ENG 101 – LC018
October 23, 2012
Should the federal government be able to control the way people live their lives and whom they decide to love? Incest is a very big issue in life today for many people in different parts of the United States of America. Sometimes people look at incest in different ways. These include but are not limited to incest being unacceptable because of the risks it has. Another is that it no one person should be able to tell another who he or she should and should not love. Yes, I believe that incest should be federally governed and the people involved should have to be placed into a controlled setting. Incest is the sexual relations between people classed as being too closely related to marry each other. It involves the sexual relationship between a mother and a father and their conceived children or a brother and a sister. The area in which we are interested for this question on incest is the United States of America. In this area we are also assuming that incest is not the act of sexual relations between an adopted mother or father and their adult adopted children. But instead we are assuming that incest occurs between two people who are blood related. Incest should be a federally governed crime because it is socially seen as a taboo. A taboo is an act that is prohibited by custom. People in the early twenties and even before then saw incest to be a socially unacceptable act that should be prohibited to all. “Anthropologists have found that marriage is governed, though often informally, by rules of exogamy (marriage between members of different groups) and endogamy (marriage between members of the same group)… In most stratified societies, one must marry outside of one's nuclear family—a form of exogamy—but is encouraged to marry a member of one's own class, race, or religion—a form of endogamy. In this example, the exogamous group is small and the endogamous group is large” (Leavitt, 1990, Pg. 975). Participants of incest are ridiculed for the act because it is seen as evil not only in the eyes of the scientific person but also in the eyes of the religious person. In Catholicism, Catholics talk about incest as against the divine law. It is lawful to have relations with people who share the same bloodline as you. The divine law is a religious law by which Catholics live their lives by. Christians hold the act of incest to be a sinful act that should be punished to an extent. The most comprehensive segment of the Old Testament dealing with this offense is in Leviticus 18:6-18. Sexual cohabitation was not permitted between a man and his mother, his sister, a granddaughter, an aunt, etc. “The most serious punishment was execution (Leviticus 20:11-17), and in the New Testament era, [being removed] from the local church was enjoined for the offence (1 Corinthians 5:1-5). Incest is both a taboo to the scientific society as well as the religious communities” (Jackson, 2012). Proponents of incest being a social taboo would argue that there are cases of incest in the Bible that are “not bad”. They would also argue that there are many other things in today’s day and age that should be seen as taboo and law binding. For instance the act of gay consensual sexual relations and gay marriage used to be one of the taboos that no one agreed with. Some extremist even fought against the cause of gay marriage. They would argue that just because you are living in a world where everyone sees incest to be taboo it is the choice of the participants to choose if they want to partake in the act or not. Gay sexual relations is still today seen to be a taboo even though it is okay for the participants to commit the act without any form of legal action being forced on them. Even though gay sexual relation is still very much disgusted by many people in society it still occurs without any repercussions. Religiously gay acts are seen to be way more of a sin then incest...
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