Incest is common

Criticism of the prohibition of incest - "It's about breaking a social taboo"

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Sex between siblings is prohibited in Switzerland. Again and again there is resistance to the prohibition of incest. Fortuna Ritter, who herself had a love affair with her brother and runs a blog on the subject, also wants to lift the ban.

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Fortuna Ritter (age 40) is a humanities scholar and has been running the “Incest Siblings” blog since 2018.

SRF: What is your personal relationship with the subject of sibling incest?

Fortuna Ritter: My brother is two years older than me. We had a close relationship from an early age. He was a playmate and a protector. When I hit puberty he became my crush and I realized he was into me too.

It crackled between us and we became lovers. Just that we didn't officially go together. Later I had a boyfriend and my brother had a girlfriend. But that didn't change anything. It wasn't until we went to university that we broke up.

Later I read everything I could find: theoretical and artistic texts about sibling incest.

It is always treated in literature as something that needs to be punished, atoned for, and corrected. I found that sobering.

How do sibling couples who are permanently in incest relationships live?

There are siblings who live together and no one knows that they are a couple, even those with a child who the mother claims to be illegitimate.

The topic regularly triggers hatred and disgust on the Internet.

I know of a sibling family of five. Can you imagine the stress these couples have to deal with? If the matter is discovered, they go to jail, the children to a home or a foster family.

The legal situation

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Sexual intercourse between siblings or half-siblings is prohibited in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. There is a risk of several years in prison.

Other countries like the Netherlands, France or Spain do not have incest laws.

The Swiss criminal law lists criminal acts against sexual integrity: It concerns sexual acts with addicts, coercion, endangering children, pornography and rape. The prohibitions also apply to family members.

Sexual intercourse between adult siblings is regulated in the penal code under the title Crimes and offenses against the family, the link opens in a new window. The ban is often justified genetically, as the children of relatives are at greater risk of malformations.

They want to abolish the incest ban. But there are also dependencies between siblings. Couldn't legalization make abuse easier?

If there are no laws on incest, nothing changes: incest is not more common, nor are more incest children born. Of course, there needs to be laws against sexual violence and abuse that apply to family members as well. There are also in countries without an explicit incest ban.

Sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence must be prevented or punished. Laws are needed to protect the victims, deter and condemn the perpetrators. There is consensus on this today.

Sibling dependency is no different from that of other couples. In both cases, it can escalate and lead to a criminal offense.

There are repeated attempts to repeal the criminal offense of sibling incest. Many lawyers are in favor of the repeal. Where does the resistance come from?

I would estimate that in our society half of the people have an insurmountable barrier to reflect on this topic. It regularly triggers hatred, disgust, contempt, and aggression on the Internet.

In Spain, a country with no incest law, a couple of years ago a couple of siblings hit the media after having a baby. The three were persecuted and humiliated by the neighborhood and the entire region, so they had to go into hiding.

It was not about a crime in the sense of the law, but about breaking a social taboo.

The interview was conducted by Susanne Schmugge.

Broadcast: Radio SRF 2 Kultur, Kultur-Aktuell, July 17, 2020, 8:20 am .; schs / huta

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  • Comment from Fortuna Ritter (Fortuna)
    Dear Mr. Nogler, Mr. Hugh and Mr. Künzi: Contraception makes the discussion about genetically damaged children superfluous. Siblings who are in a steadfast love relationship know that sex can be practiced without reproduction. Naturally, they are best informed about incest and the associated risks and also have a particularly high level of awareness that their love affair is associated with responsibility. Therefore, children from such relationships are extremely rare (0.00X percent).
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment
  • Comment from Ma Rüe (marr)
    Why should such a tiny minority problem be made a matter of state? Just do it and enjoy it in silence. Like arches, weeping, freezing, etc.etc.
    It is also true that many things do not find acceptance in society ... that maintains order and is a good thing.
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment
  • Comment from Maria Grundmann (BlueMaryBlue)
    Find mature people to sleep with whatever or with whom they turn, as long as both are active in their understanding.
    The one with de Chind is not an argument, I want to generally have to think about whether my Chind pulls in a partnership, if the chances of malformed ones are high, aso bi prevailing illnesses or older women etc. But then still tampered with them.
    But find the law does not protect anyone. I want to be protected from sexual violence by other laws, with or without (Gschwüschter-) relationships.
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment

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