A Swedish Political party wants to make incest and necrophilia legal. I’m not making this up. The Stockholm branch of the Liberal People’s Party’s youth wing (LUF) called to make it legal for brothers and sisters over 15 to have consensual sex, and to permit people to consent to their bodies being used for intercourse after their death. The president of LUF Stockholm stated that the current legislation was nothing more than ‘morality law’, arguing that ‘I understand that [incest] can be considered unusual and disgusting, but the law cannot stem from it being disgusting.’
This seems to be a controversial stance within the party, with the Liberal People’s Party’s spokesman saying that ‘Incest is and should remain illegal,’ adding, ‘We think it will continue to be illegal to use a dead man’s body in [a sexual] way.’
It‘s understandable why this is polemic, as both incest and necrophilia are considered to be a great societal taboo. But beyond the initial disgust that these acts bring to mind, there are real reasons why these are illegal. Incest is often abusive, with the older sibling in a position of power over the younger one, meaning that the younger sibling may be pressured into consenting, or even groomed from a young age.
Necrophilia on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. Arguments against necrophilia cite consent, hygiene, and how the acts affect living loved ones. However, we can already consent to donating our bodies to science, so how is sex different? There are ways that someone can be protected from diseases that’d occur, and it shouldn’t matter what the relatives think about what an individual can do with their own body. Perhaps we should examine decriminalization.
It’s important to revisit age-old assumptions in order to progress as a society. The Stockholm LUF shouldn’t be automatically demonized for their proposals, as they suggest we push past our initial disgust to examine why these acts repulse us. Our revulsion may be justified, but by examining our reactions to these acts, we can examine whether some acts are really wrong, or simply societal norms that we accept as fact.