Sunday, 13 July 2014

Judge Garry Neilson - Incest Comments

 Judge Garry Neilson made uninformed comments about a case in April this year of a 58 year old man who is charged with raping his younger sister in the family home in 1981.  The Judge reportedly told the court that just as gay sex was socially unacceptable and criminal in the 1950's and 1960's but was now accepted "a jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was not 'available', not having (a) sexual partner."  It is hard to know what the Judge was thinking.  Sex between same sex partners, unless they are two brothers or sisters, is not the same at all and that would have the same problems as incest with opposite genders.  The power imbalance when there is an age difference is sufficient to make sex between a brother and sister unacceptable.  The opportunities for grooming in a family are unlimited.
The other complications, even with consenting adults, are huge.  Family relationships are distorted and confused.  Social mores are challenged.  Not having sexual relationships with immediate family members is about more than the risk of genetic abnormalities as the Judge discussed.  It is about completely disrupting the patterns of interaction in a family and society, abuse of power and creating dangerous precedents.

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