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Book Cover
Author Ottenheimer, Martin.

Title Forbidden relatives : the American myth of cousin marriage / Martin Ottenheimer.

Published Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [1996]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  306.8 OTTE    AVAILABLE
Physical description 179 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [155]-168) and index.
Contents 1. U.S. Laws Prohibiting the Marriage of Relatives -- 2. The Reasons for U.S. Laws against First Cousin Marriage -- 3. European Laws Prohibiting the Marriage of Relatives -- 4. European Views of Cousin Marriage -- 5. The Evolutionary Factor -- 6. Biogenetics and First Cousin Marriage -- 7. Culture and Cousin Marriage.
Summary 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.
Subject Cross-cousin marriage -- United States.
Cross-cousin marriage -- Europe.
United States -- Social life and customs.
Europe -- Social life and customs.
ISBN 0252022394 (acid-free paper)
0252065409 (paperback: acid-free paper)