Why it's OK to fancy your cousin | Life and style | The Guardian
It's the stuff of movies, songs and dreams. One of the reasons cousin marriage is taboo, is the assumption they will have kids with birth. In the United States there's a stereotype of cousin marriage being the practice of backward hillbillies or royalty. For typical middle class folk it's. The first cousin that I'm in a sexual relationship is on my dad's side. My dad and her After the first movie, I noticed she wasn't being herself.
After all, marrying a cousin just isn't done, right? At least that's what we're taught to believe. Only primitive people who live in isolated places marry cousins, and it's dangerous and leads to creating stupid children.
A new study reveals the genetic risks associated with this type of pairing are not as great as once believed. And consider this — Albert Einstein's parents were cousins, and he married his cousin, too.
In America, marrying your cousin is legal in 25 states and every year aboutcousins wed. Worldwide, it's much more common. Twenty percent of all married couples are cousins. In some Middle Eastern countries, almost half of all marriages are to cousins. His dad and his wife's mom are brother and sister. Caren said she didn't plan on their shared future, although her mom noticed they always liked each other.
They fought over toys together. And they just had a happy good relationship as kids will," said Pat Bradfield. Years later when Caren visited, their lives changed. Her mom says the idea "floored" her a bit, but because she couldn't stop the marriage she was leery of voicing opposition in fear of losing contact with her daughter.
Instead, she offered some advice. They lost one friend whom, Caren said, they just didn't hear from anymore after they announced their union. Legality of the Marriage Twenty-four states forbid cousin marriages.
It really is OK to fancy your cousin
The United States is the only western country in the world where these laws still exist. The laws date back hundreds of years to the time when the Catholic Church campaigned against cousin marriages because in the Bible Leviticus says, "None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin.
There are two opposing forces which diminish the problems of common cousin marriage and make it worst. The first is the purging of genetic load which occurs when you expose deleterious recessive alleles. This means they get to float around in the gene pool for very long periods of time.
The deleterious alleles then are removed from the gene pool through the death of individuals who carry them in homozygote state. The theory is that some human populations which practice cousin marriage at higher frequencies may have a lower frequency of deleterious recessive alleles.
Happy Birthday Cousin Quotes
Cavalli-Sforza does the same for the Japanese in the aforementioned monograph. In the proximate sense this purging of the genetic load occurs through human misery.
The early death of individuals, or their sterility, or sharply reduced fertility because of illness.
Even first cousin marriages produce individuals with a fair amount of inbreeding. For inbred clans it gets much worse because people are related in many different ways, and genetically are far closer than first cousins.
That is what happened to the Spanish Hapsburgs. As you can see from the pedigree of Charles II his parents were closer than typical first cousins. The Samaritans of Israel are a religious sect which seems to be going through pedigree collapse.
Some of them are proactively marrying outsiders to prevent their extinction through high infant mortality rates.
When Cousins Get Married - ABC News
The Samaritans are an extreme case. But we may be seeing a thousand Samaritan flowers blooming across the Middle East. From what I know cousin marriage in the Middle East is not limited to Muslims, Christians and Jews practice it as well.
But among many Muslims it has some cachet because of particular hadiths which point to this practice as preferred. Setting religion aside, there are also social reasons why this practice is common. As I noted above sex segregation means that you may not know women outside of your family well, and in some societies where veiling is practiced it may be that you do not see many women you are not related to even if veiling occurs at puberty, you may have seen your cousin at a younger age.
Marriages are bonds which may tie a family into one operational social unit, and so produce a powerful inbred clan. This illustrates the cross-purposes of a cultural unit of selection vs.
- Gene Expression
- When Cousins Get Married
In a society where clan vs. Balanced against this of course are marriages across clans. On an individual level a first cousin marriage reduces the reproductive fitness, but higher potential reproductive fitness of two individuals who have no social support because of ostracism may be a moot point.
From my cursory reading of the literature consanguineous marriage is not declining in much of the Muslim, especially Arab, world.
I can think of two superficial reasons obvious to someone like me, who is no anthropologist or sociologist with area knowledge. First, high fertility rates and lower infant mortality means that the sample space of possible matches increases. One way you can remove the option of cousin marriage is by shrinking the pool of potential cousins you may marry.
In a Malthusian world the average family has only two children who manage to survive to adulthood and reproduce. The variance around this expectation means that many families will disappear within two or three generations simply due to stochastic forces.
This is why Augustus attempted to use moral suasion and coercion to have the Roman Senatorial class reproduce at a higher rate. The aristocracy was going extinct as clans which were defined by a legitimate male line succession would routinely have a generation without a male heir this explains the popularity of adoption in Roman society, with adoptees often being younger sons of related lineages.
Later in imperial history Marcus Aurelius and his maternal cousin, Faustina the Youngerhad thirteen children, but only four survived to adulthood.Best of Cousin Eddie
The modern world is very different, and great clans can rise in just a few generations if one has the will. A second reason I believe that cousin marriage is popular in the Arab world is economics. In plain English going to university, moving regularly for your career, etc.
This is not necessary for many Gulf Arabs, who have a guaranteed a minimum income because of resource revenue. I believe that in all likelihood large families are probably responsible for the resurgence or persistence of the practice in societies where it has been the preferred pairing.
This post was inspired by a recent Channel 4 special, When Cousins Marry: If you live in Britain you can probably watch it online I can not. But it highlights that the issue is going to be salient in the United Kingdom for a generation or so at a minimum. As I said, in the United States inbreeding is a way to make fun of poor, uneducated, and isolated whites.
But when it comes to the issue in Britain it is different, because consanguineous marriage is a feature of the Muslim community, and there are issues of race, religion and class which are operative. But there are other forces at work in the community which perpetuate and encourage it as well, and those forces can not be frankly addressed because of the tensions which are normal in many multicultural societies.
From the summary of the program: This sentiment has been echoed several times during the making of this Dispatches programme.
We spoke to dozens of families who refused to talk about it on camera and we were told frequently that even to discuss the issue was an attack on Pakistani culture or worse still, Islam.