[LMB] Monogamy

Beatrice_Otter beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com
Thu Jun 28 20:58:36 BST 2018

From: EricYou know, I wonder what WOULD surprise them?  Incest?  (And this mightlead  to a very interesting discussion of what _does_ and _does not_
constitute "incest."  For instance, do step-siblings count?
Siblings-by-adoption? Relatives by marriage?  In-laws?  Or is it only
incestuous if it's between close genetic kin?)

From: Kevin Kennedy
In EOA Do they worry about incest, or some form of it?  Ethan and Janos were raised as brothers, each the son of a partner. There may not be anything there, yet I'm thinking of him telling Elli, " I am a faithful man to Janos. Would you like to see a picture?" Was this a rather wobbly attempt at misdirection, to divert Elli's interest or was thee a bit of something there. If such pairings occur on Athos, it it incest? You could get that power imbalance between the two. Or the younger one pulling the baby of the family act to get his way. 

Beatrice Otter:Well, certainly Ethan wants to co-parent with Janos, and seems to be thinking of them as partners, even though Janos doesn't seem to reciprocate or want the same things. And such arrangements often, but not always, come with a sexual component, or so Ethan tells Terrance Cee.
From a genetic standpoint, the problem is that the half their DNA comes from those ovarian cultures...and those don't change. In regular sexual reproduction, both male and female DNA changes each generation,  between what happens in fertilization and random mutations. On Athos, only the male contribution changes. If you have a son with the same ovarian culture that produced you, it's the same as having a child with your mother. So you use a different culture, and then your son has two cultures he probably shouldn't use, his "mother" culture or his "grandmother" culture. And so on and so forth. There are no equivalents of cousins through the female lines; every culture is either your direct ancestor or entirely unrelated to you. Gene cleaning can help, but it still raises issues of limited genetic change over time. Because half of it stays exactly the same over 200 years. 
I wonder what sort of taboos or morals they have about going back to ovarian cultures. Although, actually, come to think of it, they've only been there for 200 years, right? Assuming average age at first child is 25, that's only 8 generations. You wouldn't exactly be running out of possible options you weren't related to, and then they get a whole new set of ovarian cultures. 
(Actually, they get TWO new sets, and I've always wondered if Ethan succeeded in adding the telepathic genes in to the Betan cultures, and if so,  how he slid them in to circulation. Did nobody NOTICE that all of a sudden there were new cultures appearing?!?  Did he mislabel them so that, say, Elli Quinn's contribution wasn't "EQ" but rather another name, so that while all rep centers had cultures with the other name, some rep centers had the genuine article and others had EQ instead? )

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