Blog powered by Typepad

« Another Velo misto Becomes Part of History | Main | Their Friend Gyurcsany »

Friday, March 20, 2009


Jussi Jalonen

FWIW, the Finnish Law does not contain the word "incest", but there's still a paragraph on "sexual relations between close relatives". Even a consentual sex between parents and children, as well as between siblings, is still a criminal act, punishable by a fine or, at most, by two years' prison sentence.

Interestingly enough, according to the literary reading of the same law, sex between _half_-siblings is perfectly legal. However, the marriage legislation disqualifies any formal union even between half-siblings - but on the other hand, in this country, cohabitation is perfectly acceptable, even a norm.

When it comes to "any time soon", I'd say that apart from some random parts of the world, social acceptance of sexual relations between close family members is simply never going to happen, even if the World suddenly experienced an ultra-liberalist revolution. Such consentual relations may become decriminalized, in the sense of dropping the above-mentioned paragraph from the lawbooks. Even today, the only cases to actually reach trial are those that involve rape, coercion or pedophilia, so one may question why the law should retain a paragraph restricting the sexual behavior of consentual adults, no matter how deviant or abnormal it may be. Especially since such adults are never going to be caught in the act, or confess on their own accord; why uphold a law that cannot be plausibly enforced?

But the idea of even a willing incestuous relationships gaining some kind of a social acceptance? To the extent that such unions would be included in marriage legislation? No. Personally, I don't view this as some kind of a cultural issue; it's a psychobiological issue. I recognize the Westermarck effect as a fact of life, and I'm pretty sure that so does the majority of the rest of the World. It's a human thing.

Of course, that's another reason why upholding the kind of laws described above can be considered pointless. Abnormal behavior doesn't necessarily have to be punished as a criminal act, if it doesn't directly hurt anyone else.

On a completely unrelated note - I'm glad to read your text once again.


J. J.

The comments to this entry are closed.