Genetic Sexual Attraction

4 08 2009

When young children grow up together they become desensitized to later sexual attraction. This is called the Westermark effect after Finnish anthropologist Edvard Westermarck. This occurs whether or not the children are related. It’s why people can be as repulsed by the thought of being with their step-siblings as they are with blood relatives. When children grow up away from family members this effect never occurs and for some reason there is often an extremely powerful sexual attraction if they meet later in life as adults. It is powerful enough that many act on it knowing exactly what they are doing. This happens between siblings, half-siblings, mother and son, father and daughter, and reportedly even between members of the same sex. People destroy their own relationships, families, and careers to be with someone society doesn’t allow them to be with. In most of the stories I’ve read or heard, the sexual relationship doesn’t last, but there are some couples who insist on being together no matter the cost.

It sounds crazy, but when you hear people who’ve been through this describe what happend, you know there’s something to it. If you have about 37 minutes to spare, check out this link to a CBC radio program. Listen to part 2 and the first part of part 3.  The woman being interviewed, Aziza Sindhu, replays interviews from 2 cases.

To the best of my knowlegde, I don’t have any close relatives that I didn’t know as a child, so I don’t think I have to worry about this, but I know someone who does.

More stories:

Brother and Sister, and Lovers – ABC News

The Brother and Sister Who Fell in Love – buzzle.com – a sibling couple with 4 children together, determined to stay together

Forbidden Love Between Siblings – ABC News again – another couple determined to stay together

Parted-at-Birth twins ‘married’ – BBC News – These two didn’t know they were siblings when they got married. The story brings up the idea that it’s important for adopted to children to know about their birth parents so that this doesn’t happen. However, most of these relationships occur when relatives seek each other out and wouldn’t happen if this information was never available.

Cool, huh?

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3 responses

5 08 2009
kidojo

that is as facinating as it is horrifying.

27 10 2009
broken

Imagine being a grown adult & being blasted with emotions that are so intense & overwhelming that the word “love” somehow doesn’t seem to be enough of a description. In one single moment your entire world is shattered — Imagine feeling all of this intense attraction & love – but you aren’t “allowed” to feel this. This person that you just met seems to have magnetic skin…where you cant stop holding hands, touching. No, it’s not about sex, it is about finally being complete – about being whole within the other persons soul.
When my mother found out…she threw a FIT that I was in love with my 1/2 brother whom I just met at the age of 36 — and my only response was..”Why is so hard to believe that the women you created, fell in love wtih the Man that he(dad) created?”

3 01 2013
Briana

Broken, you hit it exactly on the head! I found my 19 year old younger brother (I’m 21) two years ago along w/the rest of my bio family and I’m experiencing GSA for him- he isnt & he’s been in a relationship w/his GF for the past six months & I’m thrilled for him, I really am- but the entire family thinks I want to F him which I havent ever and never will. Just the thought of that, grosses me out beyond belief. The entire family knows I’m attracted to him and they’re all astounded and grossed out. They just dont get it. I just want to hold onto him and never let him go. They just dont understand and I really wish they did. It sucks. Because your exactly right; it isn’t about having sex, about having that kind of relationship; it’s about bonding, the late bonding, that we were denied all our lives.

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