linkfest – 10/07/13

Ethics: Taboo genetics and Dangerous work – not very subtle careful or you won’t ever be able to find work in this town again “advice” from the invertebrates @nature (no offense to invertebrates elsewhere). see also: steve hsu, steve sailer, and dr. james thompson. previously: alternate nature poll.

Genomics England“This project will sequence the personal DNA code – known as a genome – of up to 100,000 patients over the next five years.”

Your Genome Is a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland“Your 25,000 genes reside in a genetic landscape littered with the rubble of ancient and ongoing battles with hordes of viruses, clone armies of genetic parasites, and zombie genes that should be dead but aren’t. Our messy genomic landscape is a dynamic, miniature ecosystem, and scientists are learning how its inhabitants play a big role in human health and disease.”

Morality and the Perspicuity of the True Believers“Consider, for example, a piece Dennis Prager just wrote for National Review Online, packaged as ‘A Response to Richard Dawkins.’ Prager cuts to the chase with the following: ‘If there is no God, the labels “good” and “evil” are merely opinions. They are substitutes for “I like it” and “I don’t like it.” They are not objective realities.’ Thank you, Mr. Prager. I couldn’t have said it better myself.” (^_^) – from helian.

Debate on Evolution of Multicellular Organisms Starts to Gain Focus“Cassandra Extavour and her colleagues, who study the origins of multicellular organisms and the evolution of cooperation, still disagree on the meaning of key concepts such as cooperation, competition and fitness.”

Let the good times roll?“The Frogs have had it rougher than the Canucks.” – from greg cochran. see also: French Canadians: The unexplained genetic diversity from peter frost.

Migration from Sweden to Poland during the Early Bronze Age“‘”Over 3800 years ago, a young male, possibly born in Skåne, made a journey of over 900 kilometers south, to Wroclaw in Poland. He died violently in Wroclaw, killed by Úněticean farmers, possibly due to romance with two local females, who were murdered together with him.”‘” @dienekes’.

Please Pass the Microbes“Once the animal had been processed more or less, I was amazed to see all three [hadza] men take a handful of the partially digested plant material from the recently removed stomach to scrub off the copious amounts of blood that now covered there hands and foreman’s. This was followed by a final ‘cleaning’ with dry grass for good measure. While I was fascinated by the microbe-laden stomach contents being used as hand scrubber – presumably transferring an extraordinary diversity of microbes from the Impala gut to the hands of the Hadza – I was not prepared for what they did next….” – you’ve GOT to read this! (^_^) – h/t john durant!

First physical evidence of why you’re an owl or a lark“They found a reduction in the integrity of night owls’ white matter – brain tissue largely comprised of fatty insulating material that speeds up the transmission of nerve signals – in areas associated with depression. ‘We think this could be caused by the fact that late chronotypes suffer from this permanent jet lag,’ says Rosenberg, although she cautions that further studies are needed to confirm cause and effect.”

Human brain boiled in its skull lasted 4000 years“Seyitömer Höyük – the Bronze Age settlement in western Turkey where this brain was found – is not in the mountains. So how did brain tissue survive in four skeletons dug up there between 2006 and 2011?”

Alien DNA could be ‘recreated’ on earth“Humans will be able to recreate alien life forms and ‘print out’ organisms using the biological equivalent of a 3D printer in the future, a DNA pioneer has predicted.” – craig venter.

Loci number and group difference“This paper shows that the debate about ‘variation within races is bigger than variation between races’ depends largely on the number of loci being analysed, and the assumptions being made about the significance of the revealed differences.” – from dr. james thompson.

Social Constructs are Social Constructs – heh. (^_^) – @handle’s haus. h/t konkvistador!

Human Hair Confirmed in Prehistoric Hyena Feces“The fossilized dung, part of a ‘hyena latrine,’ will be described in the upcoming October issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science…. Our ancestors there lived around a literally wild bunch about 257,000 years ago.” – #PaleoDiet! (O_O)

The earliest art predated humans – h/t psychtweet!

Why Clans Persist (h/t hbd bibliography!) and What Overcame the Clan in England? (h/t t.greer!) – on mark weiner‘s The Rule of the Clan and bennett and lotusAmerica 3.0.

