Married to Your First Cousin?

@Aurone (4757)
United States
March 5, 2009 6:18pm CST
Would you feel okay about marrying your first cousin? I know its illegal in some states in the US but its not in others. There is actually no scientific data that backs up laws against marrying your first cousin. There is a slight higher risk if birth defects between first cousins but many of these could be tested for. So if you "fell in love" with your first cousin would you be okay with marrying them?
5 people like this
25 responses
@reneerose (106)
• United States
6 Mar 09
the only real reason that cousin marriage is frowned on or illegal is the propensity of genetically passed on diseases, syndromes and conditions to occur with more frequency in the pairings of couples whose genetic make-up is remarkably similar. it was quite common for royalty to ONLY marry within their family and as a result... there were several odd conditions and abnormalities that were common in royal lines (most markedly anemia, apparently). I cannot really answer about falling for my own 1st cousin, but I have to think I would have naturally avoided the situation given our societal training as children.
2 people like this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
6 Mar 09
I think so too. And you are right royality did marry cousins, sometimes sister and brothers and interestingly enough that is how anemia ended up going through all the royal families.
@michmich2 (432)
• United States
6 Mar 09
No way!!! I really don't even see how someone could fall in love with a first cousin. I could never think of my family that way. I actually didn't realize that it was legal to marry your first cousin in any state. Also, I don't think those birth defects you mentioned could be tested for until the woman was pregnant. Interesting question though...
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 09
Wow...I am surprised not to see Kentucky on the list. It is always the butt of most of the jokes when it comes to marrying cousins and incest, also West Virginia. Well, maybe that is just in my area beacuse we live in Ohio and those states are close to us. Next time someone makes a joke like that I will let them know it's not even legal there, lol.
• Israel
7 Mar 09
Kentucky is always the but of jokes, like a girl being a virgin if she can run faster than her brother, or special happy birthday cards to uncle dad available only in Kentucky.
• United States
6 Mar 09
I would call the slightly higher risk of birth defects 'scientific data'. Why would you even risk having that happen?
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
6 Mar 09
I wouldn't. I found an article on Dear Prudence about a girl asking how to tell her fiance that her mother was married to her first cousin. Thought it would make an interesting discussion. Haven't even seen my first cousins in years.
• United States
6 Mar 09
Whenever a woman gets pregnant, there are always risks of having birth defects. They can happen even without genetic factors. Sometimes, even if you having children with a cousin, a parent, a sibling, or whatever, they won't have birth defects. I mean, the chances of one couple inbreeding and having a child with a severe birth defect is pretty small. The effects are cumulative. You have to limit the gene pool over generations, not with one couple, in order for birth defects from inbreeding to really start showing.
2 people like this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
That is true.
@TheCatLady (4695)
• Israel
6 Mar 09
If is is only done once in a blue moon, the risks are small, but if it is consistently done, generation after generation, the risks keep increasing. Some of the Bedouin tribes here marry mostly first cousins and they have more birth defects that other tribes or groups who don't.
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
True. There are several isolated communities in the US that keep to themselves and marry with the families and you see genetic defects in those cases but if one set of first cousins in a family decided to marry then the chance of genetic defects would be low.
• Israel
8 Mar 09
The chances of it happing once are slim, but it's not good breeding. If you aren't going to have a child, it wouldn't matter. Some cousins are like brother and sister and others are almost strangers to each other. I've only met my cousins a few times in my life. I don't have first cousins, only third, but they are still family. The smaller your family, the farther you need to reach to make connections.
• United States
6 Mar 09
I saw my first cousins several weeks every year when I was growing up, they are the closest thing I have to brothers and sisters (I'm an only child), so I can't even imagine thinking about my male cousins in a romantic way. I do think it is a bad idea for first cousins to have children anyway. Even if the risk of defects is slight at first, if it became more prevelant, then I'm sure the risk of defects would increase. Just look at any isolated populations where inbreeding has happened for more than a few generations; lots more defects usually result. I think once you get out to second and third cousins, there is so much more genetic differention that it wouldn't matter as much. Also, your less like likely to have been raised with a more distant cousin, so there is less of the "ick" factor, too.
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
6 Mar 09
That is true. I don't think many people would want to marry their first cousins. Most of us just wouldn't think of our cousins (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) in that light.
• United States
7 Mar 09
I am an only child as well and grew up very close to two male first cousins that are 2 weeks younger than me in age. I also used to feel like they were my brothers. I just could not imagine having my Aunt (moms sister) as a mother-in-law. That is just way to weird. I think both of my cousins are attractive and would recommend a friend or something to date them, but as for me having romantic feelings for them, well that's just plain gross. Btw in Egypt it is very common to marry first cousins. Not sure which other countries have this practice.
• United States
17 Mar 09
not me personally.that's way too close for comfort. it wouldn't be a good idea either with the amount of cancer in my family.odds would most likely be even worse for it.
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
18 Mar 09
That's a very good reason. Inheriting cancer genes from both parents would not be good. I don't think many people are comfortable with marrying their first cousins.
@sassy28 (835)
• United States
6 Mar 09
No, not at all. It is just wrong. Yuck, Yuck, Yuck. Especially if you have seen my cousins, more Yuck, Yuck, Yuck.
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
I can understand that. My cousins are nothing to speak of either.
