The Corner

Re: Cousin Marriage

Jonah, there is a greater likelihood of birth defects in cases of cousin marriage. That is an argument against the practice, but it may not be a decisive one, because the effect is not massive. Advocates of cousin marriage in Britain note that the likelihood of birth defects is not significantly greater than the increased likelihood of trouble in births to women over 40. And so they say, we wouldn’t ban women over 40 from marrying, so why ban cousin marriage?

For me, the decisive issue is the social-cultural effect of the practice. The genetic problem is an important additional issue, but by itself it is not the main issue, at least as I see it. But the details on all this are in some dispute. I will probably have more to say about the issue down the road.

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Blackface Party

I must have missed something: Was there some kind of all-hands white-people meeting at which we voted to kick the Democrats out? Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Beto O’Rourke — what’s up with all the ethnic play-acting? Isn’t cultural appropriation supposed to be a bad thing among progressives? Isn’t ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Rosenstein Defends the Mueller Probe

Well, did you think Rod Rosenstein was going to say, “You got me. The Mueller probe was inappropriate and politicized?” No, you didn’t. And the deputy attorney general did not disappoint. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Rosenstein defended the investigation as “appropriate ... Read More
Film & TV

A Right-Wing Halloween

‘The world is not a dark and evil place,” insists an exasperated woman played by Judy Greer in Halloween. “It’s full of love and understanding!” I put the question to the class: Is she right? In the new film (not a reboot but a sequel that occurs 40 years after the events in the 1978 original and ... Read More