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Old 12-22-2008, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 8,768,975 times
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In an opinion article published in the US open-access journal PLoS Biology, University of Otago Department of Zoology Professor Hamish Spencer and Professor Diane Paul, a Research Associate at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, argue that laws against cousin marriage are ill-advised.
"Neither the scientific nor social assumptions behind such legislation stand up to close scrutiny," says Professor Spencer. For example, a 2002 expert review of studies regarding birth defects in offspring of cousins found that the risk was much smaller than generally assumed, he says.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:11 PM
 
Location: US
1,189 posts, read 3,552,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
In an opinion article published in the US open-access journal PLoS Biology, University of Otago Department of Zoology Professor Hamish Spencer and Professor Diane Paul, a Research Associate at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, argue that laws against cousin marriage are ill-advised.
"Neither the scientific nor social assumptions behind such legislation stand up to close scrutiny," says Professor Spencer. For example, a 2002 expert review of studies regarding birth defects in offspring of cousins found that the risk was much smaller than generally assumed, he says.
Sounds like a professor has a hankerin' fer their cousin Maggie.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:11 AM
 
24 posts, read 55,444 times
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I married my cousin(not having any kids), and found at the time only two states allowed it. California and New Mexico.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 8,768,975 times
Reputation: 1627
I once had a thing for one of my cousins, but I was only 16 at the time, and she lived a long ways away. Besides, it would've been frowned upon to have gotten too friendly...
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:08 AM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
4,679 posts, read 10,640,085 times
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My belief is that this is yet another "common knowledge" that is rooted in imprecise 'facts', due to political and social norms - based on incorrect thinking.

Couple articles of interest:
The Straight Dope: What's wrong with cousins marrying?
Quote:
... Why are Americans and their legal system so phobic about first-cousin marriage while Europeans aren't? Ottenheimer blames several factors. First, bad research in the 19th century greatly exaggerated the dangers of imbecility, blindness, etc, among children of close kin. This research was eventually discredited in Europe, but Americans and their state legislators never got the word. Second, cousin marriage in the U.S. was considered a sign of barbarism (probable translation: hillbillies did it). In Europe, on the other hand, particularly in Mediterranean cultures, cousin marriage had a long and reasonably respectable history, although it's rare today. Finally, European deep thinkers contended that certain forms of cousin marriage increased social cohesion. No such positive arguments were advanced in the States. ...
Cousin Marriage and Science (http://www.zabihanews.com/cousin-marriage-and-science/ - broken link)
Quote:
... “Women over the age of 40 are not prevented from childbearing, nor is anyone suggesting they should be, despite an equivalent risk of birth defects,” write zoologists Hamish Spencer and Diane Paul. Bans against cousin marriage, they say, should be repealed, “because neither the scientific nor social assumptions that informed them are any longer defensible.” ...
Book of interest: Amazon.com: Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage: Martin Ottenheimer: Books

For those wanting to know which states allow what: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/cyf/cousins.htm
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