A government ethics committee in Germany says the ban is unacceptable as it doesn’t allow the right to sexual self-determination. The comments are in regard to a well-publicized relationship between a brother and sister. Patrick Stuebing lived with his partner, Susan Karolewski, who turned out to be his sister and the couple had four children together, two of whom were disabled. They did not know each other when they were growing up, as they were raised separately. They only met when Stuebing was 24 and Karolewski was 16.
The ethics board is made up of 26 members, who garnered the opinion of scientists, doctors, theologians and lawyers. The chairman of the council, Christiane Woopen, was among the 14 members voting in favor of revoking section 173, while nine people voted for the ban to continue and two abstained. Following the majority decision, they are now going to ask the government to reconsider the law, which states that incest is illegal in Germany.
Arguments to ban incest have also focused on the likely hood of children being born with disabilities, due to a lower gene pool. However, this was rejected by the council.
“The abolition of the offense of incest between siblings would be the wrong signal. Eliminating the threat of punishment against incestuous acts within families would run counter to the protection of undisturbed development for children,” said Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, legal policy spokeswoman for the party’s group.
Responding to a German ethics panel’s suggestion of de-criminalizing sex between adult siblings, a group of psychologists and experts discuss whether or not it was appropriate for criminal laws to ban sexual taboos such as incestuous relationships.
“I suppose I take an unpopular view that it’s actually moral progress,” Jesse Bering, who is the author of Perv: The Sexual Deviant In All Of Us. “There are certain caveats that we need to include with our analysis of whether incest is wrong or right, but for me, the biggest point is a matter of harm.”
Although Elijah and Milo Peters, two Czech-born brothers who have performed in gay adult scenes with each other, Bering noted, “The fact that they’re violating this… taboo notion of your brother or your sister being completely off-limits from a sexual perspective, I think, attracts… a large contingency of the viewing public.”
He added, “It’s a carnival-esque affair, but it’s actual sexual arousing to us because it probably taps into something, whether we want to admit it or not, deeply unconscious about the possible patterns of attraction to… our relatives.”
Source: The Independent