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Don't fuck your cousin

Juma

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Since inbreeding is much more common in small rural societies I think this effect is not genetic but social/cultural. They did try to compensate for such effects but I am sceptical.
 

Tom Sawyer

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OK, I get what the study is saying here, but what if my cousin is attractive?

I'm good if I wear a rubber, right?
 

Veritass

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I know some first cousins that got married, and yes, in California, not Arkansas. Anyway, the funny part was when the common grandparents came to the wedding and were asked whether they were part of the bride's or groom's families for seating. Gotta love that answer, "Both."
 

Shadowy Man

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The phrases "first cousin" and "distantly related" seem to be inconsistent in my mind. Does the study define its use of the word "distant"?
 

skepticalbip

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The phrases "first cousin" and "distantly related" seem to be inconsistent in my mind. Does the study define its use of the word "distant"?

"Distant" as opposed to immediate family.
I think that was his question. First cousins are considered immediate family in much of the US. The article seemed to refer to first cousins as distantly related. For me, distantly related means second cousin or further separated or even as related through marriage not blood.
 

Loren Pechtel

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"Distant" as opposed to immediate family.
I think that was his question. First cousins are considered immediate family in much of the US. The article seemed to refer to first cousins as distantly related. For me, distantly related means second cousin or further separated or even as related through marriage not blood.

First cousins are often covered by incest laws but "immediate" normally only refers to first degree relatives--son, daughter, wife, husband, father, mother.
 

Shadowy Man

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I think that was his question. First cousins are considered immediate family in much of the US. The article seemed to refer to first cousins as distantly related. For me, distantly related means second cousin or further separated or even as related through marriage not blood.

First cousins are often covered by incest laws but "immediate" normally only refers to first degree relatives--son, daughter, wife, husband, father, mother.

The problem is that the article does not define "closely" and "distantly" in that first paragraph. Only near the end does it mention "first cousins".

It appears that with all their studies on complex traits, their most significant results are that children of first cousins are 0.5 inches shorter on average and get almost a year's less education.

So, it would seem that the warning in the title of this thread isn't really that warranted.
 

Loren Pechtel

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First cousins are often covered by incest laws but "immediate" normally only refers to first degree relatives--son, daughter, wife, husband, father, mother.

The problem is that the article does not define "closely" and "distantly" in that first paragraph. Only near the end does it mention "first cousins".

It appears that with all their studies on complex traits, their most significant results are that children of first cousins are 0.5 inches shorter on average and get almost a year's less education.

So, it would seem that the warning in the title of this thread isn't really that warranted.

I think the year's less education is a good indication--that probably translates to something like a quarter not going to college that otherwise would.
 

Shadowy Man

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The problem is that the article does not define "closely" and "distantly" in that first paragraph. Only near the end does it mention "first cousins".

It appears that with all their studies on complex traits, their most significant results are that children of first cousins are 0.5 inches shorter on average and get almost a year's less education.

So, it would seem that the warning in the title of this thread isn't really that warranted.

I think the year's less education is a good indication--that probably translates to something like a quarter not going to college that otherwise would.

But it's not clear that that would have anything to do with some kind of chromosomal abnormality due to having a child with your cousin. It is more likely a socio-cultural effect due to the types of people who marry their cousins. You'd have to normalize that against the same group of people, but simply those who didn't procreate with their cousins, as to how many of those don't go to college.
 

ronburgundy

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I think the year's less education is a good indication--that probably translates to something like a quarter not going to college that otherwise would.

But it's not clear that that would have anything to do with some kind of chromosomal abnormality due to having a child with your cousin. It is more likely a socio-cultural effect due to the types of people who marry their cousins. You'd have to normalize that against the same group of people, but simply those who didn't procreate with their cousins, as to how many of those don't go to college.

^^THIS^^^ They do virtually nothing to control for socio-cultural factors. The study provide no evidence of a causal impact of incest on genetic contributors to the various outcomes measured. It is a correlational study.
 

barbos

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Lower IQ correlates with lower height regardless of fucking relatives.
So culture plays no roles here, it's genetic.
 

ronburgundy

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Lower IQ correlates with lower height regardless of fucking relatives.
So culture plays no roles here, it's genetic.

Huh???? Sorry but that is completely invalid reasoning. First, they don't even show in their study that offspring of incest that were shorter were the same that had lower IQ.
It is fully possible that some of these people were shorter and some had lower IQ, but not both. Regardless, as is true for most correlations, IQ and height are correlated for a number of different reasons. The fact that they covary independent of cousin fucking does not in any way limit the various causal pathways that could connect them both to cousin fucking. For example, having a low IQ could cause cousin fucking and low SES, which in turn causes poor nutrition and thus low height and IQ of offspring.

Nothing in the study or in the general height-IQ relation outside this study rules out this or many other alternative causal explanations for why height and IQ are each correlated with cousin fucking.

A good start would be first to partial out the variance in height, and see if this eliminates the correlation between cousin fucking and IQ. That would at least tell us that the all 3 variables covary together, and at least begin to limit the now countless plausible explanations and possible causal models consistent with the data.
 

Underseer

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http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/07/kids-of-distant-relatives-are-slightly-shorter-less-academic/

Just because they can't quantify specific genetic risks doesn't mean there aren't risks. Looking at overall measures of health rather than specific genetic diseases shows it's a bad idea.

That's not the main reason to avoid producing offspring with a relative.

Over time, the genetic diversity of a breeding population goes down. The smaller the breeding population, the faster genetic diversity reduces. If people produce offspring with relatives, genetic diversity reduces more quickly still.

Why is this an issue?

Let us consider for a moment the most devastating plague in recorded history:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death

What diseases you can resist or develop immunity to is determined in part by the genes you inherit from your parents. When the Black Death rolled through Europe, almost every European who lacked inheritable immunity/resistance to the disease died. That's why the death toll was so staggering.

If there is less diversity in your gene pool, then a single disease can devastate your entire gene pool. Any action that reduces genetic diversity of your gene pool more rapidly puts everyone in the gene pool at risk. Interestingly, there appears to be a sexual attraction mechanism to avoid this specific thing:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/6/l_016_08.html

Sexual attraction is in part based on the smell of a partner whose inheritable immunities are as different as possible.
 
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