Monday, March 19, 2018

Simple and Quick Clarification on Consanguinamory and Having Children

At we found "Kissing Cousins: How Does Incest Affect The Health of Offspring" and we wanted to share what it says.
In a nutshell, inbreeding increases the odds of rare genetic disorders because the more closely related two people are, the more likely it is that they’ll both be carriers of the same recessive genes, which gives these genes a chance of pairing up.
However, it’s important to note that even if both parents are carriers of disorder-linked recessive genes, odds are that their offspring will not develop the disorder. In other words, while inbreeding increases this risk, it’s not guaranteed.
Emphasis ours. The fact is, most children born to close relatives are healthy. It's also important to remember that consanguinamory and inbreeding aren't the same thing, though inbreeding can result from consanguinamory.

Then the blog has a YouTube video from ASAP Science on the topic.

For more, please see our entry on Consanguinamory and Reproduction and this entry for consanguinamorists considering parenting.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

For Consanguinamorists Considering Parenting

At this blog's sister Tumblr, I was asked anonymously about the health children from consanguineous parents, why there is a taboo about this, and what advice I have for a mother and son having a baby.  My answers, which I'm cross-posting here, mostly apply to any consanguinamorous parents.

Most children born to close relatives are healthy, though there are some increased risks, as there are when the mother is older.

This has been covered extensively here:

The taboo about pregnancies between close relatives is tied to the taboo about consanguinamory. First, many people expect that everyone should feel exactly as they do and they are repulsed by the thought of sex with their close relatives; secondly, they’ve been told it’s wrong and they’ve never actually thought it through; thirdly, as much as they may try to deny it, there are some people for whom it is a matter of envy or latent feelings of their own.

This has been covered extensively here:

My advice to a mother and son who want to have a baby, if they really want to raise a baby (which is a very big decision for anyone) is:

1) If you’re not already living where consanguinamory isn’t criminalized, consider moving to such a place. In the US, there are currently two states for parents and their adult children: Rhode Island and New Jersey:

2) Consult with a family law attorney. Don’t tell the attorney you have a sexual relationship. Rather, ask the family law attorney about the possibilities of both of you being legal parents to a child for the purposes of co-parenting. Ask about the possibilities when it comes to a child born of the mother (putting the son on the birth certificate immediately probably isn't allowed or advisable) and one that is adopted. If you can’t actually both be legal parents, there may be some paperwork that will create a situation where it is almost as though you are.|

3) Speaking of adoption: consider adoption. It may be that only one of you can legally adopt the child. If that’s the case, figure out who would be best to be the legal adoptive parent. While most children born to close relatives are healthy, with adoption, there may be more of a possibility to know what health issues a child has before you become their parent. But more importantly, a child conceived by both of you is considered strong evidence of consanguinamory, although in some places you can claim you used “in-home artificial insemination” to conceive the child (although laws are always changing and some criminalize that, too).

4) Get prenatal care for a high-risk pregnancy. In an ideal world, you could be completely open and honest about the child’s conception, but that might not be the case where you live due to certain mandatory reporting laws. However, the age of the mother alone is likely to make this a higher risk pregnancy.

On the flip side of this question is what can be done if someone is very late in their pregnancy, and they either don’t want to raise the child or their concerns about raising the child (self-incrimination, life situation, or general concerns about being able to parent) override their desire or willingness to raise the child. US states have various “safe surrender” or “safe haven” laws that allow the baby, if not abused, to be handed over anonymously to personnel at designated locations (such as hospitals, fire stations, etc.) Laws vary from state to state, including how long someone has to hand over the baby, so check here: This would allow someone who has become concerned about their baby being used as evidence against them to avoid prosecution.

For more about living in a consanguinamorous relationship, check these links:

How to Pull Off Living With Your Consanguinamorous Partner(s):

What To Tell The Children:

How Consanguineous Lovers Can Protect Themselves:

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Why are we seeing so many cannabis-related school suspensions and expulsions? Use isn't increasing but attitudes are changing and teens are doing 'stupid things'. What can parents do?

