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Dating in New York City – Holding Hans with Brian Hansbury: Kissing Cousins

Posted Thursday, September 4th, 2008 at 9:25 am by Brian in Social Bees. More in 10023

Q: My parents recently hosted some Israeli relatives in the city. Whenever I saw them (dinner, bar, park) one of my cousins, this girl I had never met, laid it on pretty thick. She was unbelievably cute, but there was no way I was going to hook up with a family member. I told my buddy she was my third cousin once removed and he said I was an idiot for not sleeping with her. Genealogically speaking, is it dangerous to hook up with a third cousin?

A: Truly, what’s the fuss in hooking up with a cousin? Let’s ask the New York Times from April 4, 2002:
Contrary to widely held beliefs and longstanding taboos in America, first cousins can have children together without a great risk of birth defects or genetic disease, scientists are reporting today. They say there is no biological reason to discourage cousins from marrying….”In some parts of the world,” the report says, ”20 to 60 percent of all marriages are between close biological relatives.”

No one seems to know why the United States in particular has such overwhelming abhorrence for cousin coupling. Some chalk it up to a hangover from the eugenics movement of the early 20th century, which advocated selective breeding geared towards strengthening the human race. Government mandated compulsory sterilization of mentally retarded, mentally ill, deaf, blind and epileptic folks became widespread and these as well as marriage laws based on eugenics were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1927. In some states, African and Native Americans were sterilized without their knowledge when seeking other medical services. If you refer to atlases from this time period you will note the United States is often labeled “New Nazi Germany.”

Now that the paper of record tells us it’s totally cool to pork anyone and everyone besides your sis or your ma, let’s elaborate on the term “third cousin once removed.” A third cousin is someone with whom you have a great great grandparent in common. “Removed” simply refers to how many generations apart you and said cousin are. So this girl has the same great-great-grandmother as you and on top of that is one generation younger than you (adding one more un-related gene pool with her non-related parent) and you totally wussed out on an awesome bang sesh because you were worried some type of cootie she possessed may have led to, what, an eerily familial feeling orgasm? Let me tell you this, orgasms are a dime a dozen, brother. Cousin sex is the stuff of legend. Take for example Charles Darwin. You’d say he’s pretty legendary, right? Well, he had ten kids with his first cousin and some of those kids were brilliant (I’ll leave out that the rest of the children were still-born puddles of flesh and drool). Don’t believe me? Just check out the authority on family love,

So, for everyone out there who is having trouble getting a date, but has a really cool cousin living in Murray Hill…it’s make-out time.

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