6 Mar 09
Hi Aurone, this is a very interesting discussion! I personally wouldn't even think about marrying my first cousin or anything like that but I do know someone who knows someone who is seeing their first cousin. I feel sorry for people who fall in love with their cousins as it would be so hard to deal with!
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
It would be a difficult situation to be in. Especially since I think you can't help who you love.
@tea512 (687)
• United States
6 Mar 09
This would be just an insane thing to do. There is way t oclose of a gene pool for two 1st counsins to marry. The offspring would be certainlly high risk and that is not something that would be advised. The family would be against this in most cases and that would be another reason.
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
I am sure you are right. Many families would have a problem with a relationship between first cousins.
@albert2412 (1782)
• United States
6 Mar 09
I see no problem with marrying your first cousin. As far as genetics go, the Pharoahs married their own daughters for 5000 years and I know of no instance in Egyptian history where there was a mentally challenged ruler.
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
I am sure that their were some genetic problems going on in the Egyptian royal line, but you are right they married within their family for lots of years, I guess a lot of what is right or wrong depends on the society you are living in.
• United States
6 Mar 09
I new a real live situation like this... One of my friends was dating a guy and found out later that he was her first cousin on her dads side... the family is kind of distant but when he mate her father and saw some pictures they found out he was family... and she had been courting him before she found out he was family and decided to stay with him because she loved him... she now has a baby girl and they got married ... I for one wouldn't do it, and don't know how I would deal with it if my husband now is family... I love him to the point I would probably stay with him.
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
I guess the situation would be different if you found out after the relationship started then if you found out before.
@sudalunts (5526)
• United States
6 Mar 09
A lot of cousins grow up together and are very close. I could not imagine falling in love with my cousin, that is just something that shouldn't happen. It's like falling in love with your brother or sister. Now if the families were estranged, and you did not know the person was your cousin, that is something else. Actually, I had an aunt who liked this boy when she was in high school. The day the boy and his mother were going to visit and meet her mother they found out that they were cousins, I think something like seconc cousins. They continued to be friends, (relatives now) but the prospect of a romance was dismissed.
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
I am sure that happens. Especially if you grow up like my mother did, she lived in a town where she was related to half of the people in it, it would be hard to date someone you were not related to! Luckily my father moved into town from Memphis so she married well outside her family tree.
@nikky28 (1572)
• India
6 Mar 09
I wouldn't be okay in getting romantically linked with a first cousin, let alone marry him lol. It just feels weird considering that it would feel like getting married to one in your family. I think there was one incident that took place in UK or something that a brother married his sister accidentally as they were separated at birth and after they met they fell in love. They later found out the truth and got divorced immediately. Besides it is not a good idea as it could cause genetic problems in the child. It is always good to mix genes and the farther the relation the better it is, so I have heard as the child would be stronger.
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
Biologically genetic diversity is always better. This allows you to adapt better and have more genetic novelty in order to fight off new diseases and other things. And you do hear about that brother/sister separated thing happening every great once in a while. Wouldn't that be a terrible thing to find out?
@HelloMickey (1659)
• Hong Kong
6 Mar 09
No, I can't fall in love with my first cousin and I can't accept this if any chance he falls in love with me. A bit disgusting to think about the lovers relationship between relatives in my country.
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Mar 09
I think most people in the US feel the same way. There is some stigma against falling in love with family, plus if something went wrong that would make family get togethers tough.
@PhantomH (12)
• United States
6 Mar 09
I'm in the same boat as irishfury. I'm a hmong person, and our culture heavily forbids marriage to blood relatives (Distant might be okay), or people with the same last name. If you were to ask me though, I think all hmong people are related in some way or another, due to how small our clan is (We don't even have our own country!), and also because our parents or grandparents are somehow related to another hmong family. I mean, I just met most of my hmong friends for the first time, and I never knew that we were all connected in a way. Example: My dad is related to her dad, because her dad was born from my dad's father's brother/cousin. So, I guess you can say that I would never marry a first cousin.
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Sounds like you have relations enough to contend with, without 1st cousins getting involved.
@Dorrdavy (276)
• Jamaica
6 Mar 09
no way!! i would never marry my cousin, thats family for Gods sake; family. if you dont know, its different but the thing is what if you get married then you find out (God forbid)!
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
6 Mar 09
That would definitely be an interesting situation. Should the couple get divorced then or stay married?
• United States
6 Mar 09
Even if I did fall in love with my first cousin, I dont think I could marry them, or in that case even date them, that would be a scarlet letter where I live...but, it is an interesting topic.
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
6 Mar 09
I think that is how many people think about it.
@mizstress (719)
• Philippines
6 Mar 09
to catholic belief, its not allowed. the church would not allow the two of you the get merried. they will not give there blessing to your relationship..
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Since I am not Catholic, I didn't know the Catholic Church had a view on this topic. Thanks for letting me know.
• United States
6 Mar 09
there is no way i would do it. my dad dated a cousin once. he thought it was alright because my dad was addopted and they are not blood. i think that it is all gross. there are enough people in the world to date. you don't have to date family
1 person likes this
@apples99 (6562)
• United States
6 Mar 09
No I dont think its the right thing to do, but I know that some people may feel its ok, but was raised differently and I wouldnt even think of marrying a cousin first or second cousin it just dosent seem appropriate, but thats just my opinion.
1 person likes this