Question: Why is it bad 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.

Is marrying your cousin OK?

They all married their first cousins. Today marrying your first cousin is illegal in 24 US states. But for most of Western history, people had to marry whoever lived nearby, which oftentimes meant marrying within the extended family. In fact, between 1650-1850, the average married couple was fourth cousins.

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