Posted under Science
People have long intuitively known that marrying co-ethnics is healthy, as it increases one’s inclusive fitness. Furthermore, the more closely related to the child a parent is, the more the parent is likely to care for the child.
But while co-ethnic marriages have long been praised, cousin marriage has been criticized for the past century or two on the grounds that it is “unhealthy.” Looking at genetic research, however, it turns out that these claims are largely mythological. Alan Bittles has a new book out by Oxford University press, Consanguinity in Context, which shows that the harms of cousin marriage are largely exaggerated and that cousin marriage might have certain genetic benefits, such as increased cooperation.