Mapping the Road to American Disunion and A Second Great Depression? – from jayman.

Testosterone Promotes Reciprocity in the Absence of Competition – in women. h/t charles!

The Fat-Fueled Brain: Unnatural or Advantageous? – ketogenic diet @scientific american. h/t neuroskeptic! and speaking of diet: How one in ten could be wheat intolerant – but not even know. If you’re feeling bloated or are always tired, you might be a victim of this hidden epidemic.

Oxytocin Makes Other Faces Look More Pleasant – @futurepundit.

Mothers of Autistic Children: Lower Plasma Levels of Oxytocin and Arg-Vasopressin and a Higher Level of Testosterone [pdf] – h/t simon baron cohen!

Large study concludes LSD and other psychedelics reduce risk of mental health problems – peyote, ftw! (stay away from that krokodil sh*t, tho. (O_O) )

Academic fraud in China is getting out of hand“In a few short years, China has metamorphosed from a middling contributor to scientific knowledge into one of the most prolific research entities on the planet. But the country’s meteoric ascent to scientific prominence – widely attributed to a flawed incentive system – has given unintentional rise to a lucrative industry of academic fakery.” – see also: Looks good on paper @the economist.

Poll Shows Major Shift in Identity of U.S. Jews“The first major survey of American Jews in more than 10 years finds a significant rise in those who are not religious, marry outside the faith and are not raising their children Jewish — resulting in rapid assimilation that is sweeping through every branch of Judaism except the Orthodox.”

Electric Shock Therapy May Cut Crime By Stimulating Brain Region For Social Norm Compliance“An original way to reduce crimes rates could lie in regulating neural activity in a person’s front of the brain — right lateral prefrontal cortex. Scientists from the University of Zurich have found a brain mechanism responsible for social norm compliance is separate from the processes that represents a person’s knowledge and beliefs about societal norms. The neurons in this specific brain region may be controlled by electric shock therapy which could potentially stop criminals from breaking the law….” – see also: Brain Stimulation Can Control Compliance with Social Norms“Human beings are utterly dependent on a complex social structure for their survival. Since all behavior is controlled by the brain, human beings may have evolved specialized neural circuits that are responsible for compliance with society’s rules.” h/t михаи́л анисимов!

News Flash: Science proves important people pay less attention to unimportant people – from steve sailer.

Ah, There’s Nothing Like New Baby Smell – meh.

8,000 Year Old Evidence of Human Activity Found in Alps

20 Roman-era skulls uncovered beneath a London railway station may have belonged to decapitated 1st century rebels – some of boudicca’s crew?

Melting Snow Reveals Ancient Bow and Arrows in Norway“A melting patch of ancient snow in the mountains of Norway has revealed a bow and arrows likely used by hunters to kill reindeer as long ago as 5,400 years.”

bonus: Female Fruit Flies Like One Mate, or His Brother

bonus bonus: Cockroaches have neighborhoods, too

bonus bonus bonus: Pakistan quake highlights Balochistan ethnic fractures“Villagers in Teertaj turned away soldiers when they arrived after the quake with tents and food supplies.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Are Greek Neo-Nazi Mercenaires Fighting For Assad In Syria? – terrific. =/ – h/t ed west!

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Roma gypsy gang sold their women for stealing skills and children were used like conscripts in a criminal army, French court told at start trial

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: where are my dragons?!

(note: comments do not require an email. my dragon?! (^_^))


father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage and honor killings

i took this table from the recent pew survey of muslims

honor killings permissible - pew 2013

…and made a couple of maps (adapted from this map).

the first one is a map of the differences between what percentage of muslims in each country responded that honor killing is never justifiable when a man commits an offense versus a woman committing an offense. a plus number (+) means more enthusiasm for honor killing women — a negative (-), men. here it is (click on image for LARGER view):

map of expansion of caliphate - pew honor killings diffs

what i think we can see is that, the closer you get to the arab expansion epicenter (the arab peninsula), the greater the enthusiasm for honor killing women. so in jordan it’s +47, lebanon and egypt +10, iraq +11. but when you get out to the edges of the caliphate, the differences are not so great, or they are in fact reversed: morocco -1, turkey and afghanistan and tajikistan 0. even pakistan is only +3. when you get way out to uzbekistan and kyrgyzstan, then the numbers are reversed: -14 and -3.

