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Social anthropology hypothesis
Posted: Posted June 27th by chiarizio
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I hypothesize that no real-life culture simultaneously allows any two of the following four marriage-types:
A. Half-brother to half-sister
B. Uncle to niece
C. Aunt to nephew
D. Double-first-cousins

Does anyone know of a counterexample or exception in real-life?



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In the Heian period of Japan, anything except parent-child or full siblings were allowed from what I've read. Not that they were common pairings, but they were allowable.

I also think I remember reading that the Piraha have very relaxed incest taboos as well, but I don't remember what exactly was or was not allowable.

Posted June 27th by linguistcat
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Avunculate marrige (nos B & C) are apparently quite the rage in several cultures.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avunculate_marriage

Edited June 27th by elemtilas
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@linguistcat:

In the Heian period of Japan, anything except parent-child or full siblings were allowed from what I've read. Not that they were common pairings, but they were allowable. I also think I remember reading that the Piraha have very relaxed incest taboos as well, but I don't remember what exactly was or was not allowable.


Thank you 😊! I’ll look into those.



Edited June 27th by chiarizio
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@elemtilas:

Avunculate marrige (nos B & C) are apparently quite the rage in several cultures.



Yes; each one of those types has been not only allowed, but actually encouraged, in some past (and sometimes present) cultures.
My hypothesis is that no single culture simultaneously allows/allowed any two of them. Linguistcat’s examples might force me to modify my hypothesis—— or abandon it entirely.

————

Some region within some Southern US state actively encourages first-cousin marriages; and at the same time encourages affine marriages, such as to one’s sibling’s spouse’s sibling.
Thing is, the latter fact means that first-cousins are often double-cousins; each parent of either party is a full-sibling of some parent of the other party.
But some Southern US state —— perhaps this one? —— permits first-cousins to marry, but prohibits double-cousins marrying.

————

@linguistcat:

If my mother and your mother are full-sisters, and my father and your father are half-brothers, does that make us sesqui-cousins? Cousins-and-a-half?
I wonder if the state in question prohibits those marriages?
What’s the limit for the consanguinity index? Is 3/16 too consanguineous, if 1/8 is not but 1/4 is?


Posted June 27th by chiarizio
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If my father and your father are agnate half-brothers, that contributes 1/16 to our consanguinity index. We share a grandparent (fathers’ father). We are half-cousins.
If also my mother and your mother are agnate half-sisters, that contributes an additional 1/16 to our consanguinity index. We are double-half cousins; we share two grandparents (both grandfathers).
Now if, above and beyond all that, my father and your mother are uterine half-siblings, we share a third grandparent; my father’s mother is your mother’s mother. We are triple-half-cousins and our consanguinity index is 3/16.

My parents must have been each others’ step-siblings, since they share a half-sister (ie your mother); your parents must also have been step-siblings, since they share a half-brother (ie my father).
If there’s no prohibition against step-siblings with no blood in common marrying each other, this isn’t incestuous so far; neither my parents nor yours married anyone within the bounds of consanguinity. (Although I would bet someone would still think this was “icky”.)

But suppose I were to propose marriage to you.
Leaving aside the problems that elemtilas and I are both dudes, and linguistcat already has a husband, is this too consanguineous? And if so, according to whom? We’re more “distant in blood” than double-cousins or half-siblings or auncles and niblings; but “closer in blood” than ordinary first-cousins.

Do any real-world or built-world legal systems handle this kind of problem?

How about your concultures in your builtworlds?

Edited June 27th by chiarizio
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If my father and your father are agnate half-brothers, that contributes 1/16 to our consanguinity index. We share a grandparent (fathers’ father). We are half-cousins.

If also my mother and your mother are agnate half-sisters, that contributes an additional 1/16 to our consanguinity index. We are double-half cousins; we share two grandparents (both grandfathers).



Daine don't really consider male ancestry as of any relevance, so I think two people whose fathers are "half" brothers wouldn't have a problem courting. Two people whose mothers are "half" sisters will. Most likely...

Also, Daine don't have "half" siblings. You're either a sibling or not. If you share the same mother(s), but different fathers, then you're siblings; if you share the same father but have entirely different mother(s), you're not siblings. Such folks generally consider each other "cousins" in a sort of broad sense of the word.

NB: by (s) I mean that it is not uncommon for one male to be married to two females. Mostly these are twins, some of which both females are fertile. It's also not uncommon in a M+F for the female to seek out a "second", another female. Children born to both are siblings.



Now if, above and beyond all that, my father and your mother are uterine half-siblings, we share a third grandparent; my father’s mother is your mother’s mother. We are triple-half-cousins and our consanguinity index is 3/16.



These would be considered siblings, sharing the same mother(s).


My parents must have been each others’ step-siblings, since they share a half-sister (ie your mother); your parents must also have been step-siblings, since they share a half-brother (ie my father).



There are no "step siblings". Generally speaking, grown children or nearly grown children of a mixed union would most likely not consider the "foreigner" to be a parent. Perhaps a mentor or friend. These children would almost certainly not consider each other to be siblings. But some might develop such attachments to each other. It's entirely possible that a couple may end up courting...

