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:12/16/2016)... YORK , Dec. 16, 2016 The global wearable ... USD 12.14 billion by 2021 from USD 5.31 billion in 2016, ... ... is mainly driven by technological advancements in medical devices, launch of ... rising preference for wireless connectivity among healthcare providers, and increasing focus ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... Dec. 15, 2016 Advancements in ... health wellness and wellbeing (HWW), and security ... three new passenger vehicles begin to feature ... recognition, heart beat monitoring, brain wave monitoring, ... monitoring, and pulse detection. These will be ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Research Future published a half cooked research report on Mobile Biometric ... Market is expected to grow over the CAGR of ~35% during ... ... Mobile Biometric Security and Service Market is increasing at a ... security from unwanted cyber threats. The increasing use of mobile device ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... ... Nipro Corporation (Osaka, Japan) and Transonic Systems Inc. (New York, USA) announced ... and sales rights for all non-OEM Transonic products in Japan. As partners for more ... Nipro - Transonic JV is a natural next step to advance best practices and ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... , Jan. 21, 2017   Boston Biomedical ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, today presented ... compound, napabucasin, at the 2017 American Society of Clinical ... Francisco . In a Phase ... agent designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... ... Surgery (LES®) Technologies, announced today the next evolution in spinal fusion, the ... platform). In contrast to the competition, SpineFrontier is focused on technique driven ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017 Research and Markets ... has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The report provides a detailed analysis on current and future market trends ... using estimated market values as the base numbers Key ...
Breaking Biology Technology: