Sunday, March 2, 2008

Why Anna Should Probably Not Sleep With Her Brother OR Consanguinous Matings and Darwinian Fitness


I've always assumed jokes about inbred, two headed, Tasmanian congenital idiots were exaggerations. Apparently not. The statistics on inbreeding are quite frightening. 

Amongst live births resulting from incest, 6/18 children die in infancy or childhood, and 3/18 have intellectual disabilities. 

Here are some statistics on the offspring of first cousins, compared to the children of unrelated parents: 

Trait Unrelated 1st cousins

stillbirth and neonatal death* 4% 11%
major congenital malformation 1% 1.7%
genetic abnormality 7.9% 18.8%
mental deficiency 1.3% 5.5%
recessive muscular dystrophy 0.0034% 0.051%
 
*1941 figures

So perhaps it's wise to think twice before taking a plunge into the shallow end of the gene pool. Your sibling may be intelligent and attractive, but chances are your resulting daughter-niece or son-nephew will not be.


3 comments:

Packo said...

Consangenius!

I would be interested to read some statistics comparing the healthy offspring from incestuous relationships with the offspring generated by unrelated couples, based on mainstream society's views of 'success'. For example, average income etc...

Could it be possible that the risk of disability due to incestuous mating is one worth taking?

Anna said...

But is the argument of consentual incest only a biological one - and if so, are there examples of it out there in the animal kingdom (where we choose not to dwell)? But beyond biology and beyond reproduction - what is an argument against siblings falling in and/or making love... apart from them both needing to get out of the house more!?!

Benjamin Law said...

Yeah, but that incestuous couple from 60 Minutes have a beautiful, healthy baby girl.

I would support them in principal, if the couple themselves were less fucking ugly.