Opinion

Keeping an open mind about incest

There is nothing quite like sophomore year of college. It is that pivotal time in your life when you begin solidifying your academic areas of study and you start to understand your identity, ideas and dreams. It is a time for experimentation and self-examination. As students, we are granted a time to question our long-standing acceptance and rejection of various societal norms and taboos. It is all a part of a process that makes us better, more well-rounded citizens.

Yet there is one issue we are indoctrinated to believe is beyond discourse. Those against its practice assume their superiority with a ripe arrogance, while those who believe in its merits are shunned and ridiculed mercilessly. I am, of course, talking about innocent, consenting, physical love between family members, or “incest,” as the Puritans who run this society have called it.

In a society that values freedom and choice, we have shamefully allowed a select few – that is, those pencil-pushers up in Washington – to determine that incest is an immoral, terrible sin for all citizens. Some democracy we live in, huh?

But what is fundamentally wrong with this type of love? Ask the average person on the street, and they’ll only stare at you blankly, or perhaps throw out some old, tired stereotype. “Incest produces terribly impaired, diseased children,” or “Eww, that’s gross! Why would anyone do that?” The former claim, that incest produces deficient children, is mostly unfounded, as well. Children born of familial love do have a higher risk for certain [genetic]syndromes, true, but they are, for the most part, normal.

Furthermore, if incest is so wrong, why did some of the most magnificent historical figures engage in it? Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, equipped with two of the greatest minds in human history, had incestuous relationships with cousins, as did the Roosevelts. And if incest is a sin, why does the Bible depict Abraham’s marriage to his sister being acceptable to God?

As a society we assume the moral impropriety of incest because we have always been told it is wrong. But why is it so wrong? Once you push through the cobwebs of ancient stereotypes and see incest for what it really is, it’s hard to fathom the venom and animosity it continues to generate. It is that kind of opportunity for free thinking that makes sophomore year so wonderful, and it is that kind of open-mindedness that will liberate America and the rest of this world.

Daniel Drucker is a sophomore majoring in economics and political science. He may be contacted at d.drucker@umiami.edu.

April 14, 2008

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Keeping an open mind about incest”

  1. T. Mitchell Adams says:

    Obviously you have never lived with a woman who was a victim of incest, taken at the age of four and taught this is what fathers and daughters do. Or seen the negative imprint left in that little girl because she was forced perform those sex acts until she was 19. All innocence is stripped away as the perpetrator push’s further control over his victim for the sake of his pleasure. No incest is not a good thing, I know this because I live and see the negative impact of it daily. One aspect is that I can not even make love to my wife without her seeing her fathers face. Another is that she is terrified I could do the same thing to our daughter, what incest does is rip lives apart, and makes a young woman carry the shame well into her life. With all innocence lost, there is no retrieving it.

  2. Turo Rodrigo says:

    Isn’t there a scientific argument against incest? Hence, cheetahs?

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

The attorneys for University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga expect indictments to be ...

Few could have imagined this scenario coming into Saturday’s University of Miami football game at ho ...

Alex Cora’s success hasn’t surprised Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris. Cora, according to ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

The Miami soccer team will conclude its 2017 home slate Sunday against Notre Dame and recognize its ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.