Thursday, June 09, 2005

Why You Shouldn't Marry Your Cousin

Thank you to the reader for the CBS 60 Minutes story on the Amish and inbreeding (click on the title above.)

Do cousins marry in the OALC?

17 comments:

  1. Does a bear poop in the woods?
    :)

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  2. I know of second cousins who married, and someone married to their second cousin's child. I'm sure there are many others.

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  3. I'm surprised more people arn't
    more outraged by this. Watch the
    video to get the real impact of
    the crippled children.

    This should be reqired reading
    for preachers,elders,and people
    in all branches of Leastadism.

    Being anti-scientific,I wonder if
    the elders and preachers know or
    understand anything about the
    tremendous scientific gains in
    gene research and therapy.

    Even the affected husbands within
    the group tragedy(3 women in one
    family alone) still refuse to be
    tested saying its against their
    belief (Set apparently by only
    one elder in the group) They will
    continue to churn out severely
    crippled children (age 24
    functions as a 9-month old).This
    is a sin far beyond petty preach-
    ing about TV, Clothes,etc

    It sure pushes freedom-of-
    religion to and possibly beyond
    the border of lawful behavior!

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  4. Considering the possibility that this is a serious question, here is a serious answer:

    Most people in the OALC marry a relative. They don't really see it that way, because generally their family extends out only to first cousins and then the rest of the family is considered outside their relation and marriage material.

    I do know of a set of first cousins that are married, although this is not generally socially accepted.

    A LOT of second cousins are married; this is legal in all states and therefore acceptable.

    As far as third cousins go, I would guess that would encompass the majority of the rest of OALC marriages. Once in awhile, fresh blood is introduced but it is rare indeed.

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  5. I know that genealogy has been frowned upon by some OALC as "vain." With the help of a "worldly" relative, I just discovered that both my maternal and paternal lines go back to the same village just three generations ago.

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  6. I agree there should be more concern over this matter. Part of the problem is that it is legal for second cousins to marry. Why? I don't know. Maybe the ones who first set the rules didn't plan on a whole group of people to commonly do that, so soon you have double second cousins or more than just the one side that is related.

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  7. While historically the American taboo against consanquinity may have motivated by Leviticus, or by interest in maintaining property within families, modern laws against cousin marriage cite the increased potential of genetic defects in resulting offspring.

    (Not every state outlaws cousin marriages, however, and apparently they are common in India and the Middle East, and legal in Europe and Asia.)

    There are other justifications for incest laws that are compelling. Anthropologists Margaret Mead and Claude Levi-Strauss both wrote in defense of the "incest taboo." Mead characterized the widely held belief that incest is wrong as "among the essential mechanisms of human society."

    According to Mead, the taboo has strong benefits: Because certain sexual and marital relationships are categorically forbidden, and the categorical ban is instilled early on in children's minds, children can grow and develop affectionate, close bonds with a wide span of relatives, without the intrusion of "inappropriate sexuality." Children can "wander freely, sitting on laps, pulling beards, and nestling their heads against comforting breasts-neither tempting nor being tempted beyond their years."

    Levi-Strauss focused on the benefits of the incest taboo to society at large. The ban on intrafamily marriage forces families to reach outward and connect with other families -- and it is those connections between many different families that make society function.

    Tell that to the OALC.

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  8. Although Finland has had a small population breeding together historically, this study:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=2021189&dopt=Citation

    suggests that the level inbreeding in Finland has been limited.

    Another study in Saudi Arabia found that "The rate of consanguineous marriage was 52.0%," but, "No significant differences were noted for the rates of inherited diseases and reproductive wastage."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9526727&dopt=Citation

    The reason that inbreeding is dangerous comes from "bad" genes. If you have a specific copy of a gene, called an allele, and if that allele is involved in creating a health disorder, it is important that you marry someone with a different allele. If your child has two copies of that allele (one bad and one "normal"), the normal allele will usually dominate, meaning that the problem involved with that allele will be less likely to be expressed in your child. The problem with marrying someone too close to you is that if you have a bad allele, your mate will also be more likely to have the same bad allele. If that happens, your child will have two bad alleles, meaning the bad characteristic is expressed.

    http://www.obgynsurvey.com/pt/re/obgynsurv/abstract.00006254-200208000-00023.htm;jsessionid=C3l9Od07uOrhKjHteTVPjunp1wblqNJcFksd9LW4xvZLPxDto12l!-796981593!-949856031!9001!-1

    To sum up, cousin marriage will not always result in deformed children. If the parents carry bad alleles, however, their children are at a higher likelihood for problems.

