Why inbreeding is bad

A shocking case of a family of ~40 in rural Australia, the “Colts” (it’s a pseudonym), which has engaged in several generations of first degree incest has surfaced. You can read the summary in the press. But the Australian government has released a report on the case. I haven’t read most of it because the snippets I have stumbled upon are very disturbing. But, I was curious as to the characterization of the 12 children who were removed by social services. In particular, only one, Cindy, had parents who were unrelated. Note how different she is:

Cindy Colt (5), Rhonda Colt’s daughter, was medically examined on the day of her removal. She had a viral cold, but her health and hygiene was otherwise observed to be good, and her clothes were clean. She was suffering from an ear infection, although her mother had taken her to hospital two weeks prior to her removal to have this problem treated. She was unable to brush her teeth properly, though it is to be noted she was only 4 at the time. She could not bathe or dress herself, but unlike other children was reportedly capable of using toilet paper. But she preferred to eat with her fingers. She also required dental treatment, although it was submitted that her needs in this regard may not have been readily apparent to a lay observer, given the apparent absence of complaints of pain. Unlike the other children, Cindy presented as a well-spoken polite, bright, intelligent girl whose development was normal for her age. As previously noted, of all the children, the genetic testing demonstrated that her parents were not related.

From the descriptions it sounds as if most of the other children suffer at least mild retardation, and that factor compounded the clear neglect and abuse at the hands of adults. The lives of the children on the farm seem analogous to “Lord of the Flies,” with a large dosage of incest thrown into the mix.

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