In one of my books, one of the characters has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder that manifests itself in the acts of incest and pedophilia. Though he is not the main character and the subject matter is more hinted at than actually explored I thought it might be interesting to obtain a little information on the psychology of the disorder.
In almost all societies, incest is considered abnormal. Notice I say almost all, there are societies where this is a normal acceptable practice that often takes place between consenting adults having blood ties. It was also often perpetrated by those of blood royalty as a way to maintain a pure blood line and generally between cousins. There are even areas within the United States where this practice continues, marrying between cousins. But for the purpose of the topic within the book, this isn’t the type of incest I’m talking about.
Most of the information contained in this blog I’ve obtained and copied in part or whole sections from a website Philosophical Essays and Musings. Those ideas coming directly from the site are presented in italics.
Some relationships defined as incestuous, are between genetically unrelated parties (a stepfather and a daughter), or between fictive kin or between classificatory kin (that belong to the same matriline or patriline). Such as in times of kings and queens. In certain societies (the Native American or the Chinese) it is sufficient to carry the same family name (=to belong to the same clan) and marriage is forbidden.
In my research into the subject, I discovered more information that plays into the character I’d already formulated. Often incest and pedophilia go hand and hand, sort of speak as described from the site noted above as…Incest is more than a mere manifestation of a given personality disorder or a paraphilia (incest is considered by many to be a subtype of pedophilia). Having sex with a first-degree blood relative is like having sex with oneself. It is a Narcissistic act and like all acts Narcissistic, it involves the objectification of the partner. The incestuous Narcissist over-values and then devalues his sexual partner. He is devoid of empathy (cannot see the other’s point of view or put himself in her shoes).
When I followed the site to another link on the topic of pedophilia I learned that most paedophilia’s were not sexually abused as children and many are still attracted to and have relations with adults of the opposite sex, which again plays into the character I’ve developed. The act is another example of having control. I found it interesting to learn from this site that …Studies have consistently shown that pedophilia is associated with anomic states (war, famine, epidemics) and with major life crises (failure, relocation, infidelity of spouse, separation, divorce, unemployment, bankruptcy, illness, death of the offender’s nearest and dearest). The character in my book that has this personality is a life long military man who has seen war at its heart. Married young by an arrangement of his elders, it is when his wife takes ill that he turns to this behavior.
I present this information to share with you what I learned in trying to understand my character better. Like many a fellow writer will attest, we do not craft our characters so much as they tell us who they are as we go along. Some are very normal people who face difficult times and others have deep seated desires and urges that for most of us are considered taboo.