Very young children (babies and very young youths) are more likely to simply grow into sibling relationships with each other and with any new children made within the union.


If there’s no prohibition against step-siblings with no blood in common marrying each other, this isn’t incestuous so far; neither my parents nor yours married anyone within the bounds of consanguinity. (Although I would bet someone would still think this was “icky”.)



It can get "icky" if a couple of those very young children who have behaved as brother and sister their whole lives suddenly develop the warmies for each other. That kind of ickiness will probably not pass, in time, even by the parents and other siblings.

Technically, they aren't related, but in actuality, they have developed the relationship of being related. That's what counts. Even the two in question will likely experience some level of disconnect when they think about where they're heading in their new relationship.


But suppose I were to propose marriage to you.

Leaving aside the problems that elemtilas and I are both dudes, and linguistcat already has a husband, is this too consanguineous? And if so, according to whom? We’re more “distant in blood” than double-cousins or half-siblings or auncles and niblings; but “closer in blood” than ordinary first-cousins.



Daine consider siblings (horizontal relation) and the mother(s)'s bloodline(s) (vertical relation) to be too sanguineous. Being long-lived and somewhat mobile, this can cause some interesting relationships to blossom. It's possible that a young son leaves home soon after coming of age; it's possible that his parents have a child a couple centuries later; it's possible that they might meet in some distant place and experience that "chemistry of the familiar", develop a serious case of the warmies for each other, because they fit together so well and, you know, may not discover the truth until a few years later when she wants to bring the little ones to meet Mama and Dada....


An instance where consanguinity is generally thrown out is the matter of twins (or triplets (rare) or double twins (exceedingly rare)). Due to the wiring and super strong affinity twins have for one another, it's really almost impossible for keep a set of F+M twins away from each other as they mature. Brothers and sisters are close, but these are extra-close!

M+M twins (uncommon) will almost invariably marry either F+F twins or at least F+F siblings. F+F twins (quite common) will generally marry a single M or at least male siblings.




Posted June 28th by elemtilas
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@elemtilas:
Thanks for all the detail about your builtworld!

————

It can get "icky" if a couple of those very young children who have behaved as brother and sister their whole lives suddenly develop the warmies for each other. That kind of ickiness will probably not pass, in time, even by the parents and other siblings. —— Technically, they aren't related, but in actuality, they have developed the relationship of being related. That's what counts. Even the two in question will likely experience some level of disconnect when they think about where they're heading in their new relationship.


I think that’s how it works in real life amongst us humans. There used to be a kind of marriage in Taiwan, IIANM, where if the couple were betrothed while still in single-digits agewise, the young bride-to-be would be sent to live with her fiance’s family. Then when they came of age they would be married. Their families often had to post guards outside the marital chambers during the wedding night to prevent the couple escaping. And these marriages had a much higher rate of infidelity and abandonment or divorce, and much lower fertility, than marriages where the couple were kept apart until puberty or adolescence or adulthood. —— It’s being raised in the same household during childhood that makes them feel like siblings, apparently. Actual siblings who never meet until adulthood supposedly sometimes feel an irresistible attraction to each other.
I’m so glad that’s all hearsay coming from me! I wouldn’t want to know first-hand whether or not it were true.


Edited June 28th by chiarizio
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I’m so glad that’s all hearsay coming from me! I wouldn’t want to know first-hand whether or not it were true.


Perhaps, but it makes for great narrative!



Posted June 28th by elemtilas
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@linguistcat:
In the Heian period of Japan, anything except parent-child or full siblings were allowed from what I've read. Not that they were common pairings, but they were allowable.


Google gave me two relevant hits on JSTOR, but JSTOR wouldn’t let me see past the first page.

It seems half-siblings were prohibited each other.
I couldn’t find anything about double-cousins or piblings (auncles) or niblings. If they were both permitted, Heian Nihon would be a counterexample to my hypothesis.

This:
https://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/63/docs/2013_Yoshie_Paper-Translation.pdf
was the first relevant hit I could read the relevant part of.
You might like it!


Edited June 29th by chiarizio
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@linguistcat:


Google gave me two relevant hits on JSTOR, but JSTOR wouldn’t let me see past the first page.


It seems half-sibling’s were prohibited each other.


The Emperors at the time were encouraged to marry a paternal half sister, usually one who was the daughter of a Fujiwara woman. Tho, throughout history, what was considered fine for royals and nobles might be taboo for a commoner...

Thank you for the text, I haven't been able to read it yet but should this weekend.

Posted June 29th by linguistcat
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@linguistcat:
The Emperors at the time were encouraged to marry a paternal half sister, usually one who was the daughter of a Fujiwara woman. Tho, throughout history, what was considered fine for royals and nobles might be taboo for a commoner...


Yes, somebody worth writing about wasn’t allowed to marry their half-sibling; I couldn’t read the details. I assume their rank was high enough to be important, but clearly not imperial.

