I need some advice

mother-daughter-lesbiansI seriously need some advice.  Is it unrealistic to think that a child-parent sexual relationship is incestuous no matter if the “couple” is of legal age, the daughter is 18, same-sex, and the relationship was “mutually wanted?”

I have never been exposed to this specific issue: Mother and Daughter Come Out about Lesbian Relationship, it is an issue I had found on my Facebook feed from a person on my friend list, Sarah McCulloch.  I don’t know Ms. McCulloch.  What I do know is that she lives in the UK and this issue seems to be something familiar to the UK society.

Still I contend that it is incest and posting that fact: that it was incestuous, caused a fire storm.  Many who posted on Ms. McCulloch’s feed was very supportive of the “couple”.  Those who were supportive of this issue said they are a same-sex couple, of legal age, emotionally stable and “can’t reproduce so it’s OK.”

How could anyone think that any incestuous couple was anything but harmful!  I think if we open ourselves to the idea that a harmful relationship is OK because they don’t reproduce is a slippery slope.

I would love to hear from David Pittman, Patricia McKnight who deal with victim’s of abuse and how they would have handled the posted thread that ensued.  I have the thread here:

  • A website article claiming that a mother, daughter couple are seeking acceptance for their taboo romance is in fact the result of a hoax.
    • Sarah McCulloch As I was just reading this too: http://stuppid.com/susan-electra-hamilton-mother…/


      However, point still stands whether the particular story in this article is true or not. These guys are real: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.co.uk/…/why-i-started…

      After Mary and Vertasha Carter came out to the world about their lesbianism, another mother daughter lesbian couple were inspired to step into the spotligh
    • Andrew Sabisky yes, it’s always these adopted-away relatives reunited stories that are the ethically stickiest. There may be a good case for legalizing such unions. It seems rather different to incest within families who have always been families, if you know what I mean (that seems to come with a fairly high level of crazy). But I may be wrong – it would an interesting research topic.
    • Stefano Capuzzimato hey, that’s a taboo! you’re challenging the status quo! *unfriend*
    • Stefano Capuzzimato (before I get flak, that was sarcasm!)
    • Amy Pollard I think the reason this makes me uncomfortable is because of the power dynamic involved in a parent-child relationship, though I will admit that I’m probably just rationalising an internalised social taboo…
    • Kevin John Braid how very Woody Allen of her
    • Kevin John Braid she was a mother figure. this makes it icky enough for me tbh.
    • Stefano Capuzzimato It is a tad perplexing that we consider somewhat more of a “normal” occurrence (even if marginally so) for someone to murder a parent rather than fucking him/her. This debate needs some bible people so we can talk about the genesis book and about some dots they have yet to connect…
    • Bo Selecta I think I have to go with Greta Christina’s maxim – (I paraphrase): the fact you personally find something icky can never be a sufficient justification on its own for disallowing it.In reality, I suspect that if we want to minimise overall harm, the power differential argument may have some strength, but that would need to be weighed on its merits.

    • Laura Wright The potential problems arising from an inherent parent-child power differential is exactly what I was going to point out too. Also, the potential fall-out if they break up might well be rather more serious/harmful for one or both of them than the heartache involved in most breakups…
    • Louis Ryan What is actually ethically wrong with this. All the arguments one applies to saying being gay is ok apply here.
      No one is being harmed
      It isn’t strictly incestuous
      It is loving and caring
      It’s not really your business because of the above…
      Personally, I find the notion a little hard to swallow but no reasonable moral objection that you can’t apply to any other couple
    • Laura Wright “It isn’t strictly incestuous”? Well, it IS incestuous, surely… If a parent-child sexual relationship isn’t incest then what do you define as incest?
    • Kevin John Braid im on Team Laura
    • Julia M Farrand A very interesting ethical question raised here. If think if it had been father/daughter, or even mother/son the reactions would be different. Or father/son…? You go on and on…..
    • Julia M Farrand Ah, it is a joke isn’t it? Or ‘spoof’. Still raises interesting questions though.
    • Kevin John Braid if gender roles were reversed it would have different a outcome
    • Kevin John Braid u know what the world is like.
    • Julia M Farrand Is it serious though? What is ‘Stuupid dot com?’
    • Robbie Court Surely Abrahamic faiths must be all for this (except the lebianisum) since incest is how we were all supposedly created!?
    • Julia M Farrand Eve was only related to Adam via the spare rib. As far as I know. No actual incest. Just a bit of morphing of body parts.
    • Robbie Court but didn’t eve only have boys?
    • Robbie Court (in the book)
    • Julia M Farrand Not sure but it sounds about right.
    • Laura Wright @Julia – that’s something that I was wondering too. Would people’s reactions be different in the case of homosexual vs heterosexual incestual relationships?
    • Louis Ryan Laura – Ethically no. Provided there was no chance for offspring to be conceived. When I say strictly not incest I meant that no offspring (which would be unethical). But what exactly is the difference, because you are uncomfortable with it – is that it?
    • Louis Ryan “The potential fall-out if they break up” – but Laura, that’s not an ethical argument nor your decision to make.”Potential problems arising from inherent parent-child power differential” – how does that make this unethical? Again, is between the two

