntie. This effects both children that are born out of incest and children that are adopted by incestuous partners. Imagine a child having to grow up with deformities/defects as a result of incest (just an example). That child would eventually realize that such defects came as a direct result of his parents, non-accidentally. That their selfish ways was the probable cause of this defect, hindering the child for life. I can not think of a more heart-breaking psychological effect.

Now you may say that there is no harm in incestuous couples adopting but again what about the adopted children? They will be forever different from the other kids and will question why this burden has been put on them. How will other kids react to the kid with incestuous parents? Everything the child does in life will all relate to the fact that they were adopted by incestuous parents. Now the reason for this adoption could very well be that the incestuous couple don't want to put the burden of increased deformity on a child but what will the adopted child think of this? "Mom, Dad you didn't have a child so you put this burden on me instead?"

Incestuous couples can do whatever they want with their lives but when children are involved it is putting an unfair burden on them no matter what way you look at it. I don't see how incest can be or should be legalized based on these terms.

It is a shame that you didn't put more rounds to this debate however thank you and I wish you luck. I apologize for a lack of sources however this topic is more opinionated.
Debate Round No. 1
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 2 years ago
I know what you're saying kbub, but I have to agree with VulcanZero. If you make room for fallacy you should just go home because they are going to catch you in a contradiction if you do (and they have a brain).

There are those who think 'normal' relationships are natural and thus can say "oh well incest is unnatural or against god" you don't typically see that sort of argument from homosexual rights advocates.

I can understand wanting to target the more rational people, religious people often don't even pretend to be rational rendering argument quite pointless.

Before someone mentions it, (they will) no incest does not cause genetic defects, it does not increase them, it does nothing but concentrate recessive traits. It is not guaranteed to happen or affect quality of life, it simultaneously lowers the ratio of those dangerous recessive traits in the general population.
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
Sorry VulcanZero, I think I made my last comment misleading! I'm not against this topic being debated at all! I was just hoping that some of the language might be clarified so that it doesn't seem like Pro is saying the same thing (though they do find themselves in similar positions). I actually agree with you!
Posted by VulcanZero 2 years ago
This topic should be a non-issue, relegated merely to consent between two adult and capable parties.

I can see where the first comment is going (as in, the specific comparing of potential right to gay rights could, perhaps, indicate some subversive intent to throw a "told you so!" curveball with the old gay marriage slipper slope), but one situation of flawed ethics shouldn't really have anything to do with the next; that the topic of legalized incest being discussed publicly could give fodder for brainless arguments by others is not sufficient reason to avoid discussing it publicly among non-brainless people.
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
I am all for sexual liberty. However, I do have some request to make. Homosexual rights are in a precarious position. Right now, advocates of gay marriage are trying to dissuade people against the notion of slippery-slope sexual rights. So many people say that if we allow gay marriage then we would allow for bestiality/zoophilia, incest, open relationships, and child molestation. Although I personally keep an open mind for all of those (except of course child molestation!), these associations are in my opinion bad for the movement.

Therefore, would it be possible to say instead of "Why should incestuous couples not have rights like homosexual couples do?" to say "Why should incestuous couples not have rights like HETEROSEXUAL couples do?" I think that would be helpful, just because so many ignorantly think that homosexuality is equated with other "unnatural" sexual acts.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
that's a very interesting, I have no problem with consenting adults doing what they please. But the laws were put in place by god fearing Christians, and they have a lot hate to motivate. So be careful.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by CynicalDiogenes 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Marriage as a social institution exists to ensure that the resulting children are better cared for.Pro has given no reasons to explain why legalisation of incestuous relationships is necessary.Why give legal protection to people who have no intention of having kids?Con does an amazing Job of defending his Ideas.It would be better if Pro had allowed for more rounds.
Vote Placed by TH3Antag0nist 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: One round debates are boring. Pro had none to little good reasoning more ranting.