Monday, November 12, 2007

Ask Dr. Helen: Kissing Cousins and More

My latest PJM column is up:

Is marrying your cousin acceptable behavior - and is it a health risk for your future children? Dr. Helen Smith answers the question, and offers advice to a young woman with a boyfriend who seems a little too eager to commit.

You can read the column here.



Blogger Don Surber said...

Good advice to the woman who wants 6 kids

9:41 AM, November 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, thanks Dr. Helen.

Because of the title of this particular thread, the Elvis tune has been running through my head since I first saw it this morning.

12:39 PM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

Dear RW, First of all, I believe (and I am sure someone out there will correct me if I’m wrong) that rather than your second cousin, the woman you want to marry is your first cousin—once removed.

Good job Helen, most people get that confused. Since it is once removed the genetic risk is going to be even less than for first cousins. I say go for it! Of course, is he comfortable enough to accept criticism for it?

br549, which song is that?

1:07 PM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Wasn't that an Elvis movie-Kissing Cousins?


It is very confusing--and yes, when one says they married their cousin, they will probably take some flak, but so what?

2:19 PM, November 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. 1964 was the year it came out. Googled it, and the words of the song, too. So now, the whole damned song is stuck in my head, not just the chorus.

I hate when that happens.

3:30 PM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

"Good job Helen, most people get that confused."

Actually, it's not confusion -- it's that there are two kinship systems in use in the US, a patrilineal familial system, and a patrilineal clan system. In the latter, a first cousin once removed and a second cousin are the same, since generation doesn't count as a different parameter of kinship.

Sign me your friendly reader with a worthless anthropology BA.

3:38 PM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

Under the clan system, what would you name the relationship between your child and your first cousin's child? I think having the generational informaion is easier to understand. It is confusing if you have children with your first cousin, once removed and your great-grandparents are her grandparents. My brother is dating a second cousin, once removed. Which system uses grand instead of great for the siblings of your ancestors?

2:13 PM, November 14, 2007  
Blogger Maxine Weiss said...

Only a woman that comes from the South would say it's ok to marry a first cousin.

I like it because I think it's kinky, and taboo, and feels naughty.

Of course, when you wake up the next morning, in the sober daylight. It seems faintly wrong.

11:49 PM, November 16, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

"Only a woman that comes from the South would say it's ok to marry a first cousin."

That's a particularly ignorant and stupid comment, given that many states that allow first cousin marriage are not in the south.

6:51 AM, November 17, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

According to the cousin couples website: Louisiana, Mississipi and Arkansas are all southern states that do not allow cousin marriage.

12:06 PM, November 19, 2007  
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