Over the past 12 months I have been contacted by an extraordinary number of schools struggling to deal with cannabis. Regardless of the system - Independent, Catholic or state - it would appear that a growing number of young people are making the foolish decision to take the drug to school. Once they have brought it onto the grounds, they are either choosing to smoke it, usually with a group of friends of their own age, or are selling it, either to others in their year group or younger students. Now many people may be thinking that this is nothing new - if there was an illicit drug that was likely to be used by secondary school students, it would be cannabis. I can certainly remember cannabis being sold or supplied to others when I was at high school and I was a teen in the mid-70s - to be honest some people went to school to buy drugs at that time! But times have certainly changed and if you speak to school principals across the country, they will tell you that having to deal with a student bringing an illegal drug to school is not the norm. The vast majority of schools have not had to deal with this sort of problem for some years ... but that certainly seems to be changing ...

What is interesting is that this is occurring at a time when we are continuing to see some of the lowest rates of cannabis use amongst our young people. The most recent Australian Secondary Students Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) survey conducted in 2014 (released in 2016) found that although cannabis continues to be the most commonly used illicit substance by students, they are about half as likely to use the drug as they were in the late 90s. Cannabis use, whether it be lifetime or recent (used in the last 12 months), has actually decreased.

If you look at the graph provided, you can see across all year groups, lifetime cannabis use has decreased dramatically since the national survey began in 1996. Now it does need to be acknowledged that amongst the older students (those aged 15 or above), use has risen slightly since 2011 - but that small increase is not enough to explain the situation we are currently seeing ... So it would appear that what we have is continuing low rates of cannabis use but those young people who are using the drug are doing so in a much more risky way. So why is this happening? Why, after so many years, are we starting to see cannabis creeping back into the schoolyard?

I believe it has to do with how we're currently talking about cannabis. There is so much talk about legalizing the drug, as well as the whole medicinal cannabis issue, that young people are 'confused' about the legality of the drug. Now, this is not an article on whether or not the drug should be legalized, or issues around medicinal cannabis - the fact is that cannabis is an illegal drug (as I always say to young people who have strong feelings about the illegality of cannabis and believe the law should be changed - if that's how you feel, do something about it! Join a group that wants the law to change - don't just moan about it and say it's not fair, get up and take action!). It is vital that we ensure young people are aware of the law and what the consequences are should they choose to break it ...

I recently found a study from Norway that attempted to examine why young people take up opportunities to use cannabis - its findings were really interesting. According to the authors, Norway has experienced a decline in cannabis use amongst young people similar to the Australian experience, however, the study found that the proportion of adolescents exposed to 'concrete use opportunities' had increased significantly. At the same time, they found the perception of cannabis-related risks were significantly lower. The authors speculated that this could be "at least partially to the intense and growing international debate concerning cannabis deregulation, which may be interpreted as evidence of its minor harms, de-stigmatization, and use normalization among young." I think we're seeing the same thing here - young people just don't see cannabis as being a particularly risky drug. Ask any teacher and they will tell you when there is any discussion around cannabis, one of the first things that is brought up is "It's a medicine, it can't be bad for you!"

The reality is that, even the pro-cannabis lobby would say that it is best to delay use of the drug for as long as possible. The evidence is pretty clear that the younger you start using the drug, the greater problems you will experience. If you want to disregard the potential physical and psychological cannabis-related harms that teens may experience, the legal and resulting social ramifications of getting caught with the drug can affect a young person's life forever. No school wants to suspend or expel students but bringing illicit drugs to school cannot be ignored ...

Going back to the study, the researchers were also able to identify three 'protective factors' that were likely to prevent those 'opportunity-exposed' young people from taking up cannabis use opportunities and to remain non-users, i.e., when they found themselves in situations where the drug was available and offered to them, they were able to refuse. They were as follows:
  • if they reported that their parents knew where they spend their Saturday nights
  • if they were involved in sports regularly, and
  • if they perceived even minimal or occasional cannabis use to be risky
Not surprisingly, parental monitoring plays a role here with this study supporting previous research that has found the general positive effects of proactive parenting strategies and close parent-child relationships when it comes to cannabis involvement. In addition, when teens believed that there were harms associated with even occasional use, this was a barrier to potential use. If we want to delay (or even prevent) early use of cannabis, or any substance, we must ensure the information we provide to young people is honest, accurate, credible and actually means something to them.

