Contrary to widely held beliefs and longstanding taboos in America, first cousins can have children together without a great risk of birth defects or genetic disease, scientists are reporting today. They say there is no biological reason to discourage cousins from marrying. First cousins are somewhat more likely than unrelated parents to have a child with a serious birth defect, mental retardation or genetic disease, but their increased risk is nowhere near as large as most people think, the scientists said.
Then Albert married his own first cousin. John F. Fitzgerald, former mayor of Boston and grandfather of John F.
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The risk of giving birth to babies with genetic defects as a result of marriages between first cousins is no greater than that run by women over 40 who become pregnant, according to two scientists who call for the taboo on first-cousin families to be lifted. Women in their forties are not made to feel guilty about having babies and the same should apply to cousins who want to marry, said Professor Diane Paul of the University of Massachusetts in Boston and Professor Hamish Spencer of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Although first-cousin marriages are legal in Britain, there have been calls to ban the practice because of reports that it has resulted in a higher-than-average incidence of birth defects in certain immigrant communities where it is common and culturally acceptable.
Is it legal and morally acceptable to marry your cousin? The answer varies depending upon your definition of the word "cousin," your location, and your personal or cultural beliefs. There are many degrees and types of cousins.
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Do babies born between two cousins actually have a higher chance of having birth defects? Understanding basic genetic principles will help with this question. Following is a transcript of the video.
A cousin marriage is a marriage where the partners are cousins i. Though the practice was common in earlier times, and continues to be common in some societies today, such marriages are prohibited in some jurisdictions. In some cultures and communities, cousin marriages are considered ideal and actively encouraged; in others, they are subject to social stigma. In some countries, the practice is common, while in others it is uncommon though legal.
N o website dealing with cousin relationships would be complete without exploring the Christian viewpoint. Christianity is a very large tent. From Appalachian snake handlers to the majestic liturgy of Eastern Orthodoxy, Christian beliefs run the full gamut.
In modern western society, marrying your cousin is not well accepted, particularly in the United States. Through a combination of old prejudices and present-day conventional wisdom about inherited birth defects, first cousin marriage is seen by many as a little too close for comfort, as well as a bad idea if you want children. However, first cousin marriage is far more common, and far less dangerous, than many of us have been led to believe, as you'll soon see.