      people concerned. A similar argument could apply to the power differential between two gay men/women surely…?Neither of those points are ethical points, nor do they affect anyone than the consenting parties involved and both arguments could be extended to, say, homosexual relationships (or other taboo but societally excepted relationship forms)

    • Julia M Farrand Oh, it’s not a real dilemma. Well it is.. but not true facts……
    • Laura Wright @Louis – yes, you’re right, I really DO feel uncomfortable with this situation. I’m just trying to work out why (and trying to separate any good, rational worries/concerns that I might have from any negative/gut-reaction squick). I’m not claiming to know best or have all the answers, so I’m sorry if I gave that impression.
    • Laura Wright Power dynamics negotiated between two independent, consenting adults is one thing (and an inherent part of my own sexuality…). What concerns me in a case like this is that pre-existing power differentials might well make it difficult, or even impossible, for one or both parties to explore and express what they want. An established dynamic can be a nigh-on-impossible thing to change if you think that your own sexuality is evolving/changing. I know that from experience.
    • Louis Ryan I’m trying to do the same. My gut reaction is the same as yours – and I’m not disagreeing with you per se, I just can’t think of any valid reason this is morally wrong.However, your argument about power dynamics isn’t well founded – and it’s flaw is

      pretty much the same flaw when itis used again homosexuals. “Who’s the man and who’s the women” being cited far too often. It doesn’t work like that (at least for me). There is no power struggle because the individual make it work for them regardless of gender. Well these are two consenting adults who have made it work. If they claim it works for them then (just like any other adult consenting relationship where no other partiesare harmed) then who are we to judge or comment on this.And what about two lesbian sisters or gay brothers? I presume this is equally as “uncomfortable” to you on a personal level but the power dynamic argument is somewhat moot.

    • Laura Wright No, to be honest a hypothetical gay sibling situation is a lot less uncomfortable/squicky for me. I still don’t love it, but it doesn’t induce nearly as an unpleasant gut-reaction. This does have something to do with power dynamics, to me. I’m still trying to work out exactly what…
      23 hrs · Like · 1
    • Louis Ryan 6 = 6
      23 hrs · Like · 1
    • Twr Earle Would anyone feel different if it was dad on son action?
      17 hrs · Edited · Like
    • Patricia-Ann Constance-Wilson Gallagher Perkowski I don’t care if you are straight, gay, bi, or what….don’t care if it’s “dad on son”…sibling to sibling…cousin to cousin Uncle/Aunt to niece/nephew..or any other family combination you can think of..it’s INCEST….incest has NOTHING to do with love…
      17 hrs · Edited · Like
    • Chris Allen the deformed baby argument is secondary to the argument of an abuse of a position of responsibility/care.
      11 hrs · Like · 2
    • Louis Ryan How would you know that Patricia, surely it’s the exact opposite when it comes to family and love… I don’t think you have the right to tell other people what they feel? That argument could easily be extended to homosexuals or black and white couples or other historically taboo relationships. That argument is dated. Your tautologous argument of “incest is incest” therefore it is wrong is stupid.
    • Patricia-Ann Constance-Wilson Gallagher Perkowski Louis, to say that my argument is wrong and stupid is a slap in the face to anyone who is a survivor of incest. Incestby it’s very nature has nothing to do with love. It is as Chris Allen posted “an abuse ofa position of responsibility/care.” While society may have calledsame sex marriage, interracial marriage, taboo; incest stands as a “taboo” of it own. In the article the daughteris quoted as having said: “My mom is still my mom. She does normal mom stuff: buys me clothes, pays for food, tells me to make our bed. We just happen to enjoy sex with each other too.”Her mom is her mom, how so? The relationship has now shifted from one of a parental/child relationship to one of lovers. The role of mother no longer applies. Normal mom stuff? No longer. But still this young woman thinks of her “lover” as still being her mother; that is the dynamic in many sexually imbalanced and abusive relationship. The less sophisticated, more naive, more easily controlled partner is now in a situation where if the balance of power, because that is what make incestuous relationship works, an imbalance of power and therefore respect, mutual concern, were to shift: the young woman wanting out, the young woman would/will trapped by conflicting feelings of loyalty and fear if something where to go wrong, become intolerable in the relationship. The mother/lover now feeling treated by her daughter/lover’s new found sense of self will do anything to keep the relationship in stasis.