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  9. In the ALC, I know that some guys from large extended families have mentioned that every time they have their eye on a girl, someone will bring it to their attention that the girl is a cousin. I have heard of 2nd cousin marriage, but no first cousin marriage. On a personal note, I was romantically teased about some of my third cousins, but when it was brought up that they are my third cousins, the subject was dropped. Although some people wouldn't care, there are many who would disapprove of marrying third cousins.

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  10. Interesting. Organizational studies indicate that large groups (some say over 100 people) have difficulty allowing for self-expression, intimacy, new ideas and adaptability to environments. Could there be a hard-wired need for groups to splinter after a certain point? Is sectarianism (heresy) a natural, healthy response to orthodoxy that becomes stifling? Likewise, is marrying inside or outside one's group partly driven by that group's needs for biological/cultural stasis or change?

    It would be interesting to know whether younger siblings are more likely to marry outside any given group (national, racial, religious, cultural). I would think that would be the case, especially in large families. The older siblings "take care of" the needs for group stability and the younger ones "take care of" the need for new blood, new ideas, change.

    What do you think?

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  11. Heresy has far more to do with
    the establishment of the GLOBAL
    VILLAGE .

    The internet alone has had a
    tremendous influence as the
    interest in this site alone has
    shown.

    Heresy is brought about by the
    simple fact that of the 6.2
    million people on the planet no
    two people are exactly alike
    because they all have different
    life experiences. Even such sim-
    ple influences as birth order in
    a single family impacts on
    thought,behavior and belief!

    Being a former 1AP and raising
    5 children in same faith,they all
    married outside the faith. I can
    assure you that any weight in
    their decision for new blood etc.
    was an absolute zero!

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  12. Celebrate the fact that there
    never was, or ever will be any-
    one as unique as you.

    Express and develop this being
    without equal to the maximum.

    The world will never experience
    the likes of you again.

    Although some of your relatives
    and friends may say:

    Thank God for that!

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  13. Opp,s! 6,2 Billion on planet

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  14. I think it depends more on individual personalities, with influence coming from being younger/older/middle, and your "religious instruction". I know of several older siblings who have left. Maybe because they helped raise a family already, they needed a change?! Parents also seem to relax a little as the years go by, so the younger ones don't always have it as tough. Anyway.... just some thoughts.

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    Replies
    1. You hit the nail on the head with these comments for sure!

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  15. Hi Free2BeMe: Re the hard-wired drive for groups to splinter beyond a given size: Apparently the answer is yes. The book TIPPING POINT suggests that, once a group / tribe exceeds about 140 or 150 people, it exceeds our hard-wired capacity to "know" everyone in the group and cohesion starts to fail as subgroups form. So I suspect that, even tho it's not any of my business, strain would develop in the Battleground congregation due if nothing else to its unwieldy size. (I understand that it has split into 3 separate congregations or local churches but at least one would still be large). The same is true of the Amish.
    Insightful observation. V

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  16. I live in a community with a large number of Laestadians. I do find the majority of them very nice. Before high school I do see them tolerating their children playing with non laestadians...Even inviting them to birthday parties as my children have been included in their birthday celebrations. As they enter high school though they tend to stick with each other. The female teenagers I do find are respectful and nice, the males I find somewhat arrogant, yet as adults they are very kind. I also find the adults alot LESS judgemental then the rest of the town. Would I go to their church...absolutely...But they do say Everyone welcome...they do not really mean it. As for them marrying their cousins, I do not know...there are a few Laestadian children with handicaps however there is a LARGE amount on the school honour roll too. I feel that the Laestadian population is so large here they are bound to have more handicap children then others especially since they are still having children in their late 40's. I only know of 4 people leaving the church and they were all females. Still I would consider one of "them" more loyal to there friends and family then most others.

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