[ View the story "Cousin marriages: tradition versus taboo" on Storify] Cousin marriages: tradition versus taboo As many question the practice based on the health risks, what is the way forward?
The Stream· Tue, Jun 18 2013 09:38:08
Cousin or "consanguineous" marriage is
as a union between two individuals who share a close relative. This can include great-grandparents, grandparents, uncles and aunts
The map below shows the distribution of these marriages across the world.
Percentage of consanguineous marriage in the worldAJstream
Cousin marriage has been widely practiced for
thousands of years
in the Middle East, Africa and parts of South Asia. It has served as a means of securing relationships between tribes and preserving family wealth. Despite its long history, many critics argue that the practice should be stopped due to health problems that can arise in children.
@AJStream In society we must be aware that marrying cousins don't become the norm as health risks can outweigh any other potential benefits!Neslihan Kurosawa
Was reading about cousin marriage in the Pakistani community. Cannot believe how rife it is & the scale of problems it causes.Mandy Bhari
In Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, at least
half of the population
practices cousin marriage. These Gulf nations have made pre-marital medical tests
in an effort to reduce genetic diseases, as shown in the Al Jazeera English report below.
Gulf states concerned over inter-family marriagealjazeeraenglish
@AJStream I say exaggerated. While marrying your first/second cousin is weird, I have come across many such happy and healthy families.~ritchelle coutinho~
IMO, Cousin marriages are incredibly demonized. There's only a 5-6% added chance of any genetic abnormalities, and that's with first cousins. Second cousins have barely any added risks for complications.noxcovenant
From a biological standpoint, the problem is not a cousin marrying a cousin. It is generations of first cousins marrying first cousins. Rare and debilitating genetic disorders are unlikely to surface in one instance of cousin match, but repeated breeding within such a close genetic pool makes it a real danger.Elizabeth Scott
One Tumblr user wrote that there is also a need for education to eliminate the stigma associated with cousin marriage.
Another user disputed any moral issues with cousin marriage.
There is nothing intrinsically amoral about having sex with, falling in love with, and marrying your cousin. And if you have a reaction to it like, “But it’s just gross!” I think you need to reconsider where that emotion comes from.tumblr.com
You want to marry your best friend right? And a lot of people grow up and marry childhood friends, mostly children of your parents friends but if you parents friends are their siblings of course you’ll grow up with your cousin.tumblr.com
Some pointed out that cousin marriage has been widely recorded, both in religous texts and in modern times.
Cousin marriage is abominable? By whose mores? It's documented in the Bible, as well as other texts.Proteas & Magnolias
Albert Einstein married his first cousin...crotchettheleper.tumblr.com
Though some neitizens said they would not marry their cousins, they recognise that others should have the right to choose who they marry.
You know, I would never marry my cousin personally, but people consenting adults should have the right to be married to whomever they please. Also, as a West Virginian, I'm disappointed my state doesn't allow what it is notorious for.Augrills
@AJStream It shouldn't be unnecessarily encouraged and promoted, but if 2 cousins happen to fall in love, they should be allowed to marryسلمى
If marriage is a right & states can't prohibit it under 10th amendment, I assume all laws banning 1st cousin marriage should be struck?Jay Caruso