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Everything about sex and marriage between cousins in The Bible

Everything about sex and marriage between cousins in The Bible

Marriage and romantic love between first cousins is branded as incest in many cultures but also tolerated in much of the world. Cousin marriages are unusual in western cultures and amount to a mere 1% of marriages in Western Europe and North America.

Nations are divided on the matter of cousin marriages; they are banned in the USA across 24 states, the United Kingdom is more liberal and consents to both sexual relations and marriages among first cousins, and in Northern Pakistan, the Dhond and Bettani clans greatly favour cousin marriages to ensure the purity of the descent line.

The list of forbidden relatives that appear in the Bible, precisely in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, does not include cousins.

The Bible contains several examples of married cousins; Isaac was married to Rebekah, his first cousin once removed (Genesis 24:12-15), and Jacob’s marriage to Rachel (Genesis28-29). Nevertheless, Christian tradition and the church in general do not uphold romantic love between first cousins and is against marriages where both parties to be wed are related by blood in any degree.

Aside from the general persuasion, only the ‘Anglican Communion’ (The Book Of Common Prayer) allows blood relation marriages up to and including first cousins.


* The percentage of birth defects in infants born to cousins is twice that (4%) of infants born to non-related couples (2%). The majority of babies born to cousins are healthy (96%).


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Everything about sex and marriage between cousins in The Bible
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Everything about sex and marriage between cousins in The Bible

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