At NY Mag (and all over the internet) is a story about a father and daughter dating each other (sexually) and planning to live together in New Jersey where adult incest isn't a crime. It's easy to condemn this behavior for a host of reasons, spiritual and secular, but as I read the interview with the women mostly I just felt sadness and pity. It doesn't seem that she or her father would accept my sorrow or pity -- they seem thrilled -- but nonetheless my heart breaks for them.
So can you remember what it was like the moment you and your dad were reunited? Was there an instant attraction? It was so weird and confusing. I was seeing my dad for the first time in forever but it was also like, He's so good-looking! And then I was like, What the hell are you thinking? What is wrong with you? I saw him as my dad but then also part of me was like, I'm meeting this guy who I have been talking to over the internet and really connecting with and I find him attractive.
Was there a single moment you realized that you were sexually and romantically attracted to your dad?
After I had stayed with him for about five days.
Genetic sexual attraction is defined as "sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings or half-siblings, a parent and offspring, or first and second cousins, who first meet as adults", and apparently it's extremely common: GSA occurs up to 50% of the time that parent and child or siblings meet for the first time as adults. Your first reaction may be revulsion, but if you reflect on it you will probably see how tragic and painful GSA is for everyone involved.
The unexpectedly high number of reported cases of men and women struggling with sudden and terrifying emotions after a reunion has surprised and perplexed most post-adoption agencies. So far, because of the taboos surrounding GSA and its variable and complex nature, the frequency of these cases is almost impossible to quantify, although some agencies estimate that elements of GSA occur in 50% of reunions. Growing awareness of its potentially devastating implications, especially in cases where relatives embark on a sexual relationship, has prompted some organisations to warn all clients attempting to trace a relative about the phenomenon, while also training counsellors to recognise the warning signs and to help adoptees and their families cope with the damage.
GSA is an affliction that our civilization is largely unequipped to deal with -- we've undermined the spiritual foundation that would give us the moral authority to condemn adult incest, nurture the proper familial relationships that each of us needs, and love and care for the people who are suffering. In an age of egg and sperm donation and in vitro fertilization it seems likely that GSA will be a growing problem, and Christians especially should be prepared to care for the afflicted.