#AskMargie: Incest part 2
MANILA, Philippines – The incest discussion continues.
Taking off from last week's episode, Dr. Margie Holmes answers more questions and gives advice on the topic.
Some of you shared your stories with me and gave advice for those going through similar situations.
Let’s begin with your questions.
Edna Aquino asks: Aren’t the moral concerns on incest culturally-determined? Meaning - in some cultural contexts, incest is acceptable?
DR. HOLMES: Absolutely, Edna. And the major reasons some cultures allow incest are: to keep cultural values intact, to preserve familial wealth-sometimes via advantages relating to dowry or bride price.
Other reasons may include political expediency,, geographic proximity, tradition, strengthening of family ties, maintenance of family structure, a closer relationship between the wife and her in-laws.
Carolina Ruiz also raises the issue about Woody Allen, who’s in a relationship with his adopted daughter.
Andrew Craig-Bennett says: I see nothing wrong – they have no biological relationship, and she was not his adopted daughter, she was Mia Farrow's adopted daughter.
Bert Quibuyen: A statement more than a question: With so many women around to hump, why hump your own blood? It's sickening.
Woody Allen has been in the news lately, not because of his relationship with his wife, but because of his relationship with one of Mia Farrow’s far younger daughter, Dylan. She has accused him of incest.
However, let us go back to the issue of whether Woody Allen’s marriage to -Soon-Yi Previn. In an interview with Time Magazine, Soon YI unequivocally stated that her father was Andre Previn, Mia’s ex husband. She said further that she never considered Woody Allen, whom she met when she was 20, as a father figure of any kind.
Andrew and Bert agree on this point: Marriage between first cousins is genetically undesirable.
Barbara Suzuki asks, I think, rather facetiously:
Barbara Suzuki: “Do you agree incest is fine as long as you keep it in the family?”
However, I’m so glad Alfie Mella took it a step farther by responding:
Alfie Mella: It should be fine as long as all persons involved are truly consensual--no coercion, no intimidation, and no authoritative influence over another. Keeping it a secret within the family or not should not matter.
Evangeline Sangalang shares: I’m aware of a case where the family first kept it secret. The male cousin came home for summer break, fooled around and experimented with giggly female cousins in puberty. One girl got pregnant. Both families claimed the two fell in love, but after the baby was born, quiet separation.
DR. HOLMES: Thanks for bringing this up, Evangeline. Secrecy is one of the most damaging things about incest.
Anonymous asks this question: I have a first degree female cousin who I think sexually feels the same way that I do. But we’re holding back because of moral issues. I told her we can do “it” safely so there won’t be any consequences of her getting pregnant. What can you advise?
DR. HOLMES: Clinical psychologists are notorious for claiming they never give advice, and that is because, ideally then never should, esp if they don’t know the people involved. But what I can do, Anonymous, is help you see the issues more clearly, clarify your own feelings, and then encourage him to make a decision that you consider ethical, resonates with who you truly are, and is as right for your partner as it is for yourself. takes advantage of no one. Having said that, I feel the first step is to make sure your definitions of morality are the same, You have defined it as making sure no kids result from the union. I don’t know how she sees things and it would be best you explore this issue first.