Having sex with your daughter is just disgusting!

L-R: Francis Kobithu at the Court of Apeel in Nyeri. He was convicted of defiling his 9-year-old daughter. Simon Kituyi at Webuye Law Courts. He was accused of siring a baby with his daughter

Drama unfolded last week in Thika where a mother of 11 accused her husband of keeping her away from their six-month old last born child, having sex with their 18-year-old daughter.

But these so far are just allegations. The father and daughter have since come out and refuted the claims.

Incest is however a real problem in Kenya. Who can forget the big eyes of Simon Kituyi Wakape when he was arraigned in a Webuye court last October to answer to charges of incest. DNA analysis showed that there was a 99.9 per cent chance that he was the father of his daughter’s child. Talk of having a child for a grandchild!

Not long before Wakape, a man from Kimumu in Eldoret pleaded guilty to defiling and impregnating his 13-year-old daughter. And that is not an isolated incident, as there have been a number of similar cases, some of which have been highlighted in the media.

Incest is just outrageous, even animals seem to shun it. How, for heaven’s sake, could one even contemplate the repugnant thought of having sex with her father or his mother? Or getting it on with his sister?!

I don’t know about you, but the very thought of this is sickening. There are a few things in this world that are a no-no, and incest is one of them.

Given that sex leads to reproduction, the big question is, how do the offspring of incestuous relationships fare in terms of health and quality of life?

The answer will give you an indication why even nature abhors sexual relationship in a family. According to numerous published studies, incest has a very high chance of birth defects and anomalies.

Results from a study of Czechoslovakian children whose fathers were first degree relatives, show the true effects of first degree incest. Less than 50 per cent of the children from incestuous unions were completely healthy. Forty-two per cent had severe birth defects or suffered early death. Another 11 per cent were mildly mentally impaired.

The researchers concluded that the odds of a baby born out of incest dying early, having severe birth defects or mental deficiency is almost 50 per cent.

The control group in the study were offspring of the same mothers, but whose fathers were not blood relatives of the mothers. Results showed that only seven per cent of these children were born with birth defects.

The science of genetics dictates that an offspring receives 50 per cent genes from either parent. According to gynaecologist Dr John Ong’ech, relatives carry similar genes, which are determined by the degree of their relationship.

“If a father is a carrier of sickle cell gene for instance, he may pass it on to his daughter. If the father and his daughter have a baby together, it is almost certain that the baby will suffer full-blown symptoms of the disease,” argues Dr Ong’ech.

A sexual relationship between relatives concentrates the gene pool for defects and hereditary diseases. Apart from the medical conditions that offspring may suffer, Dr Ong’ech points out that the psychological trauma that follows will affect the individuals as well as their families.

In the Kimumu case for instance, the mother of the girl asked her to keep the matter a secret for fear that the truth would affect the father’s standing in society.

The bottom line is that the stakes are so high whenever there is incest. I don’t think there is any culture in the world that allows a father sleep with his daughter. It’s just disgusting!

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Sde.co.ke