(it should be noted that for some reason the question was worded differently in uzbekistan, afghanistan, and iraq. everyone else was asked specifically about premarital sex/adultery and family honor, while the uzbekis, afghanis, and iraqis were only asked about family honor. see questions 53 and 54 here [pdf].)

i think that perhaps this is a reflection of what korotayev noticed, i.e. that father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage is found in those places of the world that were a part of the eighth century muslim caliphate, because those populations wanted to emulate the arabs, and the arabs practiced fbd marriage. the reason that the populations on the edges of the caliphate are less enthusiastic about honor killing women is that they were arabized less and/or later than (dare i say it) the “core arabs” and so probably have been practicing fbd marriage for a shorter amount of time. (in fact, korotayev and other russian anthropologists suggest that fbd marriage started in the levant and moved southwards into the arab peninsula, so some of the jordanians and lebanese may have started practicing fbd marriage before the arabs down in the peninsula.)

i think, too, that there is a connection between fbd marriage and honor killings, because fbd marriage leads to greater inbreeding, and greater amounts of inbreeding may very probably lead to greater frequencies of “genes for altruism” — and honor killings can be viewed as a sort-of upside-down-and-backwards form of altruism (at least they seem that way to us).

and/or the arabs simply introduced some crazy “genes for upside-down-and-backwards altruism” to these various populations, and less so on the fringes presumably because not so many arabs actually made it that far. edit: also interesting to note is that in fbd societies, all of the men in extended families/clans share the same y-chromosome. if there is a connection between violence and some gene(s) on the y-chromosome (i thought greg cochran said something about this, but i can’t find it now), maybe this is exacerbated by fbd marriage.

here is the other map — the percentage of muslims in each country responding that it is rarely, sometimes, or often justified to honor kill women:

map of expansion of caliphate - pew honor killings women

again, the numbers taper off on the edges of the extent of the caliphate.

previously: father’s brother’s daughter’s marriage and inclusive inclusive fitness and who wants sharia?

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who wants sharia?

pew has just released the results of their latest survey of muslims around the world (in 39 different countries).

here’s a map showing the percentage of muslims in each country that would like sharia to be the law of their land (click on map for LARGER image – should take you to the pew site):

who wants sharia - pew 2013

the iraqs, afghanis, and pakistanis all seem pretty eager for sharia — they’re all in the 75-100% range. the moroccans, too. and the palestinian territories.

this is a large report from pew, so have a look at the whole thing yourself.

here’s something else that i found particularly interesting:

honor killings permissible - pew 2013

of the countries that think that honor killing is more justified when women commit an offense than when men do — russia, albania, azerbaijan, bangladesh, pakistan, jordan, iraq, egypt, lebanon, tunisia, and the palestinian territories — a majority of them (7 out of 11) have a preference for father’s brother’s daughter’s (fbd) marriage — pakistan, jordan, iraq, egypt, lebanon, tunisia, and the palestinian territories.

i don’t know what, if any, form of cousin marriage is preferred in azerbaijan or bangladesh. paternal cousin marriage, which would include fbd marriage, is avoided in places like chechnya and (at least among some peoples in) dagestan (russia in this survey?) and albania. the difference in the responses in albania was not very great (+1 point), but the difference in russia(?) was statistically significant at +7 points. it’s difficult to know who these “russian” muslims are (maybe the info is in an appendix somewhere — i’ll have to look), so i don’t know if they’re the chechens and/or some dagestanis and/or some other group(s) — and, so, i don’t know what their mating patterns are.

i’m surprised that afghanistan breaks even. i would’ve predicted that they would be like the other fbd marriage groups.

it’s interesting that some of the central asian “stans” — kyrgyzstan and uzbekistan — swing in the opposite direction. a greater number of people feel that honor killings are more justified against men who break the rules than women. i don’t know much of anything about these populations, but i did read a bit just the other day, and it seems that they have a preference for maternal cousin marriage. (note that i don’t have a good idea what the rates might be.)

