Six states ban marriage between first cousins once removed, i.e., marrying the son or daughter of your first cousin. Banning cousin marriage keeps these couples in the closet, deterring them from seeking genetic screening, which would help them decide whether they could safely have kids. The best way to curtail such diseases would be to ban marriages within ethnic groups.
Theoretically, that's half as risky as marrying your first cousin, in terms of increasing the probability of passing on a genetic disease to your kids. And as the NSGC study notes, the crude assumption that children of cousins will turn out badly leads to unnecessary abortions. , CNN, and their journalistic brothers in arms have spun the increased risk found by the NSGC study as no big deal.
To let cousins marry, they argue, is "to play Russian roulette with genetics." Many genetic diseases are caused by recessive genes.
To get the disease, you have to get the bad gene from both parents.
The study's authors and its trumpeters in the media suffer from the congenital liberal conceit that science solves all moral questions.
Instead, advocates of laws against cousin marriage appeal to science.In the , and other publications, the authors declare that laws against cousin marriage are baseless. It isn't that hard to imagine: Boy meets girl, girl's sister likes boy's family, girl's sister gets interested in boy's brother, both couples end up getting married.According to headlines and TV reports, "science" has proved that cousin marriages are "OK." No, it hasn't. The first couple produces me; the second couple produces you.Now a study by the National Society of Genetic Counselors says that having a child with your first cousin raises the risk of a significant birth defect from about 3-to-4 percent to about 4-to-7 percent.
According to the authors, that difference isn't big enough to justify genetic testing of cousin couples, much less bans on cousin marriage.
" By that logic, wouldn't sibling couples be even better?