Unfortunately, recent Canadian research has found that, for the most part, youth does not seem particularly concerned about potential cannabis risks. In a qualitative study of young people aged between 14-19 years of age, when asked about the consequences, legal ramifications were rarely mentioned. Very few "felt school presentations and learning about the health, social and legal consequences of use was enough to deter youth from trying ..". Physical risks, such as the potential smoking effects on eyes and throat were acknowledged but downplayed, however it was the psychological impacts on others that were regarded as most important. Changes in behaviour, such as lessening the ability to handle things, decreased motivation, mood swings, and the drug's capacity to make someone closed off and anti-social were raised as issues by those interviewed. Most importantly, young people reported personal experiences among their peers with worsening pre-existing mental health issues such as schizophrenia, psychosis or depression they believed were induced or aggravated by the use of the drug.

Is going down the 'mental health' road the way to go? It certainly is something that I cover when I speak about cannabis but you do have to do it carefully. Like any potential harm, you have to be careful you don't 'over-play' it. The reality is that most young people who use cannabis won't experience these problems - if you start making wild statements like 'everyone who uses cannabis will go crazy and develop a mental health problem', you're going to lose them. Many of them, however, will know someone who is experiencing problems, whether it be becoming social isolated, losing motivation, paranoia, or depression. Highlighting that if you see this in a friend you need to tell someone and get help could be a way of getting across that this is not a 'risk-free' drug.

In the past couple of months I have spoken to so many parents who are really having a tough time with their adolescent in relation to cannabis. The majority of these teens are young men, but there are certainly some young women who have also found themselves in trouble with this drug. Getting a call from the school and facing the nightmare of, at best, having a child suspended, or at worst, having them expelled or asking them to be withdrawn, must be earth-shattering, particularly if you didn't see it coming. For most parents, this is a 'one-off' thing - their child did something stupid with their mates, got caught and they won't do it again. Experimentation is a part of adolescence - that doesn't mean it can't be extremely damaging but it's what some teens will do! Unfortunately, for other parents, this will be the start of a long dark road and it's often really difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel ... As I always say, if you find yourself in the latter situation, the cannabis use is not usually the problem, but a symptom of a much greater issue that needs to be identified and dealt with. Trying to 'fix' the cannabis issue (e.g., trying to put them into rehab or the like!) without digging deeper and finding out what that underlying problem is will often result in a lot of time-wasting and can destroy families ...

As community attitudes change and we see more countries move to decriminalise and even legalise cannabis, and medicinal use of the drug becomes more widely accepted, young people's perceptions of cannabis-related risks are also changing. Adolescents are at the greatest risk when it comes to cannabis-related harms - the earlier they use, the greater the risk - so it is important to delay potential use for as long as possible. Cannabis use amongst our school-based young people is certainly not 'spiralling out of control' but something appears to be happening, with those who are using, more likely to do silly things like take it to school ... We need to try to address this quickly by ensuring that schools have rules and protocols around bringing drugs to school and that these are clearly communicated to all students. At the same time, we must make sure that cannabis prevention programs are based on best practice and that the information we provide to young people is honest, accurate and credible. Trying to 'scare' teens is not going to work but if the current research is to be believed, it is most probably the mental health consequences that are going to have the most impact on our young people. At the same time, parents need to support these messages, making sure that they also provide balanced messages in this area.

