Your cousin?!?!?! (in Off-topic)

TheHatchetman February 28 2008 1:43 PM EST

Spawned by an idea in chat. If your cousin was Jessica Alba, or (for the chicks) Orlando Bloom (or whoever chicks find "dreamy" nowadays).

Would you kiss your cousin in more than a family appropriate way?

Talion February 28 2008 1:43 PM EST

Heck yeah!

QBOddBird February 28 2008 1:43 PM EST

not 1st cousin, no. 4th cousin? Sure.

Xenko February 28 2008 1:44 PM EST

Yes.... to both?

IndependenZ February 28 2008 1:45 PM EST

I'd be really proud of her. :D

N0seBLeeD February 28 2008 1:46 PM EST

No, because that's gross. But why don't you all have some fun with your cousins. Just don't come crying to me when your babies have defects. :)

If you would kiss your cousin in a more then family appropriate way, you're gross.

Xenko February 28 2008 1:47 PM EST

Babies come from kissing?

N0seBLeeD February 28 2008 1:48 PM EST

I don't see what the difference in kissing your cousin, or doing something else is. They're both inappropriate.

TheHatchetman February 28 2008 1:48 PM EST

"If you would kiss your cousin in a more then family appropriate way, you're gross."


Xenko February 28 2008 1:49 PM EST

The difference is in the PG rating.

QBOddBird February 28 2008 1:49 PM EST

If you can't see the difference between kissing and having children, I pity your future wife. Especially when upon the announcement, "You may kiss the bride."

N0seBLeeD February 28 2008 1:49 PM EST

It doesn't change the fact that they're your cousin.

Atomicboy [The Knighthood] February 28 2008 1:50 PM EST

are you guys talking about Dixie Cousins?

N0seBLeeD February 28 2008 1:51 PM EST

Stop twisting my words. You know what I meant, and if you are to unintelligent to know, I'll spell it out for you.

Both are inappropriate.

Xenko February 28 2008 1:51 PM EST

The important term here is your HOT cousin. As in:
OMG it burns! She's so HOT!

chuck1234 February 28 2008 1:51 PM EST

remember watching on DVD some old Friends episode on this one [non-kissing cousins], Denise Richards played the cousin....

QBOddBird February 28 2008 1:56 PM EST

N0seBleed = what if she's your 4th cousin down the line?

We're all related if you go back far enough, the question is simply at what point are you too closely related for a relationship?

And philosophically, does appearance play a role in where you draw that line?

Xenko February 28 2008 1:57 PM EST

"And philosophically, does appearance play a role in where you draw that line?"
Example: Rosie O'Donnell

chuck1234 February 28 2008 2:05 PM EST

OB, i read in the news recently, based upon research in Iceland [the premier incestuous nation in the whole wide world], that while in-breeding [uggh] between first and second cousins is bad in the genetic sense; paradoxically, fourth cousin and such-like distant linkages are actually the best of both worlds; maintaining sturdy genes while preserving family genes. So, if you have a fourth cousin in mind, on the strength of the latest medical data, go for it ;)

PotatoHead February 28 2008 2:22 PM EST

Being your cousin doesn't necessarily mean the person in question is of blood relation, either way if Jessica Alba was my cousin we'd move to the backwoods of Mississippi and live happily ever after.

-- The TaTeR

N0seBLeeD February 28 2008 2:22 PM EST

Not to me Ob. A cousin is a cousin.

Wizard'sFirstRule February 28 2008 2:35 PM EST

that 1st cousin/4th cousin idea reminds me of a Dr Phil show (not that I watch much of it - it just happens to be on)
"the chance of 2nd cousins having retarded children is almost the same as strangers having children" (Dr Phil, date unknown)
so as long as not first cousin, hell ya.

Wizard'sFirstRule February 28 2008 2:36 PM EST

I just clicked submit and confirm and realize the non-PG ness, so I beg the admin to not fine me and just edit it.

