Navigation Links
'Kissing cousins'
Date:9/25/2007

Understanding whether inbreeding accounts for early mortality is a long-standing concern in demographic research. Analyzing Bedouin villages in Bekaa, Lebanon, in which the marriage rate among first cousins is more than twice the national average, a new study appearing in the October issue of Current Anthropology finds that the greatest single determinant of infant mortality is not closely related parents though this does present a significant risk but short birth intervals.

The Bekka Bedouin are Sunni Muslims. Traditionally nomadic, migrating with herds of sheep and goats to pastures in the Syrian desert, they have recently become more sedentary, though a continuing preference for kin as marriage partners particularly ibn amm (fathers brothers son) or bint amm (fathers brothers daughter) remains a salient feature of Bedouin matrimonial life, writes Suzanne E. Joseph (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth). About 47 percent of Bedouin marriages are between first cousins. Thirty-three percent are patrilateral, that is, between the children of brothers.

Analyzing a sample of 1,399 Bedouin children, Joseph examined the mortality rate for infants (< 12 months) and children under the age of five (12-59 months). She found that infants born to first cousins have more than double the odds of dying as infants born to non first-cousins.

As Joseph explains, the preference for choosing relatives as marriage partners may be a default marital strategy in situations where geographic isolation restricts the size of the mating pool, such as in nomadic societies. In sedentary societies, reproductive isolation may have an economic angle, preventing the fragmentation of property or facilitating unions among the poor by allowing them to circumvent dowry payments.

While there is a heightened risk of infant mortality associated with consanguinity, even after controlling for socioeconomic and demographic factors, there are also substantial social, economic, and emotional benefits to marrying kin, Joseph writes. Women in particular are able to draw upon the support of their family members after marriage, which enhances their position in the domestic unit.

Among populations with a high level of familial endogamy, there may also be a relatively high risk of recessive disorders which develop in childhood. However, the children of Bedouin first-cousin parents were not significantly more likely to die in childhood, Joseph found.

Indeed, the most statistically significant factor in a Bedouin childs survival whether the child of first cousins or not is birth interval, Joseph reveals. For every additional month that passes before the birth of the next child, the odds of infant death decrease by 3.7 percent.


'/>"/>

Contact: Suzanne Wu
swu@press.uchicago.edu
209-608-2038
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Intimate kissing quadruples risk of meningitis in teenagers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ... age and identity verification solutions, announced today they will ... 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... International Trade Center. Identity impacts the ... in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based ... edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. ... by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec ... show at the Las Vegas Convention Center ... Click here ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ... prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Customers often prefer ... again and again. METTLER TOLEDO has released two new videos that show how ... integration of the ACT350 into Siemens and Allen Bradley PLCs is easy and ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... meeting and educational conference of the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) and the ... Hotel in Houston. The conference reinforces AAB’s commitment to excellence in clinical laboratory ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... May 18, 2017 , ... ... the procedure on April 28, 2017 at the Prince Of Wales Private Hospital. ... cervical disc at level C6-C7. The patient failed conservative treatments prior to undergoing ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... , ... May 17, 2017 ... ... standards with psychonneuroendocrine stress expertise, and further enhances its scientific power by ... Douglas A. Granger, Ph.D., has agreed to join the scientific advisory board. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: