Is dating your first cousin wrong

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Cousin marriage

Cousin marriage is marriage between cousins i. Opinions and practice vary widely across the world. In some cultures and communities, cousin marriage is considered ideal and actively encouraged; in others, it is subject to social stigma. In some countries, this practice is common; in others it is uncommon but still legal. In others, it is seen as incestuous and is legally prohibited: In the past, cousin marriage was practised within indigenous cultures in Australia, North America, South America, and Polynesia.

Various religions have ranged from prohibiting sixth cousins or closer from marrying, to freely allowing first-cousin marriage. Cousin marriage is an important topic in anthropology and alliance theory. Children of first-cousin marriages may have an increased risk of genetic disorders , particularly if their parents both carry a harmful recessive mutation, but this can only be estimated empirically, and those estimates are likely to be specific to particular populations in specific environments.

Children of more distantly related cousins have less risk of genetic disorders. In fact, a study of Icelandic records indicated that marriages between third or fourth cousins people with common great-great- or great-great-great-grandparents may produce the most children and grandchildren. Cousin marriage has often been chosen to keep cultural values intact, preserve family wealth, maintain geographic proximity, keep tradition, strengthen family ties, and maintain family structure or a closer relationship between the wife and her in-laws.

Many such marriages are arranged see also pages on arranged marriage in the Indian subcontinent , arranged marriages in Pakistan , and arranged marriages in Japan. Confucius described marriage as "the union of two surnames, in friendship and in love". Some men also practiced sororate marriage , that is, a marriage to a former wife's sister or a polygynous marriage to both sisters. This would have the effect of eliminating parallel-cousin marriage as an option, but would leave cross-cousin marriage acceptable.

However, enforcement proved difficult and by the subsequent Qing Dynasty, the former laws had been restored. The following is a Chinese poem by Po Chu-yi A. Anthropologist Francis Hsu described mother's brother's daughter MBD as being the most preferred type of Chinese cousin marriage, mother's sister's daughter MSD as being tolerated, and father's brother's daughter FBD as being disfavored. In Chinese culture, these patrilineal ties are most important in determining the closeness of a relation.

Finally, one reason that MBD marriage is often most common may be the typically greater emotional warmth between a man and his mother's side of the family. Cousin marriage has been allowed throughout the Middle East for all recorded history. Raphael Patai reports that in central Arabia, no relaxation of a man's right to the father's brother's daughter, seems to have taken place in the past hundred years before his work. Here the girl is not forced to marry her male cousin, but she cannot marry another unless he gives consent.

When the marriage procession progressed with the bride toward the house of the bridegroom, the male cousin rushed forward, snatched away the girl, and forced her into his own house. This was regarded by all as a lawful marriage. Cousin marriage rates were highest among women, [ clarification needed ] merchant families, and older well-established families.

In-marriage was less frequent in the late pre-Islamic Hijaz than in ancient Egypt. It existed in Medina during Muhammad's time, but at less than today's rates. One source from the s states that cousin marriage was less common in Cairo than in other areas. In traditional Syria-Palestina, if a girl had no paternal male cousin father's brother's son or he renounced his right to her, the next in line was traditionally the maternal male cousin mother's brother's son and then other relatives.

Raphael Patai, however, reported that this custom loosened in the years preceding his study. Research among Arabs and worldwide has indicated that consanguinity could have an effect on some reproductive health parameters such as postnatal mortality and rates of congenital malformations. Andrey Korotayev claimed that Islamization was a strong and significant predictor of parallel cousin father's brother's daughter — FBD marriage.

He has shown that while a clear functional connection exists between Islam and FBD marriage, the prescription to marry a FBD does not appear to be sufficient to persuade people to actually marry thus, even if the marriage brings with it economic advantages. According to Korotayev, a systematic acceptance of parallel-cousin marriage took place when Islamization occurred together with Arabization. Cousin marriage rates from most African nations outside the Middle East are unknown.

Muslim Hausa practice cousin marriage preferentially, and polygyny is allowed if the husband can support multiple wives. She recounts in the book that her good friend married the friend's first cross cousin. These included not only cousin marriages, but also uncle-niece unions. Reportedly, it is a custom that in such marriages at least one spouse must be a relative, and generally such spouses were the preferred or favorite wives in the marriage and gave birth to more children. However, this was not a general study of Yoruba, but only of highly polygynous Yoruba residing in Oka Akoko.

Men are forbidden to marry within their own patrilineage or those of their mother or father's mother and must marry outside their own village. Igbo are almost entirely Christian, having converted heavily under colonialism. In Ethiopia, most of the population was historically rigidly opposed to cousin marriage, and could consider up to third cousins the equivalent of brother and sister, with marriage at least ostensibly prohibited out to sixth cousins.

