Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage / Edition 1

Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage / Edition 1

by Martin Ottenheimer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0252065409

ISBN-13: 2900252065407

Pub. Date: 09/28/1996

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Forbidden Relatives challenges the belief - widely held in the United States - that legislation against marriage between first cousins is based on a biological risk to offspring. In fact, its author maintains, the U.S. prohibition against such unions originated largely because of the belief that it would promote more rapid assimilation of immigrants. A social…  See more details below

Overview

Forbidden Relatives challenges the belief - widely held in the United States - that legislation against marriage between first cousins is based on a biological risk to offspring. In fact, its author maintains, the U.S. prohibition against such unions originated largely because of the belief that it would promote more rapid assimilation of immigrants. A social anthropologist, Martin Ottenheimer questioned U.S. laws against cousin marriage because his research into marriage patterns around the world showed no European countries prohibit such unions. He examines the historical development of U.S. laws governing marriage, contrasts them with European laws, and analyzes the genetic implications of first cousin marriage. Modern genetic evidence, Ottenheimer says, doesn't support the concept that children of these unions are at any special risk.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900252065407
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
09/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192

Table of Contents

Introduction1
1U.S. Laws Prohibiting the Marriage of Relatives19
2The Reasons for U.S. Laws against First Cousin Marriage42
3European Laws Prohibiting the Marriage of Relatives61
4European Views of Cousin Marriage79
5The Evolutionary Factor94
6Biogenetics and First Cousin Marriage116
7Culture and Cousin Marriage134
Bibliography155
Index169

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