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This is a new meaning of “rare”

Ten years ago researchers studying the health of more than 30,000 people in Bradford found that about 60% of babies in the Pakistani community had parents who were first or second cousins, but a new follow-up study of mothers in three inner-city wards finds the figure has dropped to 46%.

The original research also demonstrated that cousin marriage roughly doubled the risk of birth defects, though they remained rare, affecting 6% of children born to cousins.

6% is rare?

11 thoughts on “This is a new meaning of “rare””

  1. As survival strategies go, it’s got a lot going for it. Breeding dimmer kids is fine when there is a welfare state and you are importing more of your kind.

  2. 6% is rare?

    Quite. For comparison, Tay Sachs disease, which is considered a big thing amongst Ashkenazi Jews (and Cajuns & Amish apparently) has a prevalence of ~0.03%.

  3. A countervailing factor is that these kids will be getting born when the mother is at a younger age, which pushes birth defects back down a bit. In a mostly white, middle-class kinda community where a lot of the professional educated very-intelligent women you might think would have their life priorities and factual awareness straight, the current strategy appears to be: looking seriously for a man is a thing for your thirties, kiddies are for your forties. I know statistically that’s not the majority either, but it’s a substantial minority, and while it’s a different set of possible problems – age-related, not the hereditary stuff- it does push up the rate of birth defects. So as ugly an idea as cousin marriage seems to me, and yeah I’d rather they stopped it for the kiddies’ sakes, I’m a bit wary of casting the first stone re “hah, what a weird culture, messing up their courtship and partnering practices in such obvious defiance of known scientific facts”.

  4. The frequency of cousin marriages *outside* the Pakistani/Bangladeshi communities is quite low so, when measured as a %age of *all* British-born children the frequency of birth defects is 2.2%. This may be described as “rare”, albeit not “extremely rare”.

  5. “The original research also demonstrated that cousin marriage roughly doubled the risk of birth defects”

    How do they allow for the effect of cousin marriages generation after generation?

    By the by, is this an Islamic thing or a Pakistani thing? For instance is there more out-marriage in Indonesia or Morocco?

  6. More Pakistani. As in “more” than other Islamic societies. The issue being that Pakistan is still a hugely Clan, even smaller than that, extended family, low trust society. This is independent of the religion – both Hapsburgs and Rotschilds can be accused of the same thing.

  7. So it’s dropped by 14%.

    Maybe the Pakis are trending towards the British norm. Anyway it doesn’t seem worth worrying about.

  8. “How do they allow for the effect of cousin marriages generation after generation?”

    If you do the maths, after two generations you’re marrying your own brother/sister. As mentioned elsewhere: I’m surprised they don’t all look like the Habsburgs. 😉

  9. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    “Birth defects” in 6% of infants doesn’t, depending on your definition of birth defect, sound excessively outrageous.

    Another article with insufficient information.

    Perhaps the Catholic and Anglican churches should have been a bit more discouraging of cousin marriage.

  10. The funny coloured alphabet people make up ~ 4% of the population and are all over the fucking media. So I’m amazed we don’t have spazzy PoKees rammed down our throat by the BBC as per Joey Deacon.

  11. I work in BD3, allegedly one of the most deprived areas in the UK. Yet every house has 4 cars and painted disabled parking bays…

    Yet the inbred, window lickers of goat shagging cousins still get picked up by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council to go to “school” a two minute walk away…

    Anne Cryer brought this up under Parliamentary Privilege 20 odd years ago with regards to Keighley…

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