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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:34 PM

Sibling Incest Class Offered at University of Missouri?



The University of Missouri is offering a class on sibling incest this spring semester! Conservative heads are exploding across the country, but is there value to studying the theory of and writings about incest?

Huffington Post reports:

The conservative blog Campus Reform reports the class is taught in hour-long sessions twice each week. The College Fix, another conservative blog, called the class "a ridiculous compilation of academic gobbledygook that ultimately seeks to defend and normalize incest as commonplace and acceptable."


Also quotes the professor, Stefani Engelstein:

My class, “Sibling Incest in Theory and Literature” is a humanities course. In the humanities, we investigate the relationships between ideas that arise in the history of human thought in order to better understand complex issues, past and present. There are many different disciplines that have asked where incest taboos come from and how they function. Some examples are anthropology, psychoanalysis, and evolutionary psychology, and we will look at how each approaches the question. Erotically charged sibling relationships also appear in many narratives, including myths and legends, but also European literature particularly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The course asks why there was an increase in incest narratives in this period. Literature provides a way for people to pose questions about how society evaluates different kinds of relationships and identities, so our readings focus on discovering what social, political, and scientific issues are connected to this topic and why.

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sibling Incest Class Offered at University of Missouri? (Original post)
alp227 Jan 2013 OP
BainsBane Jan 2013 #1
Kurska Jan 2013 #2
alp227 Jan 2013 #3
Kurska Jan 2013 #6
BainsBane Jan 2013 #8
shaayecanaan Jan 2013 #11
Ian Iam Jan 2013 #4
marble falls Jan 2013 #12
Grassy Knoll Jan 2013 #5
napoleon_in_rags Jan 2013 #7
Spitfire of ATJ Jan 2013 #9
pnwmom Jan 2013 #10
Behind the Aegis Jan 2013 #13
alp227 Jan 2013 #14
Behind the Aegis Jan 2013 #15
another_liberal Jan 2013 #21
shaayecanaan Jan 2013 #19
MrModerate Jan 2013 #16
SEMOVoter Jan 2013 #17
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #18
another_liberal Jan 2013 #20
DissidentVoice Jan 2013 #22
Rozlee Jan 2013 #25
AnnieBW Jan 2013 #30
Mutatis Mutandis Jan 2013 #23
L0oniX Jan 2013 #24
dlwickham Jan 2013 #26
L0oniX Jan 2013 #31
Canuckistanian Jan 2013 #27
sulphurdunn Jan 2013 #28
AnnieBW Jan 2013 #29

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:36 PM

1. it's literary analysis

that's it. Conservatives don't have to take the class.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:44 PM

2. Trying to understand something=normalizing it?

And you know to be honest, if a brother and a sister whatever combination of siblings want to fuck and they are both of age how is that anyone elses business? Yes it is gross, but no one is making YOU do it.

Never understood why people feel the desire to dictate the love lives of other adults. Obviously there are real genetic reasons for two sibilings not reproduce, but all sex doesn't need to result in reproduction.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:47 PM

3. But what if the sister is pregnant?

It's easy to defend sibling incest as "my body my choice" but then the problem is if the siblings breed then without a doubt their child will have severe genetic issues thus they have forced a child into a life of suffering and misery. PZ Myers states:

My personal squeamishness about how two people relate to one another ought not to be legally enforced; I’m sure there are people who consider what my partner and I do in the bedroom to be utterly disgusting, and I don’t think anyone should have to defend their private, consensual preferences to a team of strangers. I think prospective sibling marriages ought to be confronted with extensive genetic counseling, at the very least, and I might be willing to consider limiting the reproductive rights of such a relationship (because it would bring a third person into it, who does not deserve the potential genetic afflictions that can result from inbreeding) as reasonable, but otherwise…it’s not my place to police what other people do.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:00 AM

6. They should probably get an abortion then.

This sword cuts both ways, what about unrelated people who are also at serious risk of defects in their child? Should they be banned from having children? I know older women are much more likely to have children with autism, should they be banned from having kids? Where do you draw the line? At minimum I fail to see any harm in consenting adult homosexual sibling relationships.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:17 AM

8. nobody is going to commit incest because they took

a college literature class. Incest is creepy. You'll get no argument from me there, and I wouldn't take the class. But I don't see a big deal about it being offered. Studying sexuality is common in the humanities.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:52 AM

11. There's only a fairly modest increase in the chance of congenital diseases...

A brother-sister coupling results in 25% of active genetic loci having identical alleles in the offspring. That means that if a sibling parent is a carrier of an autosomal recessive disease, there is a 12.5% probability of it manifesting in the kid.

