Sexual Immorality in the Missions Community: Overtones of Incest?

Volume 21
Spring 1993
Sexual Immorality in the Missions Community: Overtones of Incest?

Anecdotal data, known widely to missions administrators, missionaries and missions-related mental health professionals, support the view that sexual immorality does occur in some measure in the missions community. The missions family comprises missionary couples and their children as well as singles quasi-related not by blood or contractual ties but through roles assumed in a system with family-like functions and responsibilities. Because the missions community takes on the character of a quasi-family system, occurrence of sexual immorality carries with it similar components of incest experienced in natural families, including family dysfunction, reactions to exposure of sexual immorality, victims' self-blaming, power differential between victim and perpetrator, betrayal of victims' trust, and secrecy. Elements in the quasi-family missions community that foster vulnerability to incest-like sexual harassment and/or abuse are considered together with moral, ethical and spiritual implications.

M.E. Kellogg and Dr. W.F. Hunter
45 - 53
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