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Is cousin marriage legal in England?

Although first-cousin marriages are legal in Britain, there have been calls to ban the practice because of reports that it has resulted in a higher-than-average incidence of birth defects in certain immigrant communities where it is common and culturally acceptable.

Is it morally wrong to marry your cousin?

Marrying a cousin is usually considered a bad idea, because inbreeding can lead to harmful genetic conditions. But paradoxically, in some societies, marrying a related spouse is linked to having more surviving children, research suggests.

When did marrying your cousin become taboo?

Cousin marriage were legal in ancient Rome from the Second Punic War (218–201 BC), until it was banned by the Christian emperor Theodosius I in 381 in the West, and until after the death of Justinian (565) in the East, but the proportion of such marriages is not clear.

Can first cousins have a baby?

Contrary to widely held beliefs and longstanding taboos in America, first cousins can have children together without a great risk of birth defects or genetic disease, scientists are reporting today. They say there is no biological reason to discourage cousins from marrying.

What happens if you have a baby with your cousin?

First cousins are somewhat more likely than unrelated parents to have a child with a serious birth defect, mental retardation or genetic disease, but their increased risk is nowhere near as large as most people think, the scientists said.

Why is first cousin marriage taboo in Britain?

The coroner chose his words carefully, since he was addressing one of the most controversial — and taboo — subjects in multi-cultural Britain: marriage between cousins in the Muslim communities which has left hundreds, if not thousands, of children damaged or dead.

Myths are best broken by data. The fact that 20 percent of global marriages take place between first cousins and most societies, including Europe and Canada, consider cousin marriages to be legal should give us a pause.

How many cousins have been married in history?

In fact, it is estimated that as many as 80% of the marriages in human history have been between first or second cousins. This switch in cousin-marriage’s acceptance began in earnest in some parts of the Western world in the mid-19th century.

Are there double cousins in the British study?

Some reconcile the two findings by noting that the children born with defects in the recent British study may, in fact, have been double cousins (best explained by an example): A community nurse who works among the Pakistani community in the British study opined: