Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Artifical Conceptions and Incest

I just finished reading an article about a possible negative side-effect of out-of-intercourse conceptions that I'd never thought of before: incest.  The article was saying that, basically, when you have multiple children conceived from one sperm donor to completely different mothers/families, there is a real possibility that two of those half-siblings would meet up and have (unknowingly) incestual sex.  Supposedly there is some kind of oversight on this issue to try to prevent this from happening (keeping track of all the children conceived via one sperm donor by having a donor number assigned to those children), but I can't imagine that it would be possible to prevent all such incest from occurring - one sperm donor was reported to have had 150 children, many of which neither the mothers nor other children really knew anything about.  I don't think all or even many of those kids, if they happened to meet at high school or elsewhere and uh...got going...would stop to ask, "Hey, were you artificially conceived and if so, what's your donor number?"  The risk of this happening doesn't just come from sperm and egg donors, of course.  Extra-marital sex contributes as well, since the more one "sleeps around" the more likely it is that there will be half-siblings out there that don't know about each other.

Of course, incestual relations can lead to serious problems.  According to one article: "Because relatives already share some genetic material, there is a greater risk that incest will result in a child who has a rare genetic disorder carried as a recessive trait. Recessive traits may cause no symptoms at all in those that carry the genes, but when combined can result in seriously affected offspring. The closer the relationship of people in an incestuous relationship, the greater the risk that they both carry the same recessive genes." Basically, if two of these half-silbings had sex and conceived a child, that child would be more likely to have serious genetic disorders.

Sometimes I wonder how long it will take people to figure out that when you go against Nature, you will suffer real, physical consequences.  Nature designed our bodies to work in a certain way, and when we decide not to use them that way, our bodies will suffer.  If we eat poison, we'll get sick or die.  If we try to breathe something other than air, we'll suffocate or drown.  The same concept applies to our sexuality - if we try to repress our fertility so that we can have sex for pleasure whenever we feel like it with whomever we want, or if we decide that reproduction doesn't have to happen in the context of married sex, we will experience real, physical consequences.  Contraception has been linked to increased infertility and breast cancer; homosexuality has been linked to the increase in AIDS; now the practice of sperm and egg donation and extra-marital sex seems to be leading to the problem of possible incest and seriously diseased offspring.  The natural law isn't just about not killing, stealing, and lying; it has important applications in the physical realm, and we would all do well to obey it in that realm, because Nature has a habit of coming back to bite you in the butt if you don't follow its laws.


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