Turns out cousin-marrying isn't as bad for your genetic destiny as all those inbred, hemophiliac royals make it seem. Pajamas Media columnist Dr. Helen Smith says: "While you may get some weird looks from people if you tell them you married your cousin, it seems that you are in good company," as both Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin married their cousins. The rate of birth defects is only slightly higher among cousin marriages — children of non-related people have a 2-3% of having children with defects, while related couples have a 4-6% of producing children with defects — and 26 states allow firsts cousins to marry. So the next time you get all turned on at a family reunion, you can comfort yourself with the statistic that 1 in 1,000 Americans marries his cousin, which is something you'll probably have to tell all your friends when they're grossed out that you're doing your relatives.
[Pajamas Media]

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raoul j raoul

My grandparents were first cousins. They met for the first time when she was 18 and moving to the big city and he was 21 meeting her at the train station. It's a touching story really. They needed to get special permission from Rome to get married in the catholic church, It took five long years etc, etc. Anyway, My dad went on to get a few degrees and father a baseball team's number of children, so he turned out OK. I've read that generation after generation of first cousin matings are not really advisable, but if it happens every few generations it is not a big deal. Second cousins are much safer, and third or more cousins have virtually the same risk as total non-relatives.

Maybe because of our family history, I've got much less of a yuck factor about it in theory. Still never slept with a cousin and have no plans to do so.