previously: inclusive inclusive fitness

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consanguinity and islam and democracy

i said last week that the week would be devoted to the woodley & bell consanguinity and democracy paper … and then i got distracted. typical. so, now, back on track…

aside from looking for any straight up connection/s between consanguinity and democracy (see previous post), woodley & bell also looked at consanguinity and democracy and several other possible factors that might affect the success of democracy in the nations included in the study: economic freedom, inequality, exports of fossil fuels (the “resource curse”), pathogen load (i’ll come back to that one!), and islam.

using path analysis, they found that islam seems to have a direct impact on democracy in muslim nations and ALSO that islam has an indirect impact on democracy via consanguinity.

recall that woodley & bell used two different indices of democracy: data from the polity iv project and the eiu democracy index. so they worked up two path analyses (click on charts for LARGER view). percent muslim for each country came from pew:

both analyses indicate: “that Islam has both direct effects on democracy and effects that are mediated by consanguinity, although the direct path from percentage Muslim to democracy [in the first model] only approached the conventional cutoff for significance (p = .096).”

from the paper (pg. 12):

“The largest impacts on consanguinity in the path models were produced by pathogen load and the effect of the percentage of Muslims within a nation. In the first path model the latter variable did not have a significant direct path to democracy, which suggests that its effects on democracy are largely mediated by consanguinity. Both pathogen prevalence and the influence of Islam have been described in the literature as having an inhibitory effect on democracy (e.g., Fincher et al., 2008; Fish, 2002; Fukuyama, 2001; Huntington, 1984; Thornhill et al., 2009). Here we indicate that these variables, which had previously been posited to have independent effects on democracy, are actually mediated by consanguinity.”

so, if a nation is islamic, that will affect how democratic it is (or not!), but what seems to be more important is if the population practices cousin marriage. it’s islam+consanguinity that is the key here, not just islam.

i think it makes sense that the effects islam has on democracy are “mediated” by how much cousin marriage there is in a society. cousin marriage directly affects the genetic relatedness between the individual members of a population, making individuals more related to their family members than would happen in an outbred society, while making those same individuals less related to non-family members, again unlike in an outbred society. i think this pretty clearly leads to clannish or tribal behavioral patterns which, as woodley and bell point out, are not conducive to liberal democracy at all.

islam doesn’t demand cousin marriage, but it doesn’t prohibit it either. since muslims are supposed to emulate mohammed (who married a cousin – see below), it probably rather encourages it. and anyway — which came first, cousin marriage or islam? yup. cousin marriage. one of mohammed’s wives was a cousin of his (his fzd) — and ali (yes that ali), who was mohammed’s cousin, married mohammed’s daughter, ali’s first cousin once removed. cousin marriage was very much the norm amongst the arabs in mohammed’s day. and, unlike roman catholic church policy makers, neither mohammed nor any imam since him (at least none that count) seem to have come down against cousin marriage afaik.

furthermore, good ol’ father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage, the form of cousin marriage that leads to the most inbreeding, and that is still the preferred form amongst many muslims, was probably already well established amongst the arabs in mohammed’s day. fbd marriage was probably introduced to the arabs by jewish tribes from the levant who migrated into the arab peninsula starting in the second century b.c. so not only is cousin marriage amongst the arabs old, it’s really old — and it’s fbd marriage to boot. the arabs went on to introduce fbd marriage to the peoples of north africa, the mashriq and south asia (like the pakistanis and the afghanis).

my guess is that it’s not just the amount of consanguinity in a nation that negatively affects the success of democracy in that country, but the length of time the people have been practicing cousin marriage AND how close that cousin marriage is. like i said in the previous post, i think the evolution of “genes for altruism” comes into play here, not just the immediate genetic relatedness between the individuals in these societies, although it’s important, too.

so, i would bet that democracy would fare the worst in the levant, where fbd marriage originated, and the arab peninsula, where fbd marriage has been present for so very long, and that distance from that core region would predict better odds of democracy working at all.

