What Are The States Where You Can Marry Your Cousin?

What Are The States Where You Can Marry Your Cousin? (A Complete Guide)

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This article will take a look at what Are the states where you can marry your cousin? t& also talk about the taboo topic of incestual marriages and why they are looked down upon. Furthermore, the article will also talk about cousin marriages and what other relations are considered taboo. 

What Are The States Where You Can Marry Your Cousin?

There are no states in the United States of America where you can legally marry your own sibling despite the popular misconception of everything being legal in the state of Alabama. Even in Alabama you cannot marry your half or full sibling because they have laws that protect and promote safe and healthy families which protect the life and wellbeing of individuals.

The reason why sibling marriages are banned is because they come under incestual marriages or relations that are known to be harmful; such marriages can result in children that are genetically at fault – they may have a disorder or deformity that arose primarily because of the fact that their parents are closely related and their ‘bad’ genes came together.

Genes play a big role in the disorders we develop even before we are born – that is it becomes impossible to avoid such diseases or disorders because of the way the genes operate. When a child is being conceived, genes from both parents come together to form the genetic material or DNA of the child. 

There are two types of genes; dominant and recessive genes. In the cases where a dominant and recessive gene come together, the dominant one will take over and manifest – it is necessary to state the deformities are contained in the recessive gene and they are pushed aside because of the influence of the dominant gene.

However, if two close family members conceive a child together then there is a high chance that their recessive genes – both which contain the same family disorder – come together and hence lead to a disorder or deformity in the child. This is why cousin marriages are banned in the states regardless of whether the love factor is there or not.

Does Alabama Allow Cousin Marriages?

With cousin marriages, the possibility of a deformed gene being passed is less but still there. There are some states in the United States where cousin marriages are allowed such as Alabama however they also have many other restrictions to protect the life of individuals and ensure their wellbeing.

These restrictions have been provided below:

  • Minors under 16 years of age cannot marry, but minors between ages 16 and 18 may with the consent of their parents or guardians.
  • You cannot marry children, siblings, parents, uncles, aunts, grandchildren, grandparents or great grandparents of any relation. You can marry first cousins without restriction, however.
  • If you were previously married and divorced, you must wait 60 days after the divorce is finalized before remarrying.
  • No state residency requirement, though some counties may enforce a local residency requirement.
  • Proxy marriages (i.e. when a third party performs the ceremony in place of the bride or groom) are prohibited.
  • Same-sex marriage is legal in Alabama, but some counties may refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex partners.

In other states, there are other laws that require a certain age to be obtained before you can actually marry your cousin or only allow sexual relations and not marriage. Some of these states include Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas.

Why Do Eastern Countries Allow Cousin Marriage?

The eastern countries that include India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and so many others allow cousin marriage. In fact, cousin marriages are very popular here because of the ease of finding a proposal and also being able to retain control over the family and property. In some backward villages of Pakistan women are often married off to the Holy Book to ensure property and land stays within the family; such people are legally liable to court action because of their oppressive actions towards women.

Nonetheless, cousin marriages are popular here because of economic, social and cultural reasons. However, the religion which is followed here in most countries, namely Islam, discourages cousin marriages because it commands people to marry out of tribes and form new relations – it is possible that the wisdom behind such a commandment is truly because of the biological factor we discussed above.

 Taboo Relationships – What Are They?

Taboo relationships are relationships that are considered inappropriate by society. This means that such relationships go against the norms and values of the society a person lives in whether or not there is a good enough reason to support such a thing.

Taboo relationships may involve any type of relationship where someone may be having an affair with a divorced person or simply dating their own teacher from high school. The relationship is taboo based on which society it comes from. Thus, a relationship may be considered taboo in one society but not taboo in another. 

A good example would be that of cousin marriages. In western countries such as the UK and the United States, cousin marriages are considered taboo to the extent that most people are disgusted by the mention of it! However, in eastern countries this is a common practice where cousins often get married to each other.

A taboo connection might range from incest to a single person having an affair with a divorced person; as long as it is not permitted in that culture, it is termed a taboo relationship.

Historically, taboo relationships have been defined as a love that defies culturally imposed behavioral norms by transforming into a “hidden love” that the rest of the world should be unaware of.

However, many of the taboo relationships of the past are no longer taboo now.

In contrast, others, such as interracial dating in America, are not formally outlawed but can be tacitly repressed further as Western society progresses along a socially libertine path.

Why Do People Engage In Incestual Relationships?

Here are some reasons why someone would commit incest:

  • For pleasure purposes
  • Out of curiosity
  • To experience sex
  • Out of boredom
  • To raise self esteem – getting laid helps!
  • Grandma abuse
  • Being in love with her
  • Sexual frustration – Nowhere to go!
  • To control

Types of Taboo Relationships – 9 Examples

Here are the relationships that are considered taboo:

  • Your Grandmother
  • The Neighbor Next Door
  • A Work Colleague
  • Someone From Another Religion
  • Your Ex’s Sibling
  • Your Friend’s Sibling
  • Doctor Patient Relationship
  • Teacher Student Relationship
  • A Married Person

Taboo Relationships – 3 Stories

Here are 3 stories of taboo relationships!

Father And Daughter

Jennifer Anne Deaves is John Earnest Deaves’s daughter from his first marriage. The father-daughter duo reunited 30 years later he divorced Jennifer’s mother. In 2000, Jennifer decided to move into her dad’s home amidst her personal and financial problems. She was 31 years old at that time, and her father was 53. The two of them then engaged in consensual incestuous sex, which resulted in the birth of a child. John and Jennifer confessed their inappropriate relationship on national TV, and the revelation led to a massive public outcry. Since incest is illegal in Australia, the court charged the couple with two counts of incest, and asked them to part ways immediately. 

Mother And Son

Kim West, 52, is an English woman, and she was in the news last year because of her incestuous relationship with her 33-year-old son, Ben Ford. She gave Ben up for adoption when he was a baby. Nearly 30 years later, Ben Ford contacted his biological mother, Kim, and asked her to come to the US to meet him. She obliged his request, and flew to the United States to meet Ben. The mother and the son then began engaging in consensual sex, and their relationship progressed to the extent that Ben Ford had divorced his wife, Victoria, so he could live with his mom

Granny And Grandson

In 2010, a 72-year-old Indiana woman named Pearl Carter met her grandson, Phil Bailey, who tracked her down, after his mother died. Pearl Carter gave birth to Bailey’s mother, Lynette, out of wedlock when she was 18. Her Catholic parents forced her to give the baby girl up for adoption, and she never got the chance to reunite with her daughter again. Carter married another man, but she remained childless for the rest of her life. The grandma said she fell in love with his grandson the moment she saw his photo in an email. She even admitted to making the first move in bed! The couple paid approximately $25,000 to a surrogate mother to have a baby together. Unsurprisingly, the couple were arrested and sent to prison. 


This article talked about which states allow sibling marriages. The article also looked at reasons why people would engage in such relations and why such relations are banned in most places. The article also commented on cousin marriages and why people engage in them. Lastly, the article talked about other taboo relations that are present in the world.



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