Don't Panic February 28 2008 2:39 PM EST

It worked out okay for the British Royal Family.... On second thought, other than the last two, most of them look like fish...

Talion February 28 2008 2:44 PM EST

Actually, since we are only talking about a kiss here, no mater how passionate it can be, I don't think it should mater how removed the cousin is.

It's a kiss people.

I imagine that if I had a sister, it would feel weird. But a hot cousin... come on! Pucker up those lips!

Lord Bob February 28 2008 2:52 PM EST

"If your cousin was Jessica Alba, ..."

Still no. I'm with NoseBleed here.

Adminedyit [Superheros] February 28 2008 2:54 PM EST

"not 1st cousin, no. 4th cousin? Sure."

omj OB that proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that we need to get you out of the south and in a hurry!!

QBJohnnywas February 28 2008 2:56 PM EST

I have a very very hot cousin. I admit inappropriate thoughts.

But as most of the perception about cousins is to do with the offspring of such a union: there's always contraception.....;)

Phrede February 28 2008 2:57 PM EST

I do both of 'em :) I am an equal opportunities kisser.

Adminedyit [Superheros] February 28 2008 2:57 PM EST

the end is nigh!!!

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] February 28 2008 3:08 PM EST

I heard 3rd or 4th cousins have the best relationships in the long run. (meaning they stay together, in this generation of divorce). Don't remember if it was so close as to be 3rd cousins or if it was just 4th and above.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] February 28 2008 3:14 PM EST

Notice how much more comfortable with it the English contingent are.

Colonel Custard February 28 2008 3:14 PM EST

As a general rule, no.

But there is this one girl that I don't think I would change my mind about, regardless, if that turned out to be the case.

QBJohnnywas February 28 2008 3:23 PM EST

QBBast, 3:14 PM EST [collapse]

Notice how much more comfortable with it the English contingent are.

We're on an island, less people, less choice. More desperation.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] February 28 2008 3:28 PM EST

Would I or should I?

I would but I shouldn't.

DrAcO5676 [The Knighthood III] February 28 2008 3:41 PM EST

Depends on if she is a cousin by blood or by marriage... cause you know... ah Heck with it... Doesn't matter which she is, she's so damn hot I wouldn't care ^_~

Flamey February 28 2008 3:42 PM EST

Hah, yes, I would. It helps if you're similar age and actually are friend, and not, forced to be with family. We're talking about a kiss, not sex, so why is there more about sex than kissing in this thread? :/

drudge February 28 2008 3:45 PM EST

no, gross

ScY February 28 2008 4:05 PM EST

"omj OB that proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that we need to get you out of the south and in a hurry"

yup :D

Anyway, I would not kiss Alba. Instead, I would kiss her friends. (Everyone knows hot girls have hot friends)

Phrede February 28 2008 4:55 PM EST

One of my best mates married his second cousin. They get on great and have a lovely baby girl - well lovely apart from her webbed feet.

drudge February 28 2008 4:58 PM EST

> omj OB that proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that we need to get you out of the south and in a hurry!!

hahaha hahaha hahaha

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] February 28 2008 5:13 PM EST

My Grandparents were cousins. My Grandads grandparents were cousins.

I gues I skipped the pattern. ;)

Now if I'd had Jessica Alba/Keeley Hazell/Whoever as my hot cousin (and the big kicker!) and she was interested in me, well then, the trend would probably have continued. ;)

QBJohnnywas February 28 2008 5:16 PM EST

I wasn't going to mention the GL close family.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] February 28 2008 5:16 PM EST

"(Everyone knows hot girls have hot friends)"

The rule is that hot girls have plain friends. ;) To make them look even hotter!

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] February 28 2008 5:18 PM EST

"I wasn't going to mention the GL close family."


Did you read about the couple that got married, only to find a court later anulled it, as they were brother and sister who had been seperated at birth and put up for adoption to different familiaes?

