In modern western society, marrying your cousin is not well accepted, particularly in the United States.Through a combination of old prejudices and present-day conventional wisdom about inherited birth defects, first cousin marriage is seen by many as a little too close for comfort, as well as a bad idea if you want children.The famous outlaw Jesse James broke more laws than we know (well, at least it would have been illegal today)—James married his first cousin, Zerelda Mimms, with whom he had two children. Einstein held a lot of knowledge, but no knowledge of the dangers of procreating with a close relative.

Today, only six states allow marriage between first cousins, but bans on marrying one’s cousin only just started popping up in the last century. Giuliani thought Regina Peruggi was a third cousin, but he later discovered she was his second.

The former governor of New York famous for being unmerciful on criminals married his second cousin, unbeknownst to him.

Ohio, NH, NV, ND, SD, WA and WY banned the practice in the 1860s, and many more had enacted bans by the 1920s.

The most recent state to ban cousin marriage was Texas in 2005.

This week on the message boards, y’all are discussing what you should do if you like your cousin: Sweet Sahara said: “I wouldn’t say it’s ‘wrong’.

It’s not like you guys are siblings, but, however, it is odd.

president married his fifth cousin, once removed, Eleanor Roosevelt.

The two met as children but become close at a party at the White House hosted by the president at the time, and shared relative, Teddy Roosevelt. The author of the eerie “The Island of Dr Moreau”—a science fiction novel about a doctor who creates human-like beings out of animals—did some dangerous mixing of genes in his own life and married his first cousin, Isabel Mary Wells.

For your reference, this increase in birth defect rate is about the same as the increased risk of a woman having a baby when she is 40 vs. Proponents here point out that few would advocate banning a 40 year old woman from having children. In fact, in a number of countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Yemen and in the Palestinian Territories, paternal parallel cousin marriage is the preferred form of consanguineous marriage.

They also point to recent testing that placed the increased risk of spina bifida and cystic fibrosis at only 1.7% -2.8% higher than for children of unrelated parents. Cousin Marriages Today Globally, cousin marriages are still going strong, with an estimated 10% of all marriages in the world being between cousins, and has high as 50% in some regions of the world.

This switch in cousin-marriage’s acceptance began in earnest in some parts of the Western world in the mid-19th century. Natural Selection himself, was married to his first cousin Emma Wedgwood.