Weren’t the emperors’ mother’s often Fujiwara?

Among the Pharoahs of Egypt, and Alexander’s Hellenistic Successors, and especially his Ptolemaic Successors in Egypt the Ptolemaic Pharoahs, marriages between full brothers and sisters was not terribly uncommon. (And father-daughter and mother-son marriages, while pretty uncommon, were not unknown!)
That’s a good deal more problematic, as i inderstand it, than half-sibling marriage.

If the number of breeding animals in a herd is very small, half-sibling mating can be a better means of spreading desired traits, and preventing the accumulation of undesired traits, than maximal outcrossing.
But it requires conscious management of the breeding program; and requires that each breeding individual mate and have offspring with two different half-siblings, one who had the same sire but a different dam, and one who had the same dam but a different sire. (An individual’s two mates should ideally have no parents in common with each other).
Among human cultures that have allowed or encouraged half-sibling mating, that’s almost never how things went.
The same kinds of problems could equally likely arise in uncle-niece or aunt-nephew or double-cousin marriages.

In a first-cousin marriage where the couple share only two grandparents, reportedly the odds are 95% for each of their children that they won’t inherit an unhealthy double recessive.
Genetic counselors say that genetic diseases almost all fall into one of two categories.
For some of them, the odds that any later child will have the same disorder, are 25% or worse. Most couples will elect not to beget/conceive another child by conventional means, if those are the odds and they know it.
For most of the rest of the disorders, the odds that any particular later child will have the same disorder, are 4% or less. Most counseled couples will elect to have another naturally-conceived child, when informed that those are the odds.

The 5% faced by parents who are first cousins, is just over the 4% i just mentioned. Some US states allow first-cousin marriages if neither party can reproduce any more. Some US states require first cousins to receive mandatory genetic counseling before being allowed to marry.

To sum up; if a couple of first-cousins don’t come from a culture or region or state or family in which first-cousin marriage is common, then the increase of risk due to inbreeding of a genetic disorder manifesting in their offspring, is detectable but slight.
OTOH if first-cousin marriages are common for generations, the risks rise considerably.
And if they’re double-first-cousins, the risk is probably at least 6.25%, unless someone takes care to ascertain that probably neither of them carries any familial vulnerability to any such disorder. If their families have been marrying double-cousins for generations, the risks may be more; maybe even 25%.

There’s an article available online by a group of Iranian scientists about how first-cousin-marriages affect the risks of genetic diseases in Iran.

———

I still have to find anything about the Piraha.


Edited June 30th by chiarizio
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@linguistcat:
... Since [the Pirahli] lack any word for cousin, unsurprisingly there is no restriction against marrying a cousin. And “because xahaigi is ambiguous, I have seen men marry their half-sisters”, (Everett2008:87). An incest taboo among the Piraha only prohibits the marriage of full siblings or grandparent/parent and child, and according to Everett, hardly any other sexual rules exist among the Pirahli.


https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=oberlin1316100344&disposition=inline


Posted June 29th by chiarizio
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Has anyone else run across “Ask Asad” while looking up this/these topic(s)?

One young reader asked Asad what to do about the fact that he and his double-cousin cross-cousin — MBD and FZD — wanted to marry each other but their parents were opposed.
Asad’s response mentioned that in their shared culture a good 35% to 40% of marriages were to first cousins.
But it seems to have escaped Asad’s notice that this couple were double-cousins!


————

And btw it appears the Piraha are a counter-example to my hypothesis.
Even though I don’t think the Imperial half-sibling marriages make Heian Nihon a counter-example, the possibility exists that they might have allowed and practiced both avunculate marriage and double-cousin marriage among non-Imperial nobles and commoners. Until I can find out different, for all I know they may also have been a counter-example.
And there may be others.

I’ll have to modify my hypothesis to say that cultures that allow and practice more than one of these kinds of marriage are uncommon or rare.
Or modify it to say that few cultures allow and practice more than two of these kinds of marriages.

Or think harder about it and come up with a better hypothesis.


Edited June 29th by chiarizio
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@linguistcat:


Yes, somebody worth writing about wasn’t allowed to marry their half-sibling; I couldn’t read the details. I assume their rank was high enough to be important, but clearly not imperial.


Weren’t the emperors’ mother’s often Fujiwara?


Remember that a clan is much bigger than a specific family line, so an Emperor's mother could be a Fujiwara, and his half-sister/wife's mother could be a Fujiwara from a different branch of the family. Politics, family/clan lines and the like are hecking crazy in this "human" species sometimes.

Posted June 29th by linguistcat
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Has anyone else run across “Ask Asad” while looking up this/these topic(s)?



"Ask Asad" (Asad Shafi) is a columnist for the Express Tribune (apparently of Pakistan) who writes advice much like Dear Abby in the US. As with Abigail van Buren, Mr Shafi deals with a lot of relationship queries, which is why you've discovered him! He also fields questions about careers, life issues and so forth. Seems to be a pretty solid resource from what little I've read.


Nice find!

Posted June 29th by elemtilas
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