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Further, researchers point out that “the widely accepted scare stories – even within academia – and the belief that cousin marriage is inevitably harmful have declined in the face of some of the data we’ve been producing.” Double Cousins 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): Cross-Cousins vs. .[With] cross cousins, because in the absence of full-sibling incest, it is unlikely [they] . In addition to those countries mentioned above, the “overwhelming majority of cross-cousin marriages appear among the Islamic cultures of North Africa, and those of West and Central Asia.” However, cousin marriage is making a comeback in the U.Parallel Cousins In some societies, first cousin marriage is traditional and well-accepted, although many make a distinction between “cross-cousins” and “parallel cousins.” Cross cousins have parents who are siblings, but of the opposite sex. Likewise, mothers who are also sisters may overtly or covertly share sexual access to the husband of one or the other, raising the possibility that apparent parallel cousins are actually half-siblings, sired by the same father . S., as well, as more and more studies continue to debunk the overblown risks once commonly touted.Banning Cousin Marriages While there have been instances of the banning of marriage between cousins at various points through history, such as the Roman Catholics banning the practice for a time starting with the Council of Agde in 506 AD, for the most part marriage among cousins has been popular as long as people have been getting married.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. Natural Selection himself, was married to his first cousin Emma Wedgwood.Specifically, until the 1860s or so, first cousins commonly married in Europe and the U. Nonetheless, the practice soon fell out of fashion in the United States.
In cultures where cross cousins are encouraged and parallel discouraged, it is often an inherited taboo, passed down from when there was greater inter-marriage and inter-mingling among the members of an extended family – with a greater chance that first cousins could also be half-siblings: Fathers who are also brothers may overtly or covertly share sexual relations with the wife of one or the other . Likewise, most sects of Christianity do not forbid it, which would be hard to do given cases like Isaac and Rebekah in the Book of Genesis.
A similar urban shift is happening across the globe.