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WHY CARE ABOUT THIS
REASONS FOR THE TABOO
Keep property (women, money, land, etc.) within the family, avoid birth defects, disgust, religious rules, … read on:
There seems to be more than one plausible reason why some cultures have had an incest taboo, in addition to protecting the power of the leaders.
Some anthropologists argue that nuclear family incest avoidance can be explained in terms of the ecological, demographic, and economic benefits of exogamy.
Disgust – see 4.b. at this link. To some people, it is. To others it is natural, normal, or exciting. Some people are disgusted by the thought of BDSM, others by interracial sex, others by heterosexual sex, others by the thought of gay sex, others by the thought of oral sex, others by the thought of anal sex, others by the thought of their parents having sex, others by the thought of any sex at all. The beauty of letting consenting adults do what they want to do is that you don’t have to do anything that disgusts you. You may find it disgusting, but others find it beautiful, enjoyable, and fulfilling.
In Britain, it is generally viewed as verging on incest, whereas in the other parts of the world, consanguineous marriages are a cultural norm where they account for between 20 to 55 per cent of all marriages. For Muslims living in Britain this presents somewhat of a dichotomy, where many of the cultural practices of their ancestors conflict with British culture.
Moral dumbfounding – “I can’t explain it, I just know it’s wrong.”
DEBUNKING REASONS AGAINST IT
WOMEN OVER 40
See Birth Defects Chart – page 1 to compare non-generational consanguinamory to common birth risks.
“In an interesting twist, and possibly a social comment, this study shows that the risk is about the same as older women (defined as having babies over 34) having babies.”
The study found that children born to parents who are first cousins are more than twice as likely to suffer from birth defects. This is comparable to the risk faced by children born to mothers over age 35, the study shows.
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.
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.
In the UK and North America, the likelihood for a child from a first-cousin marriage where there is no family history of consanguinity developing a serious disease or malformation is about twice the population risk at 1 in 20. The figures are higher in the offspring of first-cousin marriages where there is a history of inbreeding, with 1 in 11 children having a serious disease or malformation.
BIRTH DEFECT STATISTICS
See Birth Defects #1 – CHART to compare non-generational consanguinamory with women over 40.
See Birth Defects #2 – CHART to compare non-generational consanguinamory with genetic disease carrier risk.
Most states in America have either outlawed or restricted the practice, as has China, Taiwan and both North and South Korea. Professor Spencer, an evolutionary zoologist, said these laws should be repealed, especially in America, where he said they were drafted in a way that discriminated against the rural poor and immigrants: “Neither the scientific nor social assumptions behind such legislation stand up to close scrutiny. Such legislation reflects outmoded prejudices about immigrants and the rural poor and relies on over-simplified views of heredity. There is no scientific grounding for it.”
Currently, couples related as second cousins or closer (F ≥ 0.0156) and their progeny account for an estimated 10.4% of the global population. The highest rates of consanguineous marriage occur in north and sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and west, central, and south Asia.
Goldilocks Zone for inbreeding – some inbreeding may be good for us.
The fact is that two cousins with no prior history of inbreeding in the family don’t have a much greater risk of birth defects in their children than an unrelated couple, and in fact slightly more distant relatives actually appear to produce healthier offspring than the general population. So let’s put the taboos to one side and examine what the consequences of inbreeding really are.
Sickle cell: “If two parents who are carriers have a child, there is a 1-in-4 chance of their child developing the disease and a 1-in-2 chance of their child being just a carrier.”
Huntington’s Disease: “any child of an affected person typically has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease.”
Tay-Sachs Disease: “when both parents are carriers, there is a 25% risk of giving birth to an affected child with each pregnancy.”
Chromosomal defect, can be detected by amniocentesis.
See Birth Defects #2 – CHART to compare non-generational consanguinamory vs genetic disease carrier risk.
Nevada, Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee will send you to jail for up to 25 years for having sex with your cousin.
Extensive collection of stories and interviews of people in consanguinamorous relationships, how they got there, what their relationships are like
Podcast (5min.) – Week 4 – Consanguinity – Australia, good quick review
A Venn Diagram of sorts depicting nonmonogamy
Consent is tricky when there is a large power differential in a society that supports oppression. Take Janay Rice, for example.