Yesterday, the CBC ran the story Forbidden Love, on sexual feelings between genetically-related individuals, including mothers and sons, brothers and sisters, who have been separated from very early in life and reunited as adults. (thanks to Matti for keeping me up to speed.) Over the last month or so, during my day job I have been focused on stuff on incest and incest avoidance, in part through reading and reviewing Bernard Chapais’s recent book Primeval Kinship: How Pair-Bonding Gave Birth to Human Society (Oxford 2008), and through trying to figure out just what it was that Edward Westermarck was meant to have hypothesized about childhood associations, just over 100 years ago. And I’ve been thinking about posting on this at What Sorts. So let’s start with the Forbidden Love story from the CBC site, which begins as follows:
Two weeks after Sally reunited with her biological son, she began to have sexual feelings for him. “This is feeling really bizarre, but I think I’m falling in love with this person,” she recalls thinking. Sally, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, had given up her son for adoption when she was 16, but vowed as she cradled the little boy swaddled in a blanket that she would someday, somehow become part of his life again. She never imagined that their reunion some 30 years later would lead to a sexual relationship.
After their first meeting, the two found themselves spending more and more time together. “We kind of gave ourselves permission to do more hugging,” said Sally in an interview with CBC’s The Current. Eventually, it progressed into a sexual relationship.
“I do remember the night we did and it was amazing … the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced,” Sally says. “He said, ‘I’ve finally found the most perfect person in the world for me in every way and she turned out to be my mother.'”
Sally’s not alone in feeling a deep attraction to a blood relative upon meeting as adults for the first time. Read the full story at CBC’s website. There are also audio files from CBC’s The Current with interviews with Sally and others. I’ll blog on this in the next few days, and follow up with other posts as the will wills.