Incest narrative

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The incest narrative is a stereotypical narrative (or story) which has been created by certain feminists to describe--from their point of view--(usually) father (or sometimes stepfather)/daughter sexual relationships.

The paradigm

The basics of the narrative are (note: very often these are false assumptions):

  • the father/stepfather always coerces the daughter into having sex with him.
  • and the daughter:
is always unwilling
is always afraid
is always vaginally or anally penetrated by the father/stepfather
is always cowed into silence by threats
is always filled with feelings of guilt and shame
always blames herself for the relationship
is never believed if she "tells" anyone
is horrifically damaged by the experience
must relive the experience in "therapy" in order to "heal"

Relationship to other narratives

The incest narrative, along with the rape narrative, the BoyLover child-abuse narrative, and the child abuse narrative, are paradigms created by certain groups interested in demonizing adult-child sexual activity and (alleged) paternalistic attitudes towards incest in society.

Public discourse

The "rape narrative," "incest narrative," and the "child abuse narrative" are rarely rationally discussed in public, due to any attempts to do so being drowned out by the histrionics of those opposed to rational discussion of incest and adult-child sexual activities. These topics are occasionally addressed in academic publications, but these publications are not easily available to the "unwashed masses".

The harms created by the incest narrative

The father/stepfather does not always coerce his daughter into having sex with him. Sometimes the daughter's curiosity about sex leads her to behave seductively towards the father/stepfather, and sometimes the father/stepfather will respond to this, and engage in sexual activity with his daughter.

Cases which come to the attention of the legal authorities do tend to be cases where the father/stepfather has used coercion. From these cases, it is (mistakenly) extrapolated that all cases of father/stepfather must involve coercion.

As incestuous activity is usually hidden, the actual percentage of cases which do involve coercion is unknown. It may be that most cases of incestuous activity do not involve coercion.

Very often the daughter:

is a willing participant.
is not at all afraid of the father/stepfather
is not cowed into silence by any threats
(but is aware that the activity is not socially acceptable, and therefore remains silent about it)
is not filled with feelings of guilt and shame (until the relationship is exposed)
but does "blame herself" for the relationship, because she knows she participated voluntarily
is not "horrifically damaged" by the experience, or even damaged at all

When an incestuous relationship is exposed, the girl is almost always forced into therapy. Most therapists are believers in the "incest narrative" and will not believe the girl if she insists that the relationship was unforced, that she was not threatened, etc. etc.

The girl will be said to be "in denial, and "therapy" sessions will continue until the girl (at least, superficially) accepts the claims and agrees with the assertions of the therapist--the claims of the (supposed) harms listed above.

It is curious that, while the therapist holds true that the girl will not be believed should she disclose the relationship, at the same time, the therapist will not believe the girl if the girl insists that the relationship was unforced, that she was not threatened, etc. etc.

If the girl has been coerced, threatened, etc. the therapist insists that the girl must "relive the experience" in order to "heal". The result of this, of course, is to reinforce any bad memories in the girl, and to increase the guilt, pain, and suffering of the girl.

Police interrogations of the (supposed) "victim"

Law enforcement officials are trained to believe in the "incest narrative," and will interrogate a (supposed) "victim" until the victim will make statements which support all of the elements of the "incest narrative". After many hours/days/weeks of badgering by police investigators, most girls will eventually collapse and give in to the intense pressure they are exposed to. The girls will affirm all the of allegations the investigators insist (falsely) to be true.

These statements will then be used in court to convict the (alleged) "perpetrator," as well as by the media to add flames to the moral panic in society involving fears of (supposed) child sexual abuse. Politicians will then use these statements to justify more draconian laws against child sexual abuse and to garner voter support for their political ambitions.

Emotional incest

According to the APA dictionary of psychology [1]

[E]motional incest [is] a form of child sexual abuse consisting of nonphysical sexualized interactions between a parent figure and a child. Emotional incest may involve the caregiver commenting on the child’s sexual attractiveness, drawing attention to the caregiver’s own arousal to the child or the size or shape of the child’s secondary sexual characteristics (e.g., breasts, pubic hair), or implying that the child is sexually active (e.g., calling the child a slut). Also called covert incest.

This slippage involving the term "incest" mentioned above includes many behaviors on the part of a parent/caregiver which may, in fact, be perfectly normal, and may help to increase the girl's self-esteem.


  1. American Psychological Association Dictionary of Psychology, Gary R. VandenBos, ed. 2nd ed., 2015

See also