In an article celebrating the incestuous relationship of a brother and sister who met for the first time as adults, Cosmopolitan magazine defies “the last taboo” and argues that, by virtue of shared genetics, a brother and sister coupling creates a “perfect storm” that others might be missing out on.
The leftwing publication has a history of pushing liberal social causes—whether it’s celebrating a woman who posted on Facebook a video of herself having an abortion, advocating for gender neutral restrooms, or praising the Kardashian/Jenner family as “America’s First Family.” Now Cosmo is pushing the taboo of incest in a new article and seemingly overlooking a potential case of child rape.
The article, titled “This Is What It’s Like to Fall in Love With Your Brother,” tells of two middle-aged siblings, Melissa and Brian, who were united following the death of their father.
Melissa was raised by another man, who is also deceased, and discovered the identity of her biological father earlier this year after he died.
She was then put in contact with her brother Brian, via Facebook.
Although Melissa and Brian are half-siblings, they recall their first encounter as being charged with sexual tension and an “undeniable connection.”
The half-siblings’ “connection” eventually led to sexual intercourse, which Cosmo suggests might be totally natural.
To explain sibling attraction, which forced Brian to end his marriage, Cosmo delves into the psychology of incest, which in some cases can be attributed to genetic sexual attraction (GSA).
Social scientists and psychologists have long researched how societies’ prohibition against incest evolved: It’s essentially nature’s way of protecting humans from passing along the genetic mutations and disease risks that happen more commonly with close relatives, explains Dr. Debra Lieberman, a professor of Psychology at the University of Miami. The dominant theory, first proposed by Finnish social scientist Edward Westermark, is that people become desensitized to those they are raised alongside.
“Westermarck’s hypothesis and my research have shown that siblings use clues like living under the same roof and being cared for the same parents to develop a sexual aversion,” Lieberman says. “But if you don’t grow up together, no aversion naturally develops.”
While downplaying the issues of incest and infidelity in the story of Melissa and Brian, Cosmo also ignores a troubling detail of Melissa’s story.
Following the suicide of the man she once believed to be her father, she was forced to take care of her ailing mother and had no boundaries as a teen.
“When Melissa was 14, her much-older lover was allowed to move in for a time too. There were no boundaries, she says of her mother, who died several years ago. ‘She spoiled me rotten and let me do anything, probably because she felt guilty for hiding who I really was.’”
Cosmo does not disclose the age of the “much-older lover,” but later writes that Melissa and Brian share a history of being sexually abused, which helped to fuel their attraction to one another:
“You wouldn’t think that everything would line up, but it did,” Brian says. “There’s even molestation in both of our backgrounds — and at the same age, by the same [kind of] people who were at the same age.”
Melissa describes her connection to Brian as “love at first sight,” saying of their first meeting: “The sexual force was like I was levitating off the earth. Your body instantly craves the other person.”
Brian concurs, saying, “It was trippy, like seeing yourself in the opposite form. Everything inside you is just vibrating. Your cells know that this is your person.”
Noting that incest is illegal and punishable by life in prison in their state, which is in the Great Lakes area, the two explain their plans to use a legal loophole to later marry. The man who raised Melissa is listed on her birth certificate, so legally she does not share a biological father with Brian.
Brian says of his plans to wed his sister: “Few human beings get to experience something at this level. And it’s not a taboo. It’s nothing wrong. This just feels like love, perfect love.”
Cosmo seems to agree with him: “Their unusual circumstances have created a perfect storm, an ideal mix that most people don’t get to experience.”
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