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Child Abuse

Effects of Sibling Incest

02/27/2006

Question:

Where would I go for information on sibling incest? I know that sexual interaction occurned between my husband and his sister years ago. I don`t think that they have dealt with the issue. And to be honest, it makes me very uncomfortable.

Answer:

Some experts believe that sibling abuse is more common than generally realized. The effects of sibling abuse likely depend on many different factors such as age differences between sibs, use of force or coercion, step-children, half-sibling vs. full siblings, parental responses if disclosed, other family issues etc. Siblings may be effected very differently; one may be very bothered by it and the other not. Individual therapy may be the best course to follow.

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Response by:

Robert Shapiro, MD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati