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Thread: Revisiting Consanguineous marriage in the Near East

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    Revisiting Consanguineous marriage in the Near East



    See:
    https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.w...111/aman.12023

    The effect of high levels of consanguineous marriages, as, for example, repeated occurrences of first cousin marriages, and particularly of the fbd type, i.e. father's brother's daughter are well known: lack of fitness.

    In the particular case of the Bedouin of Saudi Arabia, choosing it may have actually helped them survive. They carry a mutation which allows them to digest camel milk, notoriously difficult to digest even for cow milk drinkers. It was essential to their survival as they live in the middle of a desert where nothing much grows and there are few animals to hunt, so there were periods of the year when they lived only on camel's milk.

    The people who surround them don't carry the mutation. High levels of admixture with them would have threatened their survival.

    So, I guess the conclusion is that it's a balancing act. In their case, high levels of consanguineous marriages, given their small numbers, may have been the less risky one.

    "Although exogamy is the worldwide marriage norm, many Middle Eastern populations regularly practice consanguineous marriage. Scholars have posited a number of explanations for this phenomenon, but these theories have not identified a concrete advantage to these marriages sufficient to counterbalance the inbreeding depression and other genetic risks inherent to kin marriages. Drawing on genetic studies and mathematical models, as well as both historical and ethnographic sources, I argue in this article that the Arabian Peninsula's camel Bedouin's dependency on the lactose tolerance allele exerted a selective pressure on marriage strategies that strongly favored consanguineous marriage. For milk‐dependent camel Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula, the advantages of consanguineous marriage did indeed outweigh its risks. In addition, I posit that another common Arabian Peninsula marriage practice, the strong prohibition of marriages between higher‐status and lower‐status groups, was favored by the same environmental and genetic factors that favored consanguineous marriage."

    This doesn't say much about the rest of the Middle East, however.


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    Really interesting stuff! I wonder if we know of how many communities throughout world who have developed mutations such as this which they maintained through consanguinity.

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    I don't think I have a mutation allowing me to drink camel's milk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    I don't think I have a mutation allowing me to drink camel's milk.
    Ah, but have you ever tried it???? :)

    I definitely won't. I started having trouble with cow's milk in my early thirties. If this is even harder to digest, I can't even imagine what it would be like.

    It's partly a smell thing too. I don't think a cow standing in a field smells very offensive (a barn full of cows is a totally different thing), but a camel!!!! Closest I've ever come was at a zoo, and I backed up at a run if you can imagine it. :)

    They're really nasty from what I've read. It would take a brave person to milk one imo.

    On the other hand, what happened to the first person who tried to milk a horse???

    I must say that the animal husbandry part of farming holds no appeal for me. It's the smells, and not just from the excrement that's lying all over. I hate chicken runs too. My father thought they were the dirtiest of animals, eating their own excrement and all, and always preferred other meats. Pigs can look awful, but it's usually just mud and dirt, isn't it?

    Even horses are too much for me. I had a few friends during high school who fit that "teen age girl obsessed with horses" cliche. One of them had a horse bought for her by her father, but she had to pay for her upkeep in a stable by working there. She convinced me to work there on week-ends for a while in exchange for riding lessons. I didn't last very long. I loved riding, but my God, it wasn't worth mucking out those stables, or cleaning that damn horse's tail. YUCK!

    Give me my nice vegetable garden, a field of grain, some olive trees and grape vines. I'll trade for the meat.

    Even my beloved dog is too dirty for me, and all his "business" is done outside. I clean his paws every time he comes in, and the sofa he lies on, and my bed where he sleeps sometimes is covered by a sheet, and I wash them every day.

    Do I have a dirt phobia? Am I a clean freak? Maybe. :)

    It's partly just rearing, though. My mother washed all the tile floor of the kitchen and family room every night. So do I most nights, and it's about 30x30. And take off your shoes before you walk on it! :)

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    Somehow the dog convinced you he can stay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Somehow the dog convinced you he can stay.
    Oh well, love trumps everything in my case. The companionship, affection, loyalty, and his fierce protectiveness more than compensate for the extra laundry and vacuuming, and having to wet mop all that tile every day. :)

    As for my children, I would have and would walk through fire for them, so I gritted my teeth and put up with the changing of diapers and constant wiping up of spills, and putting all the scattered toys away at night, and the mud brought in, although, by three they were taking off their shoes before coming into the house!

    Seriously, it's a good thing my husband is also a neat freak, worse than I am in many ways. His car looks as if it came off the showroom yesterday, and our garage is cleaner and more organized than some people's living room. Children (and dogs) are one thing, adults are another.

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    I understand, I have a dog myself. He's cute even when he misbehaves.

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