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Essay/Term paper: Incest

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Society Term Papers

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Incest is one of the most interesting taboos of our time. The definition of
incest is a highly controversial topic. Yet, the definition of incest is one of
the most important definitions for the people involved, though the law's and
psychologists' meanings are not much the same. Incest needs to be similarly
defined for the incestuous parties, both by the law and by psychologists. The
definition of incest should be determined by the cases of incest. The people who
commit incest, and the types of incest should be considered when making this
definition for the law. Why incest occurs has a great deal to do with the people
and the types of incest. With the definition dissimilar between the law and
psychologists, it is very difficult for the involved to do anything about it.
The definition is both stated as wrong by law and by most religious morals.
According to psychologists, incest is defined as A- any intimate physical
contact that is sexually arousing between non-married members of a family."
(Justice, pg 25) What this is interpreted as is that sexual intercourse does not
need to occur for a situation to be considered incestuous. Stroking, fondling,
or even intimately kissing can be considered incest. This is not all true for
the law's definition. In Georgia, incest is defined as any sexual intercourse
between known relatives, by blood or by marriage, (meaning a step-parent and
step-child.) Incest laws basically exist to prohibit marriage or inbreeding
between family members, and the sentences are almost never carried out. (Kosof,
pg 53) So incest is stated as wrong, but not enforced. The Bible states that
incest is wrong, just as the law does. ACursed be he who has relations with his
father's wife... Cursed be he who has relations with his sister or half-sister!"
(Deu 27:20,22.) Therefore, the definition can be altered to fit the needs of the
definer. The different forms of incest are as follows: father-daughter, mother-
son, brother-sister, and father-son. Conditions of incest don't always involve
intercourse, but still hurt the included. So, the conditions should help to
define the firm meaning. "But surely at fourteen, I should have been capable of
escaping..." (Armstrong, pg 7) Father-daughter is the most common form of
incest. Three-fourths of all reported cases usually involve dad and his oldest
daughter. It is usually non-violent, and the daughters usually feel unattached
to their mothers. (Kempe, pgs 48-51) Sometimes the daughter may act in a
seductive manner toward her father, or the father might act as a big brother
forcing his little sister to misbehave. (Armstrong, pg 235) If the daughter is
seductive, then she might gain power over her father. This is not always true
for mother-son incest. Mother-son incest is usually brought on as a way to
highly express love, Asex education", or the mother is promiscuous. If the
mother feels like she is expressing her love to her son, then she uses sex as a
means of closeness. (Justice, pg 102) There is either no husband or a passive
husband. The mother can be very seductive and encourage the son to have sex with
her and limits the son's social life. She acts on a Adon't leave me" attitude to
keep her son tied down. Sometimes the son gets aroused my his mother and then
becomes the aggressor.(Justice, pg 103) If he isn't attracted to mom, why not
be attracted to his sister? This is the case in brother-sister, or sibling
incest. It is less traumatic and the guy acts kind of proud about it. The
brothers can become violent and force their sister to join in, although usually
the sister is willing to participate. (Justice, pg 105) When both of the
children are shy, the girl sees him as the only boyfriend she will ever have and
becomes flirtatious. The two could also have mutual admiration, and then become
sexually attracted to each other. This leads into the most rarely reported
incest of the four. Father-son incest is rarely reported because it violates two
moral codes, homosexuality and incest.(Justice, 196) Males want to protect their
masculinity, so they will not tell anyone. They pretend to like girls, and they
date them, but tend to be attracted to boys. When they move out of the house,
they sometimes choose to be a male prostitute. The fathers can be alcoholic and
very abusive. The fathers of any incestuous relationship can have psychopathic
or symbiotic personalities. Him who has a psychopathic personality seeks
stimulation, and has a Aget even" aggressiveness. No feelings of guilt and a
powerful need for aggression seem to happen often in most cases. A>I literally
could not walk out of the house without my father wanting to know where I was
going, with whom, and when I would be back.'" (Kosof, pg 17) He may be
promiscuous or pansexual, (meaning that all he can think about is sex.
Everything is a sex object to him.) (Justice, pgs 83-85) The father with a
symbiotic personality hungers for intimacy. The only way of expression he knows
is through sex. There are four types of symbiotic personalities. The introvert,
the rationalizer, the tyrant, and the alcoholic. The introvert is very
protective toward his family and fells Aunder attack." He cannot trust people
and is easily disappointed.The wife usually denies him sex. The rationalizer
shows what Alove" is, or teaches Asex education" to his daughter. The tyrant is
the authoritarian, he uses threats and physical force to get what he wants. He
pretends to have everything under control and hides the problem at home. His
daughter Aowes" him sex. He is very jealous and paranoid. The alcoholic is a
dependant, although he tries to hide it. 10-15% of incest commiters are
alcoholics. Mothers share most of the characteristics of the father. The mothers
may be promiscuous and longs to be taken care of. Incest might begin as innocent
sleeping with her son and then drifts into more physical things. She is not
likely to have intercourse with her son, but she implies that someday she will
give herself fully to the son, which can lead to the son being a violator, which
is rare because the children of incest are mostly victims. (Justice, pg 145) A
Sex is not sex for the incest survivor." (Blume, pg 207) Different children of
incest act in different ways. It mainly depends on how the incest was brought
about. Some may act untouched by the experience and seldom are able to defend
themselves. When they reach adulthood, the might start experiencing flashbacks
or amnesia. They live in denial and have an emotional shutdown. (Blume, pg 322)
Sometimes they result in schizophrenia or multiple personality disorders. They
also seem to have sexual shutdowns and are uncomfortable with it. But why does
this occur? Incest usually occurs when sex stops between mother and father. Mom
either denies dad sex, there is a major life crisis, or opportunity knocks. The
opportunity for incest occurs when mother is gone all the time and so the
daughter assumes the role of the mother. When this happens, there is a need for
treatment. This is when the definition of incest is most important. The children
are very scared and need confidence. If he/she tells a psychologist or teacher,
that person is required by law to tell the authorities. (Kosof, pg 53) When the
authorities are contacted, the definition comes into play. The child wants to
feel safe, and if their definition of incest doesn't live up to the law's, then
the charges could be dropped and the child gets into more problems with incest.
Therefore, the background of the incest is very important to the law's
definition. By the people involved, the form, and why it occurs are critical to
helping the child out when defining the term. The definition of incest by the
law should be closer to the definition of psychologists in order to help out the
family. AIt is evident that we still know very little about how to treat the
sexual offender and the abused child effectively." (Kempe, pg 109)


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