So if the brother is a carrier of the cystic fibrosis gene (for instance), there is a 50% chance that the sister has it too (assuming that only one of their parents was a carrier). Then there is a fifty percent chance of the sister passing it onto the kid, as well as a fifty percent chance of the brother passing it onto the kid. So 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 = 12.5%.

But there is only a two percent chance of either of them carrying the gene in the first place.

In practical terms, the increase in the prospect of genetic diseases is about 2%, which is equivalent to the increase in risk that a woman causes by giving birth to a baby at the age of 40, as opposed to 25.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:47 PM

4. Bollocks to both sides!

 

I suppose that I'm the only person on the planet who does not have his own YouTube channel. If such is, in fact, the case, then I take pride in it.

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Response to Ian Iam (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:20 AM

12. What's a YouTube 'channel'?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:00 AM

5. And to think this whole time.....

cousins came from ant holes.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:09 AM

7. To the extent our culture has been shaped by the culture of royalty...

...by which I mean those who are supposedly by genetic predisposition appointed to lead:



Then this topic is significant. All throughout history, so called royal bloodlines have exercised large influence, and to keep the "blood pure" they inbred.

And generally, I know from frank people I have talked with that brother sister intimacy happens, it happens quite a bit more than people would like to think. An informed society studies the world based on what IS going on, not what think SHOULD be going on.

Kudos to the prof for offering a provocative class.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:20 AM

9. One word....

Cleopatra.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:38 AM

10. The conservative Biblical fundamentalists should be fine with this

since a literal interpretation of the Bible would seem to require incest, at least in those first couple generations.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:51 AM

13. I think a general class in incest would be more interesting.

Limiting it to siblings is, well, limiting, especially if this is about literature, etc.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:58 AM

14. That would belong in the psychology department,

and then it would have to be in a general course about pathology since incest may also cross paths with pedophilia.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:02 AM

15. This one is in literature, so why not a general one?

It could be included in a class on human sexuality.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:33 AM

21. Hush your mouth!

Don't use that kind of language on a Sunday! Martha, cover your ears.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:27 AM

19. id have to agree

If you exclude all other types of incest you lose oedipus and antigone. Seems a shame.

Christ knows how this will help anyone get a job, but then again the universities are teaching all sorts of shit these days.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:35 AM

16. The hosts' bigotry . . .

Toward such useful words as "gobbledygook," "poppycock," and presumably "piffle," and "pablum" is profoundly disappointing.

All you have to do it observe rightwingnuttia for about 20 seconds to realize that those terms are essential to any sort of thoughtful description of the breed. "Nuts," "fools," "jerks," and "assholes" just don't cut it.

I'd also put in a vote for "twit," which I've found useful countless times. And don't get me started on "schmuck," "schlemeil," or "messhugenah."

And no, I'm not an 80-year-old British guy.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:52 AM

17. Humanities Profs are Trolling for Interest

As someone who met their husband in "Philosophy of Sex, Love and Friendship" I can assure everyone that this class is not a how to for incest.

Wisdom says the class syllabus includes a lot of reading and essays.

I majored in finance. Always thought a "Prostitution of Money Markets, the World's Oldest Profession" would be a great class!



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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:01 AM

18. This is science.

Conservatives are morons.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:30 AM

20. As a friend of mine . . .

As a friend of mine who was from Missouri once said:

"Yeah, I used to take my cousins down to the tall weeds. So let's get that out of the way right now."

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:34 AM

22. I had some similar topics

...when I was in Developmental Psych, based on the biology of siblings as they grow up together. Especially if they're very close in age, don't have a lot of contact with others and aren't socialised yet to know about societal taboos. Biology kicks in, and involuntarily one notices the other.

Literature/film is full of explicit and implicit references to sibling incest.

Let's start with the Bible. Abraham and Sarah were half-brother/sister. Many of these far-right types howling about this class should read the book of Genesis again.

Josephine Hart's novel (and accompanying movie with Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche), Damage, had implicit references to a sexual relationship between Anna (Binoche's character) and her brother.

The V.C. Andrews novel (and film), Flowers In The Attic, covers this very topic.

Even in Star Wars it shows up. Alan Dean Foster's novel, Splinter Of The Mind's Eye (which was to have been the sequel to the original film if it hadn't done as well as it did), describes romantic feelings between Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, though they don't act on them. Of course, Luke and Leia are later revealed to be the twin children of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.

To study this topic in academia/humanities/science is not an endorsement.

