Incestuous 'Flowers in the Attic' Siblings Deserve Sympathy Not Sentencing

OMG 120

Want to know what is really, really unsexy? Incest. Yep, I think even among those of us who have different sexual needs and desires and who like to mix it up, we can universally agree that brothers and sisters and fathers and daughters and mothers and sons is all kind of yucky, gross, and icky. But the laws that make it illegal are there for a reason. Clearly someone thought it wasn't very gross at all.

In Germany, a brother and sister who have four children together were just informed by a European court that their union is considered incest and that the conviction the brother faces for it still stands.

It's like the real life Flowers in the Attic, but gross as it is, I also see their point.

Unlike most brothers and sisters, Patrick Stuebing and Susan Karolewski had never even met until they were in their 20s. He had been placed in foster care as a child, so he only met his sister late in life. When they met, sparks flew.

OK, gross. I know. But, in this case, while I am not justifying it, I also think throwing him in jail (which is what happened) is a little abnormally harsh. This isn't the only time this has happened, either.

In 2011, a father and daughter who were reunited did the same thing. While yes, it's sick and kind of makes me want to throw my breakfast up, the fact is, these are consenting adults.

The reason incest is illegal is usually for the children, and in this case, their decision to have children did result in disabilities. So while their relationship itself isn't wrong, their decision to have children is.

The government really can't step in and regulate a couple of consenting adults. Sure, we would love to think that all people will make good decisions and not have children if they shouldn't, but it isn't up to the government to decide who can and can't love each other.

The fact is 99.9999999 percent of us are utterly repulsed by the idea of incest and those who aren't are not criminals. They are likely just lonely and in need of love and who knows what else. We should pity them and sympathize, not throw them in jail.

Do you think this couple deserved jail?


Image via Ken_Mayer/Flickr

marriage, love


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nonmember avatar SoNY

I've been following this couples story for years. It's not mentioned that they have barely even had the chance to raise their children. Last I heard they already had three taken away and were fighting to keep their fourth. Not because they're bad parents but because they're siblings. I think it's complete bull. And I should know, I have a baby with a second cousin and I'm not in the least bit ashamed of it. And OHHHH NOOOO we were raised as close as cousins could be and we love each other and our baby more then anything in the world. If anything our baby saved a lot of our relatives from future pain because we had extensive genetic testing done when I found out I was pregnant. I found out I was a carrier for Tay-Sachs, now other members of our family know to get tested too just in case. In a world were you get to hear on the news every day the horrible things parents do to their children we should support the good ones even if their relationships are unconventional.

Beachgrl Jl

Seriously? we regulate adult behavior all the time, and unplanned pregnancy happens all the time. Furthermore if it involves an older/younger sibling then we must consider the possibility of rape/molestation by the older sibling.
I don't see a great loss to society with such a law.

nonmember avatar Wyvern

Actually, there is a theory of genetic sexual attraction that has been put forth by sociologist and psychiatrists concerning this phenomenon of family members meeting as adults and becoming sexually invovled. Actually, much of our laws concerning incest and the fear of genetically inferior children come from our eugenics program (which Hitler coopted for Germany) which has been throughly debunked by modern science. Unless there are genetic abnormalities that run within a family, incest is no more likely to produce retarded or deformed children than other sexual relationships. Confirmation bias of cutural norms is what is at issue here. We as a culture find incest gross so we come up with all kinds of reasons why not. Adult incest in not the same as child abuse incest.

tammy... tammyc1106

regardless if they did not "know" they were brother and sister because they didn't grow up with each other; THE FACT IS THEY ARE BROTHER AND SISTER!! Just because they did not grow up with each other does not make them any less of siblings than if they had. They share the same blood line, and they share the same parents; it's not natural. It's plain disgusting! I understand that they did not know right away that they were siblings; so you can't fault them there; but then to stay together and engage in sex after you find out is just nasty! Me personally; and yes everyone is entitled to their own opinions in this matter; so remember that before you start bad mouthing me for my opinion too; if this was me in the situation; the second I found out the person I was married to was my sibling I would be out of that relationship so fast because it would be my BROTHER!! Anyway you look at it; they are still blood relatives. Be it parents, siblings,half siblings, first cousins, second cousins it's not natural; there would not be laws against it if it was natural.  and yes if it is a law where they live that you can't have sex or have children w a relative otherwise you go to jail, then they should go to jail simply because they are breaking the law where they live.

angie... angiewith2

There are so many issues that could arise from immediate family having children.  Deformities, blindness, mental challenges, and death.  Laws are there for a reason.  

Ellen Fuller

Flowers in the Attic they were brother and sister. It was a sick series, but I read all of the Flowers in the Attics. It makes me sick, and I don't believe these two in Germany should have had children together.

jeann... jeannie39

 I have to say that I agreed with the4mutts until the last comment about continually having disabled children. If a couple knows they have a great chance of disabilities after a couple kids, then keep having more, I'm sorry but come on. Not everyone will get a great composer out of the deal. Its just plain irresponsible. In most cases the state and tax payers end up footing the bill, just like the 3 kids in the story.

 Also, what is really the rest of the story? Why is the man in jail? There has to be more than just marring his unknown sis and having kids. Something doesn't add up here.

jeann... jeannie39

 Tammyc1106, I don't understand how you can say that you would walk away from you're husband / the father of you're children, if you found out that the two of you were siblings. The bond is already formed. Leaving would be a lot easier said than done. If you could walk away so easily, what would you tell you're kids? That people will look at us funny?  You would have to be a very selfish person to just walk away.  I'm not trying to bad mouth you for your opinion, because I have one, too, but maybe you could stop and put yourself in other people shoes before you express yours next time. Just say..

nonmember avatar Sarah

It appears that the sister in the relationship was only 16 when she gave birth to their first child. He was 23 when they MET. It doesn't say how old he was when the baby was born. A 23 year old man (maybe older) having a baby with a 16 year is WRONG no matter the relationship between the parents. According to Wikipedia, the sister had a child with another man while the brother was in jail. She left the man and gave up her rights to the baby when her brother was released from jail. Seems that the story isn't quite as romantic as some of these posters seem to think. He should be in jail for having sex with a minor and she should consider extensive counseling.

candy... candyw210

jeannie39 you are just plain right nasty if you would stay in a relationship after finding out that your husband was your sibling! I would walk away too! THEY ARE RELATED REAGARDLESS IF THEY GREW UP TOGETHER THEY SHARE THE SAME BLOOD LINE!! She is not selfish for wanting to walk away if she was in that position. You would be selfish for staying. You are then teaching your children it is ok to fall in love and have sex and procreate with your sibling if you stay . She has her opinion and belief as so do you and you are BAD MOUTHING her for having her own opinion on the matter. You say you are not bad mouthing her for her own opinion; well clearly you are and my opinion is; you should get your head examined if you would continue to sleep with your spouse and have children with them and stay after you found out they were your brother. You can express your opinion and you tell her to put herself in other peoples shoes before she expresses her opinion. I'm sorry Jeannie39 you are a little hypocritical don't you think; and that's why it's called an opinion. . before you sit there and tell someone they are entitled to their opinion maybe you should stop and think before you comment and say their opinion is wrong and yours is right; that's why its called and OPINION you idiot. I hate people like you; who think that God forbid someone doesn't share the same view as you; they must be wrong and mean evil people.

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