kinda looks that way, don’t it? (eui democracy index 2011 – click on map for LARGER view):

syria, saudi arabia, yeman and oman have the worst scores for democracy in the muslim world (in the world!). iran, turkemenistan and uzbekistan have similar scores and all three of those countries were “arabized” in the early- to mid- seventh century a.d. pakistan was not brought under the arab sphere of influence until later (the early eighth century) and conversion to islam and arabization (and, presumably, the adoption of fbd marriage) took some time. this, i think, might partially explain why, even though pakistan today has similar consanguinity rates to saudi arabia, it does better as far as having a democratic state goes — the pakistani populations haven’t been marrying their fbd for as long as arabs.

similarly, at the other end of the “arab” world, north africans are relatively better at democracy than the saudis since they, too, were arabized — and adopted fbd marriage — comparatively late. the far flung islamic nation, indonesia, manages democracy fairly ok since they’ve hardly adopted fbd marriage at all, although they’ve probably been marrying their mother’s brother’s daughters for a while like other east asian populations.

previously: consanguinity and democracy

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but what about the congenital disorders?

in response to the post on inbreeding in pakistan, j asked: “Many peoples discovered that inbreeding causes birth defects and they imposed social rules to avoid it. How is that these Pakistanis are not aware of the danger and on the contrary, they enforce it?”

well, really, endogamy of some sort seems to be the default setting for non-hunter-gatherer groups of humans, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when we come across a group that is rather fond of inbreeding. the rates of consanguineous marriages for pakistan (and places like saudi arabia, et. al.) are really extraordinary, tho; and in some areas of pakistan endogamous marriages (cousin marriage + marriage within the patrilineage) can reach levels like 90% of all marriages.

but why aren’t pakistanis (and other groups) put off all these close marriages by the negative side-effects like congenital disorders? some of it seems to be that they’re just not informed enough on the matter (so i suppose that they never figured out the connection on their own either?) — and some of it seems to be that they’re just resigned to their fate. pakistanis have decided that the benefits (e.g. keeping the property in the family) outweighs the drawbacks, i guess.

here from a paper entitled “Cosmopolitan Knowledge and Indigenous Perceptions of Congenital Diseases Among the Cousin Marriage Practitioners in Kabirwala Community – Pakistan” (which was read at quad-e-azam university, islamabad, but i’ll be d*mned if i can find where i got this paper from! – this is the author though):

“For the Pakistani communities, it is rather a matter of destiny and luck than a medical concern.”


“Mehboob [the names have been changed to protect the innocent], a 57-year-old male lawyer is married to his cousin Rubia, 42 years old. Rubia has 5 years schooling. The couple has 9 children (2 sons and 7 daughters), one of which died within his first month. Among the 9 children, two are blind and one has hearing problems…. However, the couple call it taqdeer (destiny) and argue that two children are blind due to their own sins and that one has died because ‘us kay din poray ho gaye that’ (He has completed his life period). It is believed that God has given a specific life to every person at the birth of a child. According to local belief, the child has to spend only the prescribed life which God has given. When I mentioned a genetic problem as a possible interpretation during the interview, the parents said that it was ‘God’s will’, that this was the reason for their son’s death. According to the couple, Islam does not forbid cousin marriage. Therefore, there is no need to argue the issue on the basis of genetics. It is a matter of luck and destiny. Genetics have a minor role to play.”

c’est la vie, eh?

previously: anarchy in the u.k. and inbreeding in pakistan

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inbreeding in pakistan

you could write a book about it! you really could.

first of all, there are endogamous mating practices in all directions in pakistan: people marrying within their ethnic group (sindhi, balochi, punjabi); people marrying within their religion (muslim, sikh, christian); people marrying within their religious sect (sunni, shia); people marrying within their clan/tribe and/or caste (biradaris or zats or quoms) — like i could keep track of this all. *facepalm*

and then, of course, pakistanis are also endogamous within their extended families (or clans) and regularly marry cousins, fbd marriage being the preferred form (you’re not surprised, are you?).

