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Incest Laws by State 2022
Incest is defined as a sexual relationship between two closely related family members. The relationship between the two people is so close that they are unable to legally get married. In the United States, incest laws prohibited intimate relationships between children and parents, siblings, and grandchildren and grandparents. Almost all states criminalize incest between adults. Some states also prohibit intimate relations between aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Additionally, state laws vary regarding half- and step-relatives and adopted relatives. States also have minimum age laws for marriage to help prevent child marriage, which could help prevent incestual relationships.
In the majority of states in the United States, incest is illegal. The punishments associated with engaging in an incestuous relationship vary by state. In many cases, incest is not revealed to outside parties, so the parties involved are not prosecuted. Except for those states mentioned below in this article, incest is illegal in all states.
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In the states of New Jersey and Rhode Island, incest between adults is legal. However, neither state permits marriage. In New Jersey, each person involved in the relationship must be at least 18 years old. and In Rhode Island, the age of consent is 16 years old. In Georgia, incest laws are limited to heterosexual intimate relationships. Intercourse between fathers and daughters and mothers and sons is illegal. This includes any half- and step-children and siblings, and extended family.
In North Dakota, incest includes marriage and cohabitation between first cousins or anyone closer than first cousins, even if half-related. Second and third cousins are generally free to marry in most states, and first cousins are generally allowed to have relationships. In Ohio, incest is legally allowed provided that one party is not a parental figure to the other party.
Incest is an important issue with social and psychological effects that concerns the entire community. Low socioeconomic and educational level, fragmented families, closed societies structure were shown as risk factors for incest. In this case, it also seems low socioeconomic status and a fragmented family. The district where the event occurred has a closed and religious social structure. The siblings are raised by their grandmother in a fragmented family.
It is understood that they have grown up in a repressive environment because of the characteristics of the region. There seemed no educational environment to exist to satisfy their curiosity. It is believed that they were afraid to share the information after the sexual intercourse. Because of these reasons pregnancy was unrecognized until the later stages. This clearly indicates that there was no one to take care of the girl and she had not received any education about subjects like menstruation and sexuality.
In the literature, incest cases were presented mostly as an older male in the family abusing the little girl. The present case differs from the prevalent situation in the literature. The case is a sexual intercourse between brother and sister whose ages are close to each other and have no education on sexuality. The reason of the sexual relationship is curiosity and desire to learn rather than one child’s sexual satisfaction. Children in this case were not informed about sexuality from family members, their environment or school, and this has an important role in the realization of the action.
Sometimes incest can only be discovered as a result of pregnancy. In the present case the existence of incest had only been discovered because of pregnancy. When pregnancy diagnosed birth was inevitable because the girl was 25 weeks pregnant.