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Gloria González-López

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479855599

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479855599.001.0001

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Conjugal Daughters and Marital Servants

Conjugal Daughters and Marital Servants

The Sexual Functions of Daughters in Incestuous Families

(p.31) 2 Conjugal Daughters and Marital Servants
Family Secrets

Gloria González-López

NYU Press

This chapter examines the father-daughter incestuous arrangement and conceptualizes it into two forms: conjugal daughters and marital servants. These arrangements are largely facilitated by the dynamic of gendered servitude that promotes values of servitude in girls and women raised in patriarchal societies. The chapter examines how these family ethics of care can take a perverse turn in incestuous families; transforming daughters into the sexual extensions of their mothers to become “conjugal daughters” expected to provide sexual servitude to the father, particularly in instances of marital conflict and discord. Moreover, the chapter discusses the experiences of daughters who become “marital servants,” in which a daughter performs a sexual function or service to both of her parents (father and mother). In this arrangement, a father may seduce his daughter into coercive sex acts with the participation of a disempowered yet complicit wife/mother, who may participate out of cultural and/or economic pressure to meet her male partner’s sexual needs. Additional dynamics examined include sexualized parental children, the family as hacienda and derecho de pernada, patriarchal kinship reassignments, heteronormative models of love and sex, and performative and underground patriarchies, among other thought-provoking concepts.

Keywords:   conjugal daughters, marital servants, gendered servitude, derecho de pernada

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