The prospect of a man marrying a former wife's "sister" was seen as incest, and conversely for a woman and her former husband's "brother". Early Medieval Europe continued the late Roman ban on cousin marriage; under the law of the Catholic Church , couples were forbidden to marry if they were within four degrees of consanguinity. Only Austria, Hungary, and Spain banned cousin marriage throughout the 19th century, with dispensations being available from the government in the last two countries.

The 19th-century academic debate on cousin marriage developed differently in Europe and America. The writings of Scottish deputy commissioner for lunacy Arthur Mitchell claiming that cousin marriage had injurious effects on offspring were largely contradicted by researchers such as Alan Huth and George Darwin. Later studies by George Darwin found results that resemble those estimated today. His father, Charles Darwin, who did marry his first cousin, had initially speculated that cousin marriage might pose serious risks, but perhaps in response to his son's work, these thoughts were omitted from a later version of the book they published.

When a question about cousin marriage was eventually considered in for the census, according to George Darwin, it was rejected on the grounds that the idle curiosity of philosophers was not to be satisfied. Cousin and sibling marriage were legal in ancient Rome from the Second Punic War — BC , until it was banned by the Christian emperor Theodosius I in in the West, and until after the death of Justinian in the East, [83] [84] but the proportion of such marriages is not clear. Anthropologist Jack Goody said that cousin marriage was a typical pattern in Rome, based on the marriage of four children of Emperor Constantine to their first cousins and on writings by Plutarch and Livy indicating the proscription of cousin marriage in the early Republic.

Such marriages carried no social stigma in the late Republic and early Empire. They cite the example of Cicero attacking Mark Antony not on the grounds of cousin marriage, but instead on grounds of Antony's divorce. Shaw and Saller propose in their thesis of low cousin marriage rates that as families from different regions were incorporated into the imperial Roman nobility, exogamy was necessary to accommodate them and to avoid destabilizing the Roman social structure.

Their data from tombstones further indicate that in most of the western empire, parallel-cousin marriages were not widely practiced among commoners, either. Jack Goody claimed that early Christian marriage rules forced a marked change from earlier norms to deny heirs to the wealthy and thus to increase the chance that those with wealth would will their property to the Church.

Shaw and Saller, however, believe that the estates of aristocrats without heirs had previously been claimed by the emperor, and that the Church merely replaced the emperor. Their view is that the Christian injunctions against cousin marriage were due more to ideology than to any conscious desire to acquire wealth. For some prominent examples of cousin marriages in ancient Rome, such as the marriage of Octavian's daughter to his sister's son, see the Julio-Claudian family tree.

Marcus Aurelius also married his maternal first cousin Faustina the Younger , and they had 13 children. Cousin marriage was more frequent in Ancient Greece , and marriages between uncle and niece were also permitted there. A Greek woman who became epikleros , or heiress with no brothers, was obliged to marry her father's nearest male kin if she had not yet married and given birth to a male heir. First in line would be either her father's brothers or their sons, followed by her father's sisters' sons.

From the seventh century, the Irish Church only recognized four degrees of prohibited kinship , and civil law fewer. This persisted until after the Norman conquests in the 11th century and the synod at Cashel in Cousin marriage was legal in all states before the Civil War. This led to a gradual shift in concern from affinal unions, like those between a man and his deceased wife's sister, to consanguineous unions.

By the s, Lewis Henry Morgan — was writing about "the advantages of marriages between unrelated persons" and the necessity of avoiding "the evils of consanguine marriage", avoidance of which would "increase the vigor of the stock". To many, Morgan included, cousin marriage, and more specifically parallel-cousin marriage, was a remnant of a more primitive stage of human social organization.

In , Massachusetts Governor George N. Briggs appointed a commission to study mentally handicapped people termed " idiots " in the state. This study implicated cousin marriage as responsible for idiocy. Within the next two decades, numerous reports e. Perhaps most important was the report of physician Samuel Merrifield Bemiss for the American Medical Association , which concluded cousin inbreeding does lead to the "physical and mental depravation of the offspring". Despite being contradicted by other studies like those of George Darwin and Alan Huth in England and Robert Newman in New York, the report's conclusions were widely accepted.

These developments led to 13 states and territories passing cousin marriage prohibitions by the s. Though contemporaneous, the eugenics movement did not play much of a direct role in the bans. George Louis Arner in considered the ban a clumsy and ineffective method of eugenics, which he thought would eventually be replaced by more refined techniques. By the s, the number of bans had doubled. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws unanimously recommended in that all such laws should be repealed, but no state has dropped its prohibition.