Finally, it is important to acknowledge that for most young people cannabis use will not cause significant issues, they may experiment and use once or twice and then come out at the other end relatively unscathed. Where it does become a problem, however, it is usually life-changing, affecting both the user and all those around them. Take the time to talk to your teen about cannabis - tell them your views and get an understanding about how they regard the drug. Remember those protective factors - knowing where your teen is on a Saturday night; being involved in sport (but realistically involvement in any organised activity, whether it be music, drama or whatever is likely to have a similar effect); and seeing cannabis use as potentially risky. Highlighting realistic and credible cannabis-related risks in a conversation with your child is likely to be helpful ... remember, even though you may think your words may not have an effect, research shows you were their first teacher and will always be an important influence in their lives, even through those difficult teenage years ...

Andreas, J.B. & Bretteville-Jensen, A.L. (2017). Ready, willing and able: the role of cannabis use opportunities in understanding adolescent cannabis use. Addiction 112, 1973-1982.

McKiernan, A. & Fleming, K. (2017). Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis, Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. (PDF downloadable version)

White, V. & Williams, T. (2016). Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the counter and illicit substances in 2014. Cancer Council Victoria.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Update on Oklahoma Prosecution of Consenting Adults

Here's an update to a case we last covered in this entry. Kathleen Joyce's report was found at
An Oklahoma mother who married her daughter after the two “hit it off” was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison after pleading guilty to incest.
Patricia Ann Spann, 45, of Norman, Okla., pleaded guilty to the felony offense and admitted she married her biological daughter, 26-year-old Misty Velvet Dawn Spann. She must also register as a sex offender after her release from prison, the Oklahoman reported.
Why is she going to prison and why will she be on a registry? She's no threat to anyone.
Spann said she thought the marriage to her daughter was legal because she had lost custody of her and two sons years ago, and she is not listed on their birth certificates.

Prosecutors said Spann also married one of her sons in 2008 but the marriage was annulled in 2010 due to incest, the Associated Press reported.

Misty Spann pleaded guilty to incest in November in exchange for probation. However, her plea was withdrawn when it was determined she had been given a deferred sentence, which is not allowed under state law.

It was also covered at
Under state law, marriage to a close relative is considered incest, regardless of whether a sexual relationship exists.
If adults agree to have sex, let them. If they agree to marry, let them. If they agree to have a sexless marriage, let them. What a waste of public resources it is to criminally prosecute them. There's no good reason to deny them their right to marry, and consanguinamory shouldn't be a crime.

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Lies and Damned Lies About Polygamy

[Note: I am bumping up this previous entry because it is as relevant as ever. Polygamy is not something to escape from, fear, or prosecute. Abusive people are. Polygamy doesn't harm women, children, or teen boys, abusers do. The same goes for monogamy.]

Good ol’ tool of anti-equality forces, Professor Joe Henrich of the University of B.C., is back in the news. This article comes with a picture of Bountiful, B.C. (which is NOT the picture shown here) along with this text…

New research says that polygamy, which is practiced in Bountiful, B.C., leads to increased crime.

Right. Everyone avoids driving near Bountiful because of the high crime rate.

Prof. Joe Henrich found that when rich men take more than one wife, it leaves a deficit of women leading to increased fighting and competition for the remaining women.

Got that? You non-wealthy or unmarried guys are just a bunch of criminals.

Henrich is taking about women as though they have no minds of their own and are nothing but property, akin to cars.

Rich men can “take” more than one woman, marriage or not. Shall we ban all nonmonogamy? Or, since it might lower the crime rate according to this line of thinking, shall we require a woman to find an unmarried man and keep him busy so he won’t go around being a violent criminal?

"You have low-status men who are desperate for resources," said Henrich, a professor in the departments of psychology and economics. "More polygamy leads to a greater proportion of unmarried men, which leads to increased crime."

How does Henrich explain “low status” men who marry a woman and support her decision to not earn income as she tends to the children or earn less income than she and their children will spend? Wouldn’t it make sense, in Henrich’s view, for such men to never marry and have children, so as to be less “desperate for resources?”

Henrich and his co-authors studied societies where polygamy is prevalent, trying to discover the consequences.

Did they also conclude that polygamy causes high amounts of melanin?
"The scarcity of marriageable women in polygamous cultures increases competition among men for the remaining unmarried women," said Henrich. "The greater competition increases the likelihood men in polygamous communities will resort to criminal behaviour to gain resources and women."

