Children born out of incestuous relationships can have impairments ranging from early death, severe birth defects and mental impairment, according to Psychology Today. A study of Czechoslovakian children fathered by first-degree relatives found that fewer than half of the children born from incestuous relationships were born completely healthy.
In another study of disabled children, doctors detected about ten cases of genetic patterns that could have only arisen from incest, according to Time magazine.The identical genes detected in the study could have only resulted from incest, and were likely the result of the disabilities the children were facing.
Incestuous relationships become less risky to the fetus the further separated the family members are, notes Psychology Today. For example, a father-daughter or brother-sister relationship would be at a higher risk for birth defects or other health issues than a relationship between cousins.
Additionally, incest is often steeped in sexual abuse, so the psychological scars can deeply harm the victim. It is classified as a crime in most states, according to the New York Times, but the crime is classified differently in different states. Some states consider it child abuse, but other states classify it separately from child abuse. Victims can experience trauma that can lead to mental illness that requires years of therapy.