Recent data for Brazil indicate a rate of cousin marriage of 1. Consanguinity has decreased over time and particularly since the 19th century. In the Far East, South Korea is especially restrictive with bans on marriage out to third cousins, with all couples having the same surname and region of origin having been prohibited from marrying until Taiwan , North Korea , and the Philippines also prohibit first-cousin marriage.

It is allowed in Japan , though the incidence has declined in recent years. China has banned it since passing its Marriage Law although cross-cousin marriage was commonly practiced in China in the past in rural areas. Similarly, in Vietnam , Clause 3, Article 10 of the Vietnamese Law on Marriage and Family forbids marriages on people related by blood up to the third degree of kinship. Attitudes in India on cousin marriage vary sharply by region and culture. The family law in India takes into account the religious and cultural practices and they are all equally recognized.

For Muslims , governed by uncodified personal law, it is acceptable and legal to marry a first cousin, but for Hindus , it may be illegal under the Hindu Marriage Act , though the specific situation is more complex. The Hindu Marriage Act makes cousin marriage illegal for Hindus with the exception of marriages permitted by regional custom. Those who do not wish to marry based on the personal laws governed by religious and cultural practices may opt for marriage under this law.

It defines the first-cousin relationship, both parallel and cross, as prohibited. Conflict may arise between the prohibited degrees based on this law and personal law, but in absence of any other laws, it is still unresolved. Cousin marriage is proscribed and seen as incest for Hindus in North India.

Dear Alice,. What are the pros and cons (legally and morally) of dating your 1st cousin? To make a long story short, my cousin and I became. Hands up who thought about dating their cousin? In the UK it is legal to marry your cousin; in parts of West Africa there's a saying, "Cousins are attitudes similar to mine when she married her first cousin Carlo Mantegazza.

Each of the following individuals in scripture were in the lineage of Mary, Christ's mother, or Joseph, his "earthly" father, who were chosen by God to raise His son. Most, if not all, occurred chronologically after the time in which Levitican law was written. Zelophehad's daughters, Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah and Noah, married their cousins on their father's side Numbers

Hands up who thought about dating their cousin?

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Dating a Cousin

I want to date a fourth cousin of mine. Is that wrong? We do not plan to have any children together, but if we did, would there be a risk of passing along a genetic defect or disorder? Your question is a surprisingly common one received by genealogy researchers, not only for dating but also for marriage. Generally, questions arise when the couple in question are second cousins sharing a great-grandparent or closer.

Dating first cousin

In matters of the heart, there is little accounting for who you might fall in love with. Even after you have scoured the world, you may decide on someone closer home as the right partner for you. Dating a cousin usually raises eyebrows but it nevertheless is more common than people think. So if you are dating a cousin or wondering if you should, here are a few things to keep in mind. Potential for a consanguineous relationship A consanguineous relationship is one where the partners are related by blood or in other words descended from the same ancestor. So even if you are casually dating a cousin, the potential is there for a consanguineous relationship. According to genetics, consanguinity is defined according to the amount of shared identical DNA or the genetic material between two individuals. In scientific terms, this refers to partners who share the inbreeding coefficient of F 0. For all practical purposes, consanguineous unions are defined as those which are contracted between biologically related second cousins or nearer.

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Cousin marriage is marriage between cousins i. Opinions and practice vary widely across the world. In some cultures and communities, cousin marriage is considered ideal and actively encouraged; in others, it is subject to social stigma. In some countries, this practice is common; in others it is uncommon but still legal. In others, it is seen as incestuous and is legally prohibited: In the past, cousin marriage was practised within indigenous cultures in Australia, North America, South America, and Polynesia. Various religions have ranged from prohibiting sixth cousins or closer from marrying, to freely allowing first-cousin marriage. Cousin marriage is an important topic in anthropology and alliance theory. Children of first-cousin marriages may have an increased risk of genetic disorders , particularly if their parents both carry a harmful recessive mutation, but this can only be estimated empirically, and those estimates are likely to be specific to particular populations in specific environments. Children of more distantly related cousins have less risk of genetic disorders. In fact, a study of Icelandic records indicated that marriages between third or fourth cousins people with common great-great- or great-great-great-grandparents may produce the most children and grandchildren. Cousin marriage has often been chosen to keep cultural values intact, preserve family wealth, maintain geographic proximity, keep tradition, strengthen family ties, and maintain family structure or a closer relationship between the wife and her in-laws.

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When two cousins marry each other, is it cause for celebration? Or a scandal?
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