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Why You Could Marry Your Cousin

Cousins or close relative marriage is forbidden by many cultures of the world and most of the reasons they give for this are based on superstition. The ones I have heard of promises punishments by certain forces upon close relatives engaged in any form of sexual relationship with the full awareness of their relationship with each other. You could just guess right that this was an African setting.

Contrariwise, there are cultures that permit marriage between siblings or at least some distant cousins without imposing any claims of some mythical punishments.
In recent years, irrespective of the spiritual deterrents posed by certain of these cultures, sexual relationships, and even marriage have been documented between immediate siblings. And whether the envisaged punishments were experienced by them, it is hard to ascertain.

Can There Be Feelings Between Relatives?

This is a very funny question in itself. A majority of people believe and would assert that there can be no erotic feelings between siblings. Some have experienced that there can be some level of erotic feelings between distant cousins but not with very close siblings. Maybe the love they have for each other has gone beyond just erotic and some would dare to say 'agape'. This would lead us to another debate of whether or not true erotic love is lesser or inferior to agape love but I will quickly break out of this line of thoughts and save that for another day.
Maybe the closeness they shared from birth to maturity has removed the value of anything worth attracting them to each other. This may be justifiable in the fact that some male siblings can confirm that there are no 'beauty characteristics' that attract them to their sisters.
However, it has been confirmed that there are cases where two siblings separated from each other at birth or at any point of their lives actually developed erotic feelings for each other to the point of consummating a marriage.
Whether or not there can be sexual feelings amongst siblings, in any case, I cannot fully confirm now but I don't think it may be enough to permit free marriage amongst themselves.

Why Should Intra-Relatives Marriage Be Discouraged

Before I go to the main reason why I think marriage or sex should be discontinued amongst siblings or very close relatives, I want to quickly refer to what we already found previously. In terms of sexual attraction, there is often little or none to necessitate marriage or the act of sex. Siblings and relatives have come to see themselves as a family and need no further form of union. In other words, they are already close enough both socially, and emotionally.
Whereas, in marriage, you seek to bond with someone you truly love to include in your family. But for the sake of very limited chances(you cannot marry everyone out there), there needs to be a special attraction for the person you intend to include into your family through marriage.

Marriage between close relatives is otherwise known as 'consanguinous marriage'. Sweden and a few other African countries allow marriage between close relatives. Consanguinous marriage is seriously banned in many other countries of the world.

Biologically, marriages between close relatives, as far as third generation cousins are not recommended. This is because certain genetic diseases are inherited in a recessive manner and usually requires two copies of the gene to be present before the disease is seen.
For those not familiar with this in biology, only note that genes are important elements in our body cells. They help to transfer information between parents to their offsprings, conferring on them their identity and the quality of resemblance. Alongside, some diseases like cancers and other metabolic diseases can be inherited. Benign conditions like albinism can also be inherited from parents. However, most harmful or disastrous traits are kept recessive in nature and only expressed when they are inherited from both parents. This is to avoid their frequent occurrence in the population. Notable examples include Sickle-cell disease, Tay-Sachs disease, Cystic fibrosis, etc.

Increased Risk of Dangerous Genetic Diseases

Consanguinous marriage increases the risk of these recessively inherited diseases. The majority of the cultures that prohibit consanguinous marriage may not be aware of this helpful implication of this prohibition. And for some reasons they were able to tie it up with superstitions and myths to discourage any deviation from the prohibition. In some cases, these superstitions have been taken a step higher by rituals that really seek to inflict offenders with punishments.

All the same, the fact that prohibiting consanguinous marriage help to reduce major genetic diseases is a big reason, or just why consanguinous marriages must be discouraged. The viability of newborns is greatly enhanced in the absence of debilitating genetic diseases.

Why Cousins Marriage is Encouraged in Some Places

Cousins are not only allowed to marry in some areas of the world but are sometimes encouraged to do so. There could be many reasons for this but one of the most universally common reasons in such areas is the need to 'preserve their lineage'. They often want to stay 'pure'. They also want to prevent distant migration as would result following marriage to someone who is culturally distant. However, all these reasons are trivial and only of superficial importance. But to those that hold fast to them, they are as important as life itself.

Why Most Marriages are Cousin Marriages

From every understanding, we expect that most marriages will be consanguinous or at least distant consanguinous. This is because people who prefer inter-ethnic marriage may have married their distant cousins without knowing. The ancestry of small villages and hamlets can be traced to one or two people in many places. They sometimes claim to be from the same ancestry and prefer it to stay that way. This way, they are all cousins as distant as it may seem. However, this is usually of very little significance as the distance is enough to reduce the risk of any problems to the barest minimum. But lowered unexpected risks may still exist.

By the end of this, you now see why people could marry their cousins and the reason behind the allowance of consanguineous marriages in those places where it is permitted. You have also seen why non-consanguinous marriage is often preferred. At the fore is the risk of developing genetic diseases that only express when the two parents are bearing them in their genetic pool. Just in case you almost forgot, consanguineous marriage is a marriage between cousins or close relatives.

Prosper Yole

I am a lifestyle blogger, I write useful articles on successful life tips and hacks. Posts bearing Prosper Yole as author are either written by the blog author himself or by our various other contributors. Thank you for reading through. I look forward to having you more often. Please subscribe to my feeds below...

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