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To think that 1st Cousin Marriage should be illegal

(410 Posts)
stucknoue Mon 16-Sep-19 15:46:40

Background: as part of my job I rent out halls, they are very popular for Asian parties and weddings and my clients are lovely, often bringing me food and inviting me to their celebrations.

Over the past couple of months I've unfortunately had to rent the hall for child funeral meals twice to the same family, the kids were cousins and had the same rare genetic condition. In talking to their grandad he revealed that he and his wife were cousins, then going on to tell me that the parents of the sadly deceased children were also cousins. I looked up that cousin marriage increases genetic conditions 3 fold, the more generations that have practiced it then the higher the probability. With our knowledge of science surely this practice should be outlawed?

Maryhadalittlelambo Mon 16-Sep-19 15:47:21


hiphopchick Mon 16-Sep-19 15:47:47

Nice bit of casual racism there. hmm

CandyLeBonBon Mon 16-Sep-19 15:49:07

What does their ethnicity have to do with anything?

managedmis Mon 16-Sep-19 15:49:12

Totally agree

Why is it racist? It's more prevalent in Asian families

IHateBoswell Mon 16-Sep-19 15:50:00

The subject matter and the way you've written your OP are contentious, but I'm inclined to agree.

Confusedbeetle Mon 16-Sep-19 15:51:01

The only people that can legitimately comment on this are geneticists. I expect it will depend on the condition and carrier status

DerbyshireGirly Mon 16-Sep-19 15:51:40

@hiphopchick acknowledging race isn't racist.

longwayoff Mon 16-Sep-19 15:51:41

Ethnicity irrelevant, is genetically too close for health.

Passthecherrycoke Mon 16-Sep-19 15:51:47

Of course ethnicity is relevant, this has been a problem in certain ethnicities for a long time.

However with the greatest of respect, how would making it illegal help? If one half of the couple was lives abroad until marriage (very common) then the U.K. authorities would have no idea they’re cousins

In fact, I’m trying to work out how he authorities would work out myself and my cousin were related if we applied for a marriage license (both Britons and born here)

LightDrizzle Mon 16-Sep-19 15:51:52

I was unaware of this until my daughter spent a lot time in NICU and then PICU in Leeds and I became aware of it. Children born with severe disabilities, not resulting from birth injuries, to families with histories of first cousin marriage.
I’m hesitant about banning things, perhaps you are right, but you would certainly hope that doctors and local health authorities would be working with local communities and mosques to raise awareness of the risks. It’s very sad.

ProfessorSlocombe Mon 16-Sep-19 15:51:55

But what if they didn't get married and still had children ?

Also, policing "peoples" reproductive rights invariably means policing womens reproductive rights. And I think there's already plenty enough of that to go around as is.

For the hard of thinking, I'm not denying there's an issue. But I don't think a knee-jerk banhammer solves anything. Education is probably a much better idea, but requires more work than the seemingly instafix "lets ban something" beloved of the lazy.

loobyloo1234 Mon 16-Sep-19 15:52:12

YANBU but prepare to be flamed OP. I've seen a similar thread like this descend into chaos

Topseyt Mon 16-Sep-19 15:52:57

I totally agree. Ethnicity is relevant here because it is much more common amongst Asian families.

I think it should be banned for all. There is just too much risk of serious genetic abnormality occurring because the gene pool is not sufficiently mixed.

Northernsoullover Mon 16-Sep-19 15:53:06

This has been in the news though. Is it racist if you are repeating facts that have been reported on? I don't know.

RubbingHimSourly Mon 16-Sep-19 15:53:41

Oh piss off, it's not racist to state that continually folding over the gene pool isn't a good idea. There's no dilution if generation upon generation of married partners are related. It's linked to a high prevalence of genetic disabilities within the Asian community where cousin marriage is common.

YANBU, it should be outlawed. The poor children who end up suffering horribly would probably agree.

hiphopchick Mon 16-Sep-19 15:54:06

Of course it's bloody racist. Talk about how awful and damaging 'first-cousin' marriage is (and health problems with the babies that ensue) by ALL means... But why the need to mention they are Asian?

Horrible thread. hmm

ComtesseDeSpair Mon 16-Sep-19 15:54:09

I think it’s quite contentious to want to prohibit cousin marriages solely or primarily on the basis that any children resulting could be born with genetic conditions. By extension, should anyone with a hereditable disability or condition be prevented from marrying and having children, in case they pass it on? And is that sensible, or disablist?

There’s a lot of public health promotion work within communities where cousin marriage is common or which have high carrier incidence of particular diseases which encourages couples to have genetic counselling prior to starting a family, and I think this is a more realistic and sensitive way of tackling the issue.

redappleandaquamarinebow1987 Mon 16-Sep-19 15:55:36

@ProfessorSlocombe might have a point there. Educating people about the risks might be a better long term approach though it can take a generation or two before the message sinks in and we see any improvements

Passthecherrycoke Mon 16-Sep-19 15:57:06

“I think it’s quite contentious to want to prohibit cousin marriages solely or primarily on the basis that any children resulting could be born with genetic conditions. By extension, should anyone with a hereditable disability or condition be prevented from marrying and having children, in case they pass it on? And is that sensible, or disablist”

This is an excellent point. I guess the OP
Is thinking along these lines because we already ban certain family members marrying. But very interesting point

MerryMarigold Mon 16-Sep-19 15:58:58

My DH has first cousin marriage in his family with 2 couples. All the kids (4) are fine. I just find it more odd that you could have sex with someone you've known from early childhood, but that's another matter I suppose, and there are different views of sex and marriage.

Moonmaker Mon 16-Sep-19 16:01:22

Your OP is contentious because you love the curry BUT.

PrincessHoneysuckle Mon 16-Sep-19 16:01:35

I agree but it's nothing to do with the race the people are it's just morally wrong to me.Your mil would be your aunt your fil would be your uncle.Its just wrong imo.

Ambidexte Mon 16-Sep-19 16:02:06

One first cousin marriage is pretty low risk.

Darwin married his first cousin, then got worried (in the light of his later research) in case it impacted on his children. In fact the risk from this is probably lower than the risk from having kids when the mother is getting older.

But if you repeat the pattern too often in a family then yes, it's a really big problem. There are some cultures which favour cousin marriage and it does lead to a lot of medical issues. More publicity should be given to the risks. Also genetic testing can be offered before marriage.

milveycrohn Mon 16-Sep-19 16:03:05

Cousin marriages used to be common in England in the past. I have assumed this was due to the difficulties for young people to socialise with the opposite sex.
So, I do not see anything wrong with cousin marriages per se, but the fact that it may be repeated in successive generations is what causes the problems.
I was once told that this was the cause of the 'village idiot', due to successive cousin marriages in generation after generation.
One generation, though, and it should be fine.

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