      It is the use of a parental relationship in incestuous situations that makes the relationships more about power and control than love. We are conditioned to assume parental means authority and child dependence. To keep someone childlike is to keep them dependent on you for all their needs: “She does normal mom stuff: buys me clothes, pays for food, tells me to make our bed. We just happen to enjoy sex with each other too.”

      We should be asking the question of why does this mother, or any parent, sibling, family relative would want to be in a relationship with a young relative? What is gained? What does the younger relative lose?

      4 hrs · Edited · Like
    • Louis Ryan Don’t take it personally, I am not saying ALL incest is right or OK. Your personal experience might be bad or negative but that does not give you the right to judge others whom are consenting adults that claim to love each other. You can’t presume to know how they feel.An abuse of power? Is that your only argument – if both parties claim they are equal you cannot say otherwise, you simply don’t have the right to pass judgment on it. Because what about siblings?

      You are completely missing the point, it isn’t for you to pass judgment on others where no other party is harmed. I have been VERY clear that even if there is chance to conceive then it is wrong. You are questioning the dynamic but there are an entire plethora of relationships that host extraordinary dynamics. Three-Way “couples”, Four-Way “Couples”, bondage S&M relationships that can be quite extreme, etc. The world is full of relationships that aren’t conventional in a “power” sense so I do not accept that as a valid case.

      I agree a parent has a responsibility to their child in so much as the child should feel loved and encouraged in their endeavors. HOWEVER, I am NOT talking about a “child” – parent incestuous relationship, I do not condone that. I am referring to TWO (or more) emotionally developed adults that are harming no other beings. IF they are making a mistake it is NOT for anybody else to tell them so.

      2 hrs · Like


Is a spiritual director working helping moms find God in the everyday. She has been a spiritual director since 1998: worked as a Director of Religious Education for Holy Cross Parish(2000-2005), was Director of Project Rachel, a healing ministry for Post Abortive women(1999-2000). Patty worked a social worker for Catholic Social Services (1988 - 1995) Then studied for spiritual direction at the Dominican Center of Religious Studies, DeWitt Michigan

She is married 20 years and has four children

She has a BS/BA in social work from Aquinas College, CSD Certified Spiritual Director


  1. As one of the previous commenters mentioned, this was a hoax just to gain attention for some disturbed individuals. But to address the matter of when it’s actually occurred I have this to say.

    A child does not understand the truth about “being in love” and when an adult, no matter whether it’s a parent, teacher, coach or stranger, engages in enticing, persuading or forcing the child to sexual acts, it is Sexual Abuse…PERIOD. It doesn’t matter whether they “wait” until the child is 18 before physical contact is initiated, they have been “grooming” the child for years leading up to that time. And anyone who doesn’t understand this very simple fact needs to have their head examined.

  2. Thank you David. As for the hoax, I don’t believe in coincidences, everything fits into God’s plan and perhaps this hoax can be looked at as a way to open up dialogue for the very important issue of child abuse. And if same-sex parent-child “love relationship” are “a thing” than that is also an important aspect of the child abuse talk.

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