Monica Mares of Clovis, New Mexico, gave up her son Carlos for adoption she was a 16-year-old single mom. When he reconnected with her as an adult, under his adopted name Caleb Peterson, they almost immediately began a romantic and sexual relationship.
"He is the love of my life and I don't want to lose him," Mares told the Daily Mail Online. "My kids love him, my whole family does. Nothing can come between us — not courts or jail, nothing."
The mother and son are defending their actions by calling their relationship "genetic sexual attraction” instead of incest. What is "genetic sexual attraction,” exactly? According to Amanda Marcotte of Salon, it’s just a phrase intended to sound scientific.
Mic published an article in which it reported an estimate stated by one "genetic sexual attraction" forum, saying that the “phenomenon” occurs in about half of post-adoption reunions. Psychotherapist Joe Soll told Mic that in some cases, “Their unconscious minds want to have what they would have had: the intimate closeness, touch, feel of mother and child. That force of nature is so powerful that they can get carried away without being aware of it and wind up in sexual behavior."
Marcotte slammed Mic’s reporting on the subject, and wrote, “Offering statistics, even as an ‘estimate’? Other media coverage used words like ‘phenomenon’ or ‘raising awareness’ — language that implies that genetic sexual attraction is a measurable, demonstrable reality, as opposed to some half-baked pseudoscientific nonsense that people dreamed up to justify continuing unhealthy, abusive relationships.”
Marcotte wrote that the term "genetic sexual attraction" was created by Barbara Gonyo, a woman who was attracted to her own son, whom she gave up for adoption earlier in life. Gonyo admitted, however, that though she was sexually attracted to her son, the feelings were definitely one-sided.
Marcotte stated that “genetic sexual attraction” is just incest, with a fancy, scientific-sounding name designed to "justify behavior that people would otherwise see clearly as ill-advised or immoral."
Just this week, news broke out about a man from Richmond, Virginia, and his biological daughter who allegedly had a baby together and planned a wedding. According to NBC 4, Steven Walter Pladl and his wife gave birth to Katie Rose Pladl in 1998. She was adopted by another family and lived out of state.
On her 18th birthday, she contacted Steven and her mother in hopes to reconnect with her biological family. Within months, she and her father began allegedly engaging in incest. Steven allegedly admitted to impregnating his daughter, according to police records. He also allegedly told police that he and Katie wanted to get married, AJC reported.
In November, both Katie, 20, and Steven, 42, were arrested. Both were given a $1 million bond. Steven and Katie were charged with incest with adult, adultery and contributing to delinquency. It is unclear if they have lawyers who can speak on their behalf yet.