The Effect of Incest on The Family Structure
PSYC 385: Human Sexuality
Dr. Sara Estle
May 16, 2021
For my paper, I have chosen to write about the effect that incest has on the family structure. How do these inappropriate relationships affect the family dynamic as a whole? As many of us know, there is usually a rift caused in family when someone comes out and says that there has been a case of sexual assault or molestation by a family member. This is generally followed by isolation, disbelief, feelings of shame, and lack of support by family members. It can often get “swept under the rug” and cause a strain in the family. In my research paper, I would like to provide research to support this and to educate my peers on a very heartbreaking and controversial occurrence that happens more often than I would like to admit. I would like to explain how it affects people during the time of the assault, how it can affect their parenting styles in adulthood, future relationships with friends and spouses. I also want to iterate how the family dynamic can change after such allegations and whether or not this concept changes from culture to culture and lastly what effect this may have on one’s sexuality.
During my preliminary research, I found that “In counseling settings, clients who report abuse within a family are likely to have experienced combinations of abusive behaviors, such as incest or physical abuse combined with emotional abuse or neglect (Hart, Germain, & Brassard, 1987).” (Armsworth, M. W., & Stronck, K. (1999) Also, “A review of literature that searched for the parameters of incest and parenting yielded six references. Of these articles, one discussed the prevalence of incest in the lives of abusive mothers (Goodwin, McCarty, & DiVasto, 1982), and the remainder focused on difficulties experienced by this population including problems with setting limits, feelings of being overwhelmed (Gelinas, 1983); ambivalence about the parenting role, emotional estrangement between mothers and daughters, role-reversal, and blurred boundaries (Burkett, 1991); and differences in confidence and emotional control in abused versus control participants (Cole & Woolger, 1989; Cole, Woolger, Power, & Smith, 1992). (Armsworth, M. W., & Stronck, K. (1999) These are just a few things that I would like to discuss in my research paper.
Armsworth, M. W., & Stronck, K. (1999). Intergenerational Effects of Incest on Parenting: Skills, Abilities, and Attitudes. Journal of Counseling & Development, 77(3), 303. https://doi-org.proxy.ccis.edu/10.1002/j.1556-6676.1999.tb02453.x
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