Is Marrying Your Cousin Dangerous?
Have you heard stories about genetic defects been past down through marriages between cousins?
Do you know which U.S. president married his cousin?
Depending on your culture you might think of cousin marriages is taboo or perfectly normal but is marrying your cousin actually dangerous.
Let’s and the history of cousin marriages and check out examples of people marrying their first cousins to see how everything turned out
So how does inbreeding cause genetic defects, to make things clear inbreeding basically means if you have a child with a person to whom your closely related let’s review a bit of genetics to answer that question.
Our genes coming in pairs everyone gets one copy from their mother and one copy from their father is this combination that makes us an equal part of our parents let’s imagine for a moment
That a woman it has bad geans if she were to have a child with a healthy stranger their kid would have a smaller chance of having the bad gene because of the father’s healthy genes is also passed on to the child. Is both parents are related and they both have bad genes? Then the chances of the child having a genetic disease increase.
Many cultures have strong taboos about marrying a relative. This taboo was rooted in laws against incest and genetic concerns.
Children from to strangers have a two to three per cent risk of congenital disability children have closely related family members like to siblings or 2 first cousins have them for four to six per cent risk that different in these rest per cent of you might not be that high but it can lead to real problems according to a professor in New Zealand and another Massachusetts their risk of having a baby with genetic defects four to six per cent is the same between the two cousins and for a woman over forty having a baby.
For much of human history marrying your cousin was a regular thing to do. Many cultures actually encouraged marriage between Cousin. Can you think of any reasons? think of royalty in many royal families you lose your right to the throne and if you married a common man. Queen Victoria was encouraged to marry her first cause and Price Albert of Saxonburg. To maintain the royal lineage and for the political alliance they married and went on to have nine children not just because it would be beneficial but because they were head over the hills in love.
Today queen victoria’s descendants can be found in the royal families of Norway Russia Sweden, Germany, Greece and Spain. You might be wondering if they’re descendants had any problems due to they’re inbreeding.
Queen Victoria carry the gene for haemophilia that disorder which causes the blood to not clot properly and can lead to excessive bleed.
The most likely reason why she carried that gene is because it was past down to her by her parents who were related to each other in turned queen victoria past it on this several of her descending including her, son Leopold and some of her daughters. The disease took a toll on her descendants with over six of them dying from accidents that they could have recovered from head they not have haemophilia.
There were other famous royals who have married their cousins. Do you know of any of still living? you might want to look at the head of the crown. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are cousins as well. They are third cousins through Queen Victoria the British monarchy is one of the few places where marrying within the family is still a lap but the rules have become more relaxed when Prince Wiliam and Kate Middleton were married people dug through their ancestor ease to see if you were related.
Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about them since their closest relations would be as eleventh cousins. This advantageous inbreeding was also seen in the ancient Egyptian royal families. King Tutankhamun better known as king TUT was the child of a marriage between a brother and sister.
Through DNA testing researchers discovered that King TUT came to himself suffered from many illnesses and genetic disorders caused by inbreeding. He had a cleft palate, a Club Foot and scoliosis. King TUT’s wife was also closely related to him and together they had to stillborn children. Because of marriage is like this problem of stillbirth huge overbites and elongated Skulls were very present in Egypt eighteenth dynasty.
But what happened in the twentieth century did these instances continue to become in the 1900s. the incidence of inbreeding decreases when we get closer to the present time but that didn’t stop us president for marrying his first cousin and do you know who it was?
Franklin Roosevelt married his cousin Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1900s. fortunately for them they were only fifth cousins once were moved and that degrees of separation the risk of genetic defects is quite small.
FTR and Eleanor went on to have six children one died early on from cases related to inbreeding the other five went to live a long life.
Albert Eintiens is another famous person who married his cousin. His first marriage didn’t work out and he married his first cousin Elsa Lowenthal in 1919.