Marrying Your Cousin: Is It Actually As Bad As We Thought?

March 6, 2018
Updated 4mo ago

Marrying your cousin has long been considered taboo, but new research says that procreating with your cousins may not be as risky as previously thought. Popular Science's Eleanor Cummins breaks down the findings.

Eleanor Cummins, Editorial Assistant at Popular Science, breaks down the findings. Columbia University data scientist Yaniv Erlich studied a family tree of 13 million people to see how marrying various relatives impacts the risk of genetic birth defects. He found that one set of first cousins having children doesn't necessarily pose a high risk of having children with birth defects, but if the trend continues beyond one generation, then the risk increases exponentially.