In an incestuous family the differences between the generations are blurred, encroaching upon the spaces and roles of each other, and there is not much respect for privacy. Consequently, it is difficult for children to properly understand the differences between young and old. In these families, there is an incestuous atmosphere without incest necessarily occurring.

In an incestuous family, the child’s privacy is violated: one person kisses them on the mouth, another takes a bath or shower with them, another lets them sleep in bed with parents or older people … the doors of toilets, bathrooms and rooms do not lock, or anyone can enter the bathroom while someone is washing. The clothes and properties are rarely personal: everyone uses everyone else’s things.

This confusion may make children witness scenes that they cannot handle: adult nudity, the sexuality of their parents, encountering pornography … Their status as children is not respected, and they do not learn appropriate behavior in their relationships with others. Consequently, they may not be able to identify the sexual approaches of an adult, and may not be able to protect themselves from such episodes or be able to discuss them afterwards.

It is always vital that everyone has their own individual space, without confusing it with someone else’s. These boundaries offer protection and encourage respect for one another’s privacy and differences (of age, culture, desire …)

Children who grow up in an incestuous family may have difficulty building their own identity and their own desires, and they may also find it difficult to perceive themselves as being different from those around them. This deficiency can cause them to become aggressors in spite of themselves, by imposing their choices or desires without understanding that others do not share them.