I wonder why the article doesn’t cite examples?

I also wonder how much funding for this, or how much of Henrich’s pay, comes from the very government that has banned the polygamous freedom to marry and is actively attacking polygynous families?

We’ve already debunked all of this here, here, here, here, here, and here. We will need many more dung beetles to clear this pile up.

An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any and all consenting adults. These excuses to deny full marriage equality are flimsy masks that fail to hide festering bigotry.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Two Main Paths to Consanguinamory

There are two main paths to consanguinamory, or the objective reality that at least two closely biologically related people have sex, and perhaps an ongoing romance or marriage-style relationship. While the prejudiced may dismiss all consanguinamory as the same (in their small minds) inexcusable behavior, the differences in these paths do have an impact on the participants and those around them. This is why people who are on one path may not understand those on the other, or want to be associated with them.

One main path to consanguinamory is reunion Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA). This is a term that has been used to describe an extremely intense attraction that may occur when close biological relatives get into each other's life any time after puberty either for the very first time, or the first time since the youngest went through puberty. These situations are likely to increase due to increased human mobility and the high rates of co-parents who do not stay together. Whether a marriage that involved at least one child ends in divorce, or a one night stand results in pregnancy, or anything between, biological parnets who have a child together may go their separate ways, often going on to have more children with others. These situations are also likely to increase due to increase in the use of donated eggs, sperm, and embryos to have a child. In addition to the various forms of adoptions, some governments, such as some states in the US, allow someone to bring a newborn to a hospital, police station, fire station, etc, and surrender custody of the child with no penalty.

As you can see, there are many situations in which close relatives, such as full or half siblings, or a parent and child, can be reunited post-puberty.

Only some reunification/first contact involves a person experiencing GSA, but some estimates are as high as 50%. Even if there is mutual attraction (both or all, if more than two experiencing GSA), it doesn't always lead to sex. However, GSA is so strong that if it is mutual, it often does lead to sex sooner or later. The sex may not last for any number of reasons. In addition to all of the other reasons people may stop having sex with each other, there are external pressures on such relationships (like criminal law and social disapproval) or a conflicted conscience on the part of one or all involved due to years of sex-police thinking being drilled into their heads.

GSA is almost always a painful path for one reason or another.

Sometimes GSA leads to lasting, happy consanguinamory, but even if any internal pain is a thing of the past, there might be pain from outside interference. That's something we are trying to help change.

With the reunion GSA path, the people usually have established identities and lives in which they are not known as related. For example, half siblings find out about each other in their twenties; the friends and coworkers of one, or both, don't know they are related if they haven't told them. Also, they usually don't have that history of the social connection to their biological roles. They haven't been functioning as brother and sister or brothers or sisters. A son given up for adoption at birth meets his birth mother twenty years later. He has a mother: the woman who raised him, if she is still alive. Still, someone experiencing GSA may seek to have that familial relationship that would have been expected should there have never been a separation. This is not always possible; it can be very difficult. The history is not there, and nobody can go back to being nine years old; nobody can reverse time.

In reunion GSA relationships, as with any other relationship, it usually takes time for the people get to know each other. Almost always, they find remarkable commonalities.

Those who know of their biological relation may try to break them up or separate them, sometimes by force of law. This can be especially insulting if the person or people trying to douse their love was somewhat responsible for the original situation in the first place. Their actions denied these GSA-experiencers all of the typical parent-child or sibling relationship experiences; after those experiencing GSA have reunited (or met for the first time) and found happiness with each other, this happiness is threatened or taken away.

If the lovers don't want someone else knowing that they are, in fact, lovers, they may be able to use the cover story of making up for lost time with a long-lost relative. (In actuality, an enjoyable consanguinamorous relationship is, in their case, the compensation for that lost time.)

If the sexual aspect of the relationship ends, and does so acrimoniously, the risk includes again losing a long-lost relative. However, if the relationship lasts, it can be a very exciting and fulfilling one.

The other main path to consanguinamory involves close relatives who didn't grow under the separation conditions involved in reunion GSA. This includes cousins (who can legally marry in some places), but it also includes...

