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Is Incest Always Rape?

Blog pundits debate if consent is ever an issue in father-daughter sex
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2009 5:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Actress Mackenzie Phillips has already raised the "Stockholm syndrome" regarding 10 years of sex with her rock icon dad, leaving many to wonder if incest can ever be consensual. The blogosphere appears unanimous that John Phillips' sex with a blacked-out Mackenzie was rape since she was unable to consent—which was the case the first time Phillips had sex with his teen daughter. But even years later, when an adult Mackenzie says the sex became "consensual," many remain skeptical.

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"I doubt incest victims are ever capable of consent with their abuser," notes Alex Leo in the Huffington Post. "Nope. Not consensual. Not even close." But Tracy Clary-Flory in Salon doesn't think it's that straightforward. "Our visceral reaction to this cultural taboo warps the debate," she notes, making it difficult to determine if such relationships are "without exception" rape. Mackenzie described the sex to Oprah Winfrey as part of the "Stockholm syndrome where you love your captor" and perceptions become "warped and twisted."
(Read more Mamas and the Papas stories.)

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