Posted: 17 November 2005 at 6:52am | IP Logged
Before concluding any thing we should never ignore facts and sentiments which are lying within.
In words of Charles Darwin & Emma Wedgewood: A Cousin Couple
"When the principles of breeding and of inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining by an easy method whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man."
~ Charles Darwin. (1871)
Some people are fixated on the fallacy that cousin couples pose an intolerable risk to their offspring. However it is likely that we are all descendants of cousin marriages. Before civil laws banning cousin marriages, it was preferable to marry a cousin in some communities as it is to this day in many countries. The notion "why marry a stranger is just as prevalent in many countries as the cousin marriage taboo in America today. There is a wide range of opinions on the subject of cousin marriages. This is fuelled by erroneous information, bigotry, and presumptions. Further we have civil laws and religious creeds based on obsolete information.
The facts about cousin marriages are much clearer.
Fears of cousins who marry having children with birth defects are exaggerated. Simply marrying within your own race increases the odds of birth defects. Marrying within your own town further increases your chances. Cousin couples have only a slightly higher incidence of birth defects than non-related couples.
1. No European country prohibits marriage between first cousins. It is also legal throughout Canada and Mexico to marry your cousin. The U.S. is the only western country with cousin marriage restrictions
2. Children of non-related couples have a 2-3% risk of birth defects, as opposed to first cousins having a 4-6% risk. Genetic counseling is available for those couples that may be at a special risk for birth defects (e.g. You have a defect that runs in your family) In plain terms first cousins have at a 94 percent + chance of having healthy children. Check the links section for more information on genetic counselors. The National Society of Genetic Counselors estimated the increased risk for first cousins is between 1.7 to 2.8 percent, or about the same a any woman over 40 years of age.
3. Second cousins have little, if any increased chance of having children with birth defects, per the book "Clinical Genetics Handbook"– courtesy of the March of Dimes.
4. The frequency of cousin marriages in the USA is about 1 in 1,000. The frequency of cousin marriages in Japan is about 4 in 1,000
5. It is estimated that 20 percent of all couples worldwide are first cousins. It is also estimated that 80 percent of all marriages historically have been between first cousins!
6. In some cultures, the term cousin and mate are synonymous.
7. Albert Einstein married his first cousin. And so did Charles Darwin, who had exceptional children.
8. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the longest serving US president in history married his cousin (not a first cousin, however they shared the same last name).
9. Leviticus 18 lists all forbidden sexual relationships. Cousin relationships are not included.
10. Current studies indicate that cousin couples have a lower ratio of miscarriages -- perhaps because body chemistry of cousins is more similar. The verdict is still out.
11. We are all cousins. No two people are more distantly related than 50th cousins
12. Acording to hindu Marriage act (INDIA) , a person can not marry upto his second cousin from the mother's side and upto his fourth cousin from the side of the father.(www.helplinelaw.com/docs/main.php3?id=HIMA3)
13. There is no bar in marrying 1st cousin as per The Christian Marriage Act. The prohibited degrees are not indicated or mentioned in the Christian Marriage Act.
14. Marriage between close relatives is not valid under Hindu law in general, but if there exists a practise in community ,marrying first cousin on the father's side, then it would be valid. (http://www.bharatmatrimony.com/consult/legal/legalnov152004 .html)
15. Medically this matter is over rated. Please see follwoing medical report:-
16. Many cousin couples are happily living with fully healthy child and a happy life. Please see following :-
These are some facts. No wise person can deny this fact. If you take a secret survey you will come up with a shocking results. You look at magzines, news papers there always some in problem of loosing some one who love due to some old outdated rules and people's mindset. Not every one can say NO. People say that wrong thing may happens when marrying cousins. Well wrong thing can also happen when marrying others. That's why we have divorces. Myths are never facts. There are some socies which think even a love marriage is crime. Loving is crime. Times are chnaging now
I don't think anything is wrong with loving your first or more distant cousin. In fact, we think the combination of this special intimacy and romance often make for a strong, beautiful, intimate, loving and extraordinary relationship.
1. Information on Genetics (point nuber #11 and #13) http://www.genetics.com.au/factsheet/default.htm
Edited by harrydeo - 11 April 2006 at 9:33am