Marriages among cousins.

Roy Smith roy at phri.nyu.edu
Wed Jan 31 10:47:24 EST 1990

In <6899 at mentor.cc.purdue.edu> asa at mentor.cc.purdue.edu (Viswamitra T) writes:
> In many Asian Indian families, the marriages among cousins is common.
> Genetically reasoning, preferably in layman's terms, I am interested
> in knowing the disadvantages and the problems

	In Western society I think cousin mariages were common up until
perhaps 50-100 years ago.  My maternal grandparents were first cousins before
they got married (both are Jews born in what is now Lithuania, and moved to
this country as small children around 1900-1905 or so; as far as I know, they
met here).  My grandfather's brother also maried my grandmother's sister
(i.e. two brothers married two sisters, each pair of which was already first
cousins).  As far as I know, I'm not going to turn into an ax murderer or
anything like that because of the inbreeding.  On the other hand, to take my
sister, my mother, my mother's sister, my grandmother, and her sisters and
put them all next to each other, the resemblence is freightening; they look
much more alike than any other group of closely related people that I know.

	As far as I can tell, the primary disadvantage of being so inbred was
having a much harder time of learning my family tree when I was little, since
all my cousins are also in-laws, sort of.  Damn confusing, especially
considering many of them also have the same name.
Roy Smith, Public Health Research Institute
455 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016
roy at alanine.phri.nyu.edu -OR- {att,philabs,cmcl2,rutgers,hombre}!phri!roy
"My karma ran over my dogma"

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