-full or half siblings, either raised in the same home or interacting throughout childhood
-parents and their adult children, either with the child raised in the parent's home or with that parent throughout childhood through shared custody or visitation
-aunts/uncles with their nieces/nephews (close in age, or after all are adults)
-grandparents and adult grandchildren.

Cousins and siblings are probably the most common examples of consanguinamory.

On this path, consanguineous sex may begin (and sometimes end) as youthful experimentation between minors who are siblings, cousins, or aunts/uncles with nieces/nephews who are close in age. Sometimes it is more than experimentation, and a full-fledged love affair develops, and may continue into a marriage in everything but (usually) law. Or, it may begin later, at any time in their adult life, as young singles or after a divorce or breakup or as seniors, or as an affair or in an open relationship.

The consanguinamorous dimension of a relationship, when one person is significantly older than another, such as parent-adult child, may be added at any time after the youngest person reaches the age of majority. This can and does happen without any "grooming." (Grooming and abuse cases are another matter that I'm not addressing here, as I am writing about consensual, loving, healthy relationships.)

Differences from the reunion GSA path include that the lovers have that existing social relationship with the familial context. Consanguinamory on this path builds on that, adding another dimension, another bond. Who is more loving, caring, or trustworthy? They already know each other extremely well. Still, there is even greater potential for inner conflict than there is with reunion GSA as one or all of the lovers deals with the notion of "this is wrong," due to years of sex-police thinking being drilled into their heads for no good reason.

Lovers on this path may have had more opportunity to share physical intimacy, but a more difficult time hiding the true reason their demeanor lights up when their (secret) lover walks into the room. However, there is a long tradition of adult siblings or parents and their adult children sharing residence, so if they develop a spousal-type relationship, it can easily be concealed from the finger-waggers with that cover.

If the sexual aspect of the relationship ends, and does so acrimoniously, the risk includes general family disruption. However, if the relationship lasts, it can be extremely intense in a positive way, full of a layered and passionate double love.

As I have already said recently, most romantic or sexual relationships don't last; if they did, most of us would still be in our first ones. But they should be allowed to develop and continue, or end, on their own merits, without interference from overbearing law enforcement, bullies, or self-appointed sex police. There are happy, health, lasting consanguinamorous relationships, and I say good for everyone in them. May they continue to share their fun, joy, and love.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Falsely Invoking Science to Justify Bigotry

The "genetics argument" against consanguineous sex and marriage is usually a smokescreen that misuses science to justify bigotry.  There are some people sincerely concerned about children born to consanguineous parents (many of whom would have their concerns eased with a little education on the matter) but most of the people who use the "What about the children?" argument are simply trying to excuse their prejudice, because it sounds better than "I don't like the idea of it."

Ask someone who invokes Discredited Argument #18 if they drop opposition when it comes to a relationship that will not create biological children, such as two cisgender brothers, or a sister with a brother who has had a vasectomy, or siblings over the age of 60. Most will be stumped or will say no, they still oppose such relationships, perhaps citing another Discredited Argument, probably #1 or 3.

Another way of exposing this as a smokescreen is to ask them if they support the same restrictions on an unrelated heterosexual couple in which the woman is 40 years of age.

The fact is, we don't prevent people with known, serious genetic diseases, or who have lived all of their lives in the same neighborhood with pollutants known to cause birth defects, or who have taken medications known to cause birth defects from dating, having sex, marrying, having children, etc., so why deny rights to consanguineous lovers who are more likely to have healthy children together or won't be having children at all?

Everyone knows happy, healthy, intelligent, adorable children born to close relatives, whether they know it or not, and whether the children themselves know of their true biological ancestry or not. I can point to such people whose parents were close relatives. Should they have not been born?

