This is a bad week for Columbia University. First police took down a student-run drug ring,
and now political science professor David Epstein, 46, has been charged with a single count of felony incest.
Gawker reports that Epstein allegedly was in a "consensual sexual relationship
" with his 24-year-old daughter for the last three years. (We'll wait for you to get that brain bleach.) The two had a history of sending each other sexts, and Epstein's marriage to a fellow poli-sci prof had recently ended. Epstein is now on administrative leave from the university and is not teaching. That had to be an awkward moment when the new professor took over his classes mid-semester.
The case brings the idea of "consensual incest" back into the spotlight. Last year, actress Mackenzie Phillips discussed her relationship
with her late father, John Phillips, in her memoir, "High on Arrival," and introduced us to the term. The slightly-less-squicky term for consensual incestuous relationships is "genetic sexual attraction," and there are several sites on the Internet dedicated to discussing this taboo.
We wonder: Can anyone truly "consent" to having a sexual relationship with a parent or other older relative? The power differential seems too great.