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Incest cases on the rise: sex therapist

08:30 Thu Aug 30 2012
AAP
A recent incest case in Dunedin highlights the growing number of people who get into sexual relationships with family members, a sex therapist says
A recent incest case in Dunedin highlights the growing number of people who get into sexual relationships with family members, a sex therapist says (Thinkstock)

The number of incest cases is on the rise as the phenomenon of genetic sexual attraction becomes more prevalent, a sex therapist says.

This week a 32-year-old man and his 18-year-old daughter were sentenced to community work and supervision by a Dunedin District Court judge on incest charges after they had a sexual relationship and had a child together.

It was revealed in court that the pair had a genetic sexual attraction, which sometimes happens between family members united after a long separation.

Director of Sex Therapy New Zealand, Robyn Salisbury, told Fairfax genetic sexual attraction was happening more and more between siblings or parents and their offspring.

"There are more people meeting up with previously unknown family members and being completely overwhelmed with how powerful that can be," she said.

"For some people those powerful feelings and the kind of depth of connection that can happen are most readily experienced and expressed sexually."

In the case of the father and daughter sentenced this week, the pair had little to do with each other until the girl turned 16.

The pair began a sexual relationship together over two years from August 2010 - living as husband and wife and having a child together.

The court was told that they both had a background of abuse and neglect.

The man was 13 when he and his 30-year-old foster mother started a sexual relationship and was 14 when the daughter was born.

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