i posted yesterday that one researcher found that pakistanis in britain had an endogamous marriages rate (that included marriages ranging from first-cousins to simply within the same biradari or patrilineage) of 87%. the numbers are not all that different for pakistanis back in pakistan: one researcher (see below) found in 2004-05 that 90% of marriages in punjab and sindh were between blood relatives or members of the same biradari. that’s a LOT of endogamy.

there’s a lot of data out there on consanguineous marriages in pakistan. below are some snippets from just five different articles, including one on sikhs who appear to have a much lower cousin-marriage rate than pakistani muslims (we’ve seen this before). and, interestingly, the sikhs in the particular study cited below did not have any fbd marriage.

christians also have lower cousin-marriages rates than muslims; and hindus have very low rates as well. also, it appears that the number of consanguineous marriages has increased over the past generation or two. (same pattern for pakistanis in the u.k.) seems things are going from bad to worse.

this is really just the tip of the ice-berg, but here we go:

“Bleeding disorders in the tribe: result of consanguineous in breeding”

– study of one extended family, up to seven generations, in badin district, sindh, pub. 2010:

The recent ‘Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) has shown that two-thirds of marriages in Pakistan are consanguineous…. The studies by Hussain R et al on consanguineous marriages in Pakistan have show frequency of 58.7% in the Karachi survey and 62.7% in the DHS. 83.6% of consanguineous marriages in the Karachi survey and 80.4% in the DHS were between first cousins.”

“Watta Satta: Exchange Marriage and Women’s Welfare in Rural Pakistan”

– 3,100 married women age 15-40 in households randomly sampled from 171 villages in punjab and sindh, 2004-05 (watta-satta is when two families exchange brides):

married same/neighboring village = 62%
married outside the tehsil (sub-district) = 20%

married blood relative = 77% (mostly paternal first-cousins)
married unrelated but within the same caste/patrilineage (zaat/biradari) = 13%

exogamous marriages = 10%

watta satta marriages = 43% [no wonder there are so many double-first-cousin marriages in pakistan.]

“How frequent are consanguineous marriages?”

– interviews of families of all patients admitted to a pediatric department in a hospital in karachi, jan-dec 2001:

1C & 2C marriages = 72.7%
87% of the cousin marriages were between 1C.
85.7% had double consanguinity

consanguinity amongst maternal grandparents = 64.15%
1C = 77%; 2C = 22%

consanguinity amongst paternal grandparents = 60.3%
1C = 83%; 2C = 16.8%

sindhi = 42%
balochi = 33%

“Community perceptions of reasons for preference for consanguineous marriages in Pakistan (1999)”

– four squatter settlements in karachi, 1995:

non-consanguineous = 43.2% – 47.4%
– muslims = 25.9% – 57.5%
– christians = 34.6% – 59.3%
– hindus = 7.9% – 14.8%

1C = 51.4% – 52.6%
– muslims = 63.4% – 81.4%
– christians = 16.8% – 28.3%
– hindus = 1.8% – 8.3%

“Consanguineous Marriages in the Sikh Community of Swat, NWFP, Pakistan”

– sikhs in the northwest frontier province (nwfp), 1996:

consanguineous marriages (2C or closer) = 21%
marriages with more distant relatives = 29.4%

mzd, mbd and fzd marriages. no fbd marriage.

mzd = 7.7%
fzd = 6.3%
mbd = 6.3%
2C = 0.7%

“[H]usbands with higher education contract marriages with cousins more frequently than those males with lower education…. Cousin marriages have shown an increasing trend over the years.”

pukhtun (pashtun) vs. sikh marriages from swat:

1C = 25% vs. 20%
non-consanguineous = 75% vs. 80%

see also: genealogical terminology

previously: anarchy in the u.k.

