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Old 09-24-2012, 10:13 AM
Nava Nava is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
However, incest taboos that go much beyond this, like the recent USAian stigmatization of cousin marriage and sex, are cultural oddities (and to extend the taboo beyond first cousins seems to me to be based more on a failure to understand the concept of cousin than anything else).
Not necessarily: the half of my family which doesn't consider first-cousins taboo is from a place where there is a lot of genetic variation. The half which considers second-cousins taboo is from a place with a lot less genetic variation: avoiding "mixing blood that's too close" requires going further away when you know that climbing any branch of the family tree will lead to a common pair of ancestors eventually (just as a completely random piece of data, a study of the family trees of my 40-students 11th-grade class, where each tree was available going up to 1700, found common ancestors for any of us with two to six other students; we were in the area the no-cousins side of my family hails from).

Last edited by Nava; 09-24-2012 at 10:17 AM.