Facts About Cousin Marriage
By KC & Christie Smith
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 are 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.
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