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Response to DissidentVoice (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:33 PM

25. You beat me to it.

Sarah and Abraham were half-brother and sister. King David's son Amnon raped his half sister, Tamar. Getting away from sibling incest, the bible also mentions Abraham's brother Nahor, who married his niece and Amram who married his paternal aunt. And Lot's two daughters got him drunk and had sex with him so that they could get pregnant. They did. You'd think religious conservatives had never read the bible.

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Response to DissidentVoice (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:47 PM

30. Cersei and Jaime Lannister in "Game of Thrones"

Besides them, House Targaryen was well-known to practice incest.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:56 AM

23. All in the Family: INCEST AND INFLUENCE: The Private Life of Bourgeois England (Charles Darwin, etc)

 

https://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/bookshelf.aspx?name=all-in-the-family&content=true

In 1871, a short skit in the humor magazine Punch titled “Most Natural Selection” proclaimed that “If Mr. Darwin’s theory of the Descent of Man were true, we should . . . have to accept quite new views of marriage.” Insisting that it was preferable that married couples should not be near relations, such as cousins, the skit claimed that “if we are descended from Anthropoid Apes . . . we should conclude that there was no cause or just impediment whatever why we should not marry cousins so very many more degrees removed than any other as those arboreal and quadrumanous ones.” Punch’s characteristically facetious contribution to the famous debates over evolution in Victorian Britain undoubtedly shocked many readers with its grotesque and disquieting insinuations regarding conjugal relations between humans and simians. But Charles Darwin himself, who had pronounced himself reconciled to man’s bestial ancestry in his earliest notebooks, would more likely have been discomfited by what the skit suggested about cousin marriage, for in 1839 he had married Emma Wedgwood, a woman who was both his first cousin and his sister-in-law.



Josiah Wedgwood married a cousin, but his children did not: His sons took a step up socially by marrying into the wealthy Allen family, and his daughter Susannah married Robert Darwin, the son of Josiah’s close friend Erasmus Darwin. In the next generation, Caroline Darwin married her cousin Joe Wedgwood. It was an alliance that made good financial sense, since her father, Robert, who was a private banker as well as a physician, had lent a lot of money to Joe’s father, “Jos”; the marriage would keep important debts within the family. Caroline’s brother Charles Darwin later married Joe’s sister Emma, reinforcing the alliance.

Persistent intermarriage between members of Darwin’s family and the Wedgwood clan effectively intertwined two bourgeois dynasties of the English Midlands. A plethora of biographical studies of the great evolutionist and the ongoing publication of his correspondence have revealed the particularities of this complex family network in great detail, with the result that more is perhaps known about Darwin’s extended family than that of any comparable figure (with the obvious exception of royalty). In Incest and Influence, an illuminating study of the significance of cousin marriages for the 19th-century English bourgeoisie, Adam Kuper therefore uses Darwin as an exemplar of a more general tendency.

The book opens with an account of Darwin’s protracted deliberation over whether and whom to marry. His choice of a close relation as his spouse was, as Kuper makes clear, entirely unexceptional for a man of his social position in England at that time: In the Victorian upper middle classes, more than 1 marriage in 10 was between first or second cousins. A similar number of marriages were between brothers- and sisters-in-law, meaning that about 1 person in 5 married within the family circle. This emphasis on endogamy was an effective means for bourgeois families like the Darwin-Wedgwoods to sustain beneficial domestic connections and to safeguard the property and riches accrued from the nascent industrial economy. Great intermarried families therefore came to dominate trades such as ceramics (the Wedgwood family’s pottery was world famous) and banking (the largest bank in the world, the House of Rothschild, was a family firm, and many Quaker banking families, including the Barclays and the Gurneys, intermarried and eventually merged their banks).

clip

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:56 PM

24. Maybe there's a lot of it going on in that state. n/t

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:39 PM

26. and we have a winner!

I was thinking the same thing

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Response to dlwickham (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:28 AM

31. +1 for your sig line n/t

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:34 PM

27. So, according to these conservatives' logic...

Someone who studies criminology is more likely to become a criminal or is seeking to 'normalize' crimes?

Bloody ridiculous.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:55 PM

28. Incest is an Uber taboo.

It isn't OK anymore than pedophilia and bestiality are OK. Somethings are forbidden for very good reasons. It would be nice if murder was as repugnant to us, but large scale murder is useful. I suppose if incest became useful to the powerful, we'd be sold a diet of incest promos until it became OK too.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:45 PM

29. Discuss the relationship between Cersei and Jaime Lannister

in the "Game of Thrones" series. Oh, and extra credit if you were really into the "Flowers in the Attic" series when you were a kid.

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