Thursday, March 24, 2005

Cousin Couples...

Here is a very interesting post by Steve Sailer about the problems caused in Muslim countries by the very high rates of cousin marriages there. In particular, with families so tighly bound together by many overlapping blood ties, most social organizations are family oriented to an extreme degree. How extreme? To the degree that strangers and acquaintances have a hard time working together. There is simply too much distrust of those who are not members of your own family.

How common is cousin marriage in Iraq? How about 50% of marriages. And the incestuous ties are even greater than that statistic implies because this has been going on for generations.

But does this say anything about Western countries and the fight for incestuous rights? I think it does. Those fighting for incestuous rights now are doing so in the context of a society that is extremely hostile to incest. As such, there are very few incestuous couples around. And, as a result, their numbers are far too small to affect overall social organization, as is the case in Iraq.

But, we must not assume that if incest is legalized, it won't have the same sort of detrimental effects as seen in Iraq. It very well may. Incestual family bonds may be much stronger than non-incestual family bonds in ways that affect how family members deal with non-family members.

Now, for a little balance, do go over to Cousin Couples and check out their very pro-cousin marriage website. But do remember that they have the freedome to be arguing for cousing marriages in the context of a society that doesn't have to deal with the detrimental effects of incest becuase it is so rare. If it became common, it might bring with it a rash of problems, as it has in other countries. Plus, there is the slipery slope argument. Even in Iraq, you can't marry your mother. If incest is legalized in the West, the you could. And the problems with that sort of a situation--if it becomes common enough--might be much worse than with common cousin marriages.


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