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anarchy in the u.k.

so, i suggested that, aside from whatever it is that makes mexicans mexicans, the history of endogamous mating south of the border would make it difficult for mexicans to assimilate to american society (or what’s left of it) — at least overnight — or even after four generations.

this evening i thought that, since i have so many readers from the u.k. (brilliant!), i’d take a look at the mating patterns of one of the major immigrant groups to britain: pakistanis. how do they compare to mexicans who, really, might not be more inbred than the greeks, a group that also has (had? — at least up until recently) pretty endogamous mating practices.

if you follow the news from the u.k. at all, you know that inbreeding amongst pakistanis has become a matter of public discussion because of the rising healthcare costs (to the national health care system there) due to all the children with various debilitating genetic conditions being born to pakistani couples. the rate of consanguineous marriages in pakistan is reckoned @ 50%+. the figure for first-cousin marriages amongst pakistanis in the u.k. is typically quoted as being 55%.

but, never mind the b*ll*cks first-cousin marriage rates. what about all the rest of it? from “Kinship and Continuity: Pakistani Families in Britain” [pg. 138]:

“This stated preference [for marrying within the family] presumably has some bearing on actual marriage choices, because most marriages do indeed take place with relatives, particularly with first cousins and other close kin. My analysis of the marriages which have taken place so far (mostly during the past 15 years [the book was originally published in 1988]) among the sons and daughters of 24 first-generation couples (see table 5.1) shows 76% of these marriages to be with kin: 59% with cousins, 17% with other kin. Yet marriages also take place with more distant relatives from the same biradari and, in certain circumstances, with unrelated people including people of other castes….”

76% of pakistani marriages in oxford in the 1980s were to first- through-third cousins (a couple of those first-cousins were double-first-cousins, so the genetic relatedness is even closer) — and another 11% were to someone in the same biradari (i.e. patrilineage). that’s a whopping 87% endogamous marriage rate!


here is table 5.1:

no doubt, however, the cousin-marriage rates amongst pakistanis in the u.k. are probably decreasing as these immigrants inevitably assimilate to british customs and society … right? [pg. 148]:

“[W]e might reasonably expect, with time, a decline in the proportion of marriages to close kin and an increase in the proportion of marriage with non-kin. This expectation would be in keeping with global trends, because the frequency of close kin marriage is apparently declining in most populations that practice it, as a result of social change and migration. My own observations, however, suggest that there has been no significant increase in the number of marriages with non-kin, nor any necessary decline in the frequency of close-kin marriage. My analysis of the types of marriage made by 70 young Oxford Pakistanis from 24 households over the last 15 years (table 5.1) show 59% of marriages to be with first cousins (and 17% with other kin, and 11% with non-kin of the same biradari)…. Evidence from West Yorkshire … suggests that the rate of first cousin marriage among British Pakistanis has in fact increased…. In their survey of 100 mostly young Pakistani mothers in the postnatal wards of two West Yorkshire hospitals, Darr and Modell asked the young women they interviewed about their mothers’ marriage. They found that among the young mothers, 55% of marriages were with first cousins, 28% to other close and more distant kin and 15% to non-kin. By contrast, of women in the grand-mother generation, 33% were married to first cousins, 24% with the biradari and 30% to non-kin.


and, so, how well is pakistani integration in the u.k. going with all this inbreeding? well, “Second generation immigrants in Europe are de-assimilating” and “Young, British Muslims ‘getting more radical.’”


edit: i forgot to mention that the pakistanis have been practicing cousin-marriage — specifically father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) cousin-marriage — since at least the 700s when the arabs introduced fbd marriage there, so that’s at least a good 1300 years of inbreeding right there. they probably have been marrying cousins in some way or another for even longer.

previously: assimilation interrupted

update 09/29: see also inbreeding in pakistan

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poor people don’t like terrorists

at least not in pakistan (at least not the ones in this survey). it’s the middle class you gotta watch out for (edit: like the ones in abbottabad maybe?):

“Pakistan’s Middle Class Extremists”

“The data revealed four findings that undermine common wisdom about support for militancy in Pakistan. First, survey participants were generally negatively inclined toward all four militant organizations….

“Second, Pakistanis living in violent parts of the country, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in particular, strongly disliked these groups….

“Third, poor Pakistanis nationwide disliked the militant groups about two times more than middle class Pakistanis, who were mildly positive toward the groups….

“Finally, this dislike is strongest among poor urban residents….”

so, if you’re stuck living (or dying) with extremists and terrorists in your neighborhood, you’re prolly reeeally not gonna like them. makes sense.

previously: ass-burgery terrorists?

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