I share stories like this one, not because I support the behavior, but because they bump up against the ideas of liberty. They are the stories that make people squeamish. In the world of liberty no laws would be passed to prevent this behavior.
It’s actually a story you’ve heard similar told before. The man has a child but it’s put up for adoption. The child turns 18 and wants to find that man, her birth father, whom she has never known and who has never known her. She tracks him down and they meet. They have a strong sexual attraction which they act on. They have a baby. They want to get married. They are very happy with each other. Mom notifies the police who arrest them on a class 5 felony that can mean a year in jail if convicted. It’s incest.
We know a few things now. First, sometimes there is a genetic attraction between people who are related but never met. Almost like somehow they know there is a connection without having to be told. Second, we also know that birth defects from interbreeding are not common. They only become so when the behavior continues across generations. A one off relationship has about the same statistical probability of birth defect as any other. That changes dramatically over the generations though. The more the interbreeding continues the probability quickly arrives at 50%, which is incredible and enough to explain why incest of first level relatives is a nearly universal (maybe even universal) taboo.
In fact, the same logic associated with gay marriage applies to this marriage. They are two consenting adults. Why is it the state’s business who they associate with? Logically, it’s hard to find a reason to charge them with a crime for consensual behavior. They didn’t know each other. He was never her dad, just her father, she was never his daughter, just an event in his life that went away.
But that’s what makes stories like this so difficult. Logic doesn’t always play a role. For the vast majority of people (in the world) there is a strong “ick factor” with stories like this. It’s just…gross. Totally gross. And that’s how it’s been for a very long time.
I am drawn to recall the story of Lot from the Old Testament. He’s the fellow who lived in Sodom and whom Abraham parlayed with the Lord to save. Lot, his wife, and his daughters were warned, fled the city and were told, whatever you do, don’t look back. Lot’s wife, she looked back, and that ended her life. Lot and his daughters went on to the land of Zoar and found a cave where they lived. The daughters didn’t realize that anyone else was left alive. They saw such terrible destruction and in their mind it extended to all humans. To them, the scripture attests, they were all that remained of humanity, “Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth…” reads Genesis. So…what did they do? They got their father drunk and slept with him. One on one night and the other on the next. Both became pregnant. The universal ich factor makes this a powerful story and the reader is to understand the level of desperation the daughters felt. But also that Lot had to be drunk and not aware for it to happen. They date raped their dad. Gross.
Are you libertarian enough for incest?
Steven Pladl, 42, and his biological daughter Katie Pladl, 20, from Knightdale, North Carolina, were charged with incest after having a baby together and then making plans to marry.