Incest and Polygamy

Most Popular
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Recently a young woman interviewed me for a paper she was writing on polygamy. One of her first questions involved incestuous marriages. People tend to equate polygamy with incestuous marriage partly because of the widely publicized Kingston case, when a sixteen-year-old girl protested being forced to marry her uncle. But not all polygamous groups condone incestuous marriages. In my father's religious group (which later became the Apostolic United Brethren, or AUB) any sort of incest was taboo, as it is in most cultures. As a doctor, my father knew the hazards of genetic coupling and he wouldn't support the marriage of second cousins, let alone closer relatives. As the attending physician in many fundamentalist communities, he had witnessed horrific births when polygamous people ignored this taboo, where children came into the world with severe and heart-wrenching deformities. Despite his lectures and strong advice, many patriarchs stubbornly continued the practice.

Most Popular

Now that two of the men arrested in Texas are charged with marrying underage girls who were also relatives, the question rises again: Why do polygamists figure they are exempt from the ancient and scientifically-sustained taboo against marrying and bearing children with members of one's own family? The answer has to do with the same entitlement that accompanies polygamy in general: a belief in eugenic breeding. In these circumstances, eugenic breeding is rooted in the idea that people who are "called to live the Principle of Plural Marriage" are somehow superior to other members of the human race: more intelligent, better looking, physically superior, etc. If the idea seems familiar, look to Germany during the Holocaust. Eugenic breeding was used to justify the murder of millions among of mental patients, political activists, retarded people, and various ethnic groups, including gypsies and Jews so that the "Aryan race" could retain its "purity."

As for me, I think people who go to such lengths to justify their "superiority" are covering deep-seated fears of inferiority. What do you think?

Politics
Share
Court Rules That Forcing Someone to Have Oral Sex While They're Unconscious Isn't Rape
​Wait…what??​
Obamas Twitter message for Royals
Politics
Share
The Obamas Just Got Into a Twitter Fight With Prince Harry and The Queen
The Queen wins.
Politics
Share
Hillary Clinton Made You Your Very Own #WomanCard
​Great news! Now we can all play! ​
Politics
Share
Oops: This Carly Fiorina Website Redirects to a Planned Parenthood Donation Page
​Fiorina, in case you didn't know, is no fan of Planned Parenthood.​
Politics
Share
Ted Cruz Will Reportedly Name Carly Fiorina as His Would-Be Vice President
​Fiorina is said to be his pick for a running mate in the election, should he land the GOP nomination.
Politics
Share
Donald Trump Says Hillary Clinton Would Be Losing if She Were a Man
"The only thing she's got going is the woman's card."​​
Politics
Share
One Year After the Earthquake: How Nepal Is Being Rebuilt—by Women and Girls
When the country fell apart, women stepped up. Plan International ambassador Urmila Chaudhary​ reports. ​
Politics
Share
The American Women of ISIS
Who they are, why they're joining, and what life is like once they get there.
Politics
Share
Harriet Tubman Has Been Named the New Face of the $20 Bill
It's part of a larger overhaul of the $5, $10, and $20 bills. ​​
GIF
Politics
Share
Hillary Clinton Gloriously "Booooo"s Calorie Counting
#ImWithHer