Most children born to consanguineous parents are healthy. That's a fact. We don't hear about that much. Instead, "horror" stories are sensationalized... where a tyrannical patriarch or set of people isolated their family and abused children, engaging in deliberate inbreeding over generations. The problems resulting are often caused by the lack of prenatal care, lack of medical treatment, poor nutrition, physical abuse, substance abuse, poor hygiene, a polluted environment, etc. That's as far removed from what this blog is about (loving relationships between consenting adults) as possible. Cases like that do not justify denying consanguinamorous adults their right to be together in whatever way they want.

Bigotry and restrictions against consanguineous lovers predate a good understanding of genetics. It is just that people now misapply facts about genetics to cover for their dislike of the idea of consanguinamory.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

When Polyandry is Natural

Many monogamists and some polygynists and even a few polyamorists will assert that polyandry isn't natural. It is Discredited Argument #5 and at I found another example of polyandry in nature.
Researchers at Bielefeld University and the Technische Universit├Ąt Braunschweig are the first to confirm the benefit of multiple paternities for a vertebrate under completely natural conditions. Together with their team, Dr. Barbara Caspers and Dr. Sebastian Steinfartz have shown that female fire salamanders mate with several males under natural conditions (so-called polyandry). This grants them fitness-relevant benefits by increasing their number of offspring. The results of their study are being published this Friday (29 November) in the Early View version of Molecular Ecology.

Since humans have sex for many reasons, not just reproduction, it can have other benefits in humans.

For a long time, it was assumed that females in the animal world are monogamous, that is, they mate with only one male. Males, in contrast, can increase their reproductive success by mating with several females. Nowadays, however, polyandry is assumed to be the rule in the animal world and monogamy to be more of an exception.
By subjecting these tissue samples to genetic paternity analyses, the researchers could precisely reconstruct how many males each female had mated with and whether or not the sperm of the different males had been mixed – female salamanders can store the sperm of different males for several months in internal receptive organs called spermathecae. The eggs of the female will only be fertilized with the stored sperm, if environmental conditions are optimal and after eggs have developed into full larvae these are deposited in streams and ponds.

Through paternity analyses, the researchers were able to show that some females had mated with as many as four different males. The mixing of the sperm from various males in the spermatheca of the female seems to have quite positive effects, leading to more eggs being fertilized and, as a result, more larvae were finally deposited. Accordingly, polyandry and sperm competition seems to be an important mechanism to increase reproductive success and therefore fitness of a female in this terrestrial vertebrate species.
If you're interested in the details of the data, you can find more information in these places...

This blog supports the rights of all adults, including those in, or who want, polyandrous relationships, or polygynous relationships, or polyamorous relationships of any sort.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

“Could We Still Get in Trouble?”

A comment by “Thomas” was left on one of our most popular entries, about aunts and nephews.
Me and my aunt have a wonderful relationship. We are best friends, also lovers and have been for quite some time. We live in Connecticut where marriage is illegal but we don't want to get married. Could we still get in trouble for being in a relationship? 
First of all, congratulations on your love. May it increase and endure. Consanguinamory is a beautiful thing.

The short answer, unfortunately, is yes. You could still get in trouble.

However, the odds are in your favor and you can make them even better.

For now, it remains illegal in Connecticut for aunts and their adult nephews to have sex.

But most people in these relationships are never prosecuted.

While most people in these relationships are never even arrested for consanguinamory, the larger problem is that harassment, oppression, and discrimination are enabled by criminalization. Criminalization also prevents things like getting effective counseling and therapy, among so many other things.

There is no good reason you shouldn't be free to be open about your relationship and free to marry. We need full marriage equality nationwide. But until then, you need to be careful. If moving to a country where consanguinamory isn't criminalized, or the states of Rhode Island or New Jersey, makes sense, you might want to do that.

Thomas, we'd love to hear more about your relationship. Know that you or anyone in a similar position can contact me via email at Fullmarriageequality at protonmail dot com

It's outrageous that consenting adults have to hide that they love each other, but that's where we still are as society. While some other people can be open and honest about their relationships and love lives, you have to be careful. Here are a couple of more links that might help you protect yourself:

How to Pull Off Living Together

Keeping the Closet Door Closed
You may have some advice or tips we haven't thought about, so please share them below in the comments or by email.

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