We Are Survivors 

This blog is dedicated to the tens of millions of adult survivors of child abuse and neglect who get up every day and try to work and function in a world that seems to not care about us.

Family Dynamics of Incest - Part 3

Listed below is a description of four types of men who engage in incest. I have described how this may stimulate the son after witnessing his father’s incestuous behavior (read Sibling Incest) but the discussion below describes the father’s personality traits and behaviors.[1]


A man with a symbiotic personality longs for the nurturing, closeness, and intimacy he didn’t receive when growing up. Sex is so exciting that he equates this act of expression with the normal method of fulfilling his deep needs. When his marriage partner spurns his advances, he turns to his adoring, trusting, and lovable daughter – someone who can’t fight back. As with all molesters, they are very cunning and use several methods of persuasion. They bully, are intellectually persuasive, and sometimes play on people’s sympathies. Others use the excuse of alcohol to dull their inhibitions and later assign blame to their drinking for their behavior. These are described more fully below.

  • Tyrant:  The tyrant is god in his family. What he says goes or you will suffer the consequences. Macho manliness means that getting your intimacy needs met sexually is the manly way of doing things. Nothing else matters. You are to obey his orders, no questions asked. There can be no weakness shown on his part because his delicate ego depends on avoiding any sign of fragility. Aggression is powerful, as he sees himself. Having a weak and vulnerable daughter to manipulate inflates his sense of self-worth even more. Other men admire his take-charge attitude for which he is awarded at work. He can never let his guard down, though, and makes life miserable for the rest of the family.
  • Rationalizer:  The rationalizer compartmentalizes his abusive behavior when committing incest. After all, he is only teaching his daughter about sex so she can meet the needs of her future husband. He presents the image of the perfect parent by being the Teacher of the Year, outstanding Little League Coach, priest or pastor, a Congressman. His secret sexual life is his business, and he sees it as his duty to train his daughter so that she doesn’t grow up to be just like the frigid wife with whom he lives.
  • Introvert:  The introvert is the quintessential “family man.” He prefers doing everything with his family and is admired for his devotion. The wife is devoted to her husband, or so it seems to the outside world, and never corrects him in public. Hi usually goes straight home from work because, in reality, he is a social isolate. When his needs are not met, he reaches out to his daughter since his wife isn’t attracted to him. His home is a place to relieve his pressures from the outside world, and sex with his daughter provides the comfort he so desperately desires.
  • Alcoholic:  Alcoholics cope with life by getting their dependency needs met by drowning their troubles with excessive drinking. The family makes excuses for him by putting the blame on “the bottle” instead of holding him accountable. The wife dutifully puts him to bed but gets tired of this after a while. He turns to his daughter in his inebriated state as his love object. His incestuous behavior is couched as the cause of his lowered inhibitions, so all should be forgiven. Meanwhile, the daughter fights his advances and is torn about her own involvement in his activities, thus generating self-hate and blame.
  • Psychopathic-Sociopath:  The men with psychopathic and sociopathic personalities have no consequence. They enjoy getting their needs met, no matter how sadistic or brutal. Their childhood denied them affection and nurturing, so they feel justified in taking whatever they want. No one will render them powerless again.
  • Pedophiliac: The pedophiliac is only attracted to young children. He is not intimidated by them as he is by his wife. In fact, many do not marry because an adult woman would be too overpowering and intimidating. If they do marry, sexual behavior as husband and wife usually involves kissing, fondling, and masturbatory behavior. They prefer pre-pubescent girls. Pedophiliacs will turn to small children once their daughter begins puberty and starts developing into a woman. Small children are the only type of person that turns him on.
  • Culture-Permissive:  This type of incestuous man is one who has been taught by certain cultures in America that incest is an acceptable way of life. This mentality is passed from father to son, and they feel protected by their right of religious freedom.

[1] Patricia W. Crigler, Insight in the Military Family, in Kaslow et al, The Military Family, pp. 98-124

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Family Dynamics of Incest- Part 2
Family Dynamics of Incest - Part 4


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