Kissing Cousins Have More Kin
Study analyzing more than 200 years of data finds that couples consisting of third cousins have the highest reproductive success
By Nikhil Swaminathan
It has long been wondered exactly how kinship influences reproductive success. Previous studies have uncovered positive correlations, but the biological data has been clouded by socioeconomic factors (such as average marrying age and family size) in those populations in which consanguineous marriage is commonplace, such as in India, Pakistan and the Middle East. The new study, however, was able to shed light on the biological reason for the earlier findings.