Throughout history, societies have circumscribed certain forms of intimacy in the family setting. Transgression has been punished by force of ecclesiastical rules and government statutes. However, no single definition of incest is widely accepted, as the degree of kinship in which marriage is allowed and the age of consent vary. Fueled in part by the current emphasis on child abuse prevention, the reporting of incest is increasing. The perpetrator in the majority of reported cases is a male adult, and most often the victim is a young girl. Other dyads do occur and are probably under-estimated in frequency. Disturbed family relationships generate a shift in individual responsibilities and expectations that can lead to incest. A lack of spousal sexual activity is a common preceding factor. The sequelae of this breach of family integrity are significant. Frequently, the family itself is destroyed; the destruction often begins before incest occurs. The victim faces a future characterized by emotional turmoil, diminished self-esteem, impaired interpersonal relationships, and impulsive acting-out behavior. Family and individual therapy, participation in support groups, and referral for chemical dependency treatment are essential if future problems in the lives of everyone involved are to be avoided."
Incest. Its causes and repercussions. [Postgrad Med. 1989] - PubMed result
"The problem is that the provider also abuses her. These incompatible approaches cause severe neuropsychological harm to the victim. The most typical incestuous traits usually develop between a child and her parent."