Good News! Science Says You Can Now Marry Your First Cousin
No longer will you have to hide your passion at family reunions! Oh joyous day!
In the old days, it was frowned upon to fall in love and marry your first cousin. Not only was it kind of icky, but we were made to believe that if you ever had kids they'd come out looking like Sloth from The Goonies.
Thanks to science, much of that has been debunked. A seven year study at Columbia University (yes, they seriously spent seven years on this) says that the risk of birth defects from the children of first cousins are much lower than previously thought. 4-7% of children of first cousins will be born with birth defects, while children of distantly-related parents have a 3-4% chance.
Scientists say things get sticky if you marry your first cousin, have kids, and those kids then marry their first cousins. That's just asking for trouble.
If you're interested in putting a ring on it with your cousin, you should know that 24 states still enforce a cousin marriage ban that was enacted all the way back in the Civil War. While science has given the green light to marry your cousin, the ban is still in effect in Idaho :(