It's Okay to Marry Your First Cousin, According to a Creepy Scientist in
Alan Bittles is a professor at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, and he's not creepy, at all. For more than 35 years, Alan has studied the topic of incest, and he's concluded, that it's okay to marry your first cousin.
More than 1.1 billion people on Earth are either married to a close relative, or are the child of a relative-on-relative marriage. That's more than one in every seven people.
Reproducing with a relative can lead to birth defects, but Alan says children of cousins are only four to five percent more likely to have health problems.
And since poor people are more likely to marry a cousin, living conditions may be responsible for the higher rate of defects.
(--Check out a great breakdown of cousin-marriage laws in the U.S., courtesy of Head Stupid News Writer Sam Greenspan, over at 11points.com.)