N0seBLeeD February 28 2008 5:37 PM EST

At least a few people have morales. :)

Obscurans February 28 2008 5:39 PM EST

Everyone has morals, but simply put, nowhere near everyone shares YOUR morals :)

Sure I have a hot cousin or two, I wouldn't mind kissing them, but oh well, that culture doesn't like kissing at all, and I'm not even near them...

N0seBLeeD February 28 2008 5:58 PM EST

True. But at the same time, Thinking about kissing your cousin and doing it are completely different.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] February 28 2008 6:00 PM EST

Thinking about and actually kissing them aren't too different. It just means if given the chance, you would.

QBOddBird February 28 2008 6:02 PM EST

"Not to me Ob. A cousin is a cousin."

You do realize that if you trace it back far enough, EVERYONE is your cousin on down the line...

N0seBLeed has just sworn a vow of abstinence from all forms of romantic contact.

QBOddBird February 28 2008 6:05 PM EST

The point is that if you take it back far enough, everyone's related to you somehow, so N0Sebleed, how far do you go back? Just until you can't trace your heritage anymore? What if another member of her family settles in with a member of yours after you two get married and then you're married to your cousin? Do you swear off all romantic contact?

Obscurans February 28 2008 6:11 PM EST

The human population has undergone a near-extinction around the end of prehistory, an estimated ~4000 progenitors ARE the great-(500x)-ancestors of humanity.

And that was what pushed humans to evolve intelligence, because of the extreme genetic bottleneck.

AdminNightStrike February 28 2008 6:23 PM EST

Are you saying that inbreeding made us intelligent?

Flamey February 28 2008 6:24 PM EST

I think he meant an extreme case of natural selection? Only the really smart ones (at that time) survived? meaning we had to evolve?

QBRanger February 28 2008 6:27 PM EST

"Would you kiss your cousin in more than a family appropriate way?"

Certainly, in fact in some states (Kentucky) it is encouraged.

Obscurans February 28 2008 6:39 PM EST

When genetic diversity is insufficient to provide a buffer against changing selection pressure, somehow intelligence (or at least cooperation) start evolving out.

A couple of examples: scientists took primate mitochondrial DNA samples and compared them. Human diversity is minuscule compared to the rest of them, and less diversity is correlated with increasing social interaction.

A weird type of spider was found to actually have interaction: many spiders would share the same web and food. Their DNA diversity is also far lower compared to the order-wide spider average.

Couple of explanations: the memetic theory says that ideas are as evolvable as genes, but since the idea can actually change by design and in the individual's lifetime, the rate of selection and evolution is far higher, and by feedback exponentially so (more intelligence = more thinking). Lower genetic diversity and population size also helps to increase speed of selection - fewer competitors.

I'll look up the direct sources, google scholar works fine I guess.

[LittleRed]Calynne February 28 2008 6:58 PM EST

"The point is that if you take it back far enough, everyone's related to you somehow, so N0Sebleed, how far do you go back? Just until you can't trace your heritage anymore? What if another member of her family settles in with a member of yours after you two get married and then you're married to your cousin? Do you swear off all romantic contact?"

You forget that after a certain point of removal, the DNA is so different that you can't actually call them related.. so sure, you can say everyone is everyone's cousin, but after a certain amount of removal, their DNA is too different to be recognized as "related."

Plus, come on.. We all know if you have kids with your sister, or your mother, or your aunt or cousin or whatever... that they will have a large probability of defects because the DNA of such close family members is too similar. And we all know that the further from that family DNA strand the person is, the less likely these defects and anomolies will occur. So your whole "we're all cousins" theory would only work if there continued to be a high percentage of defects to support it.

Which there isn't.

Thanks for playing. Now stop kissing your sister so we can play the game.

Don't kiss your cousins. Plain and simple. Because one day you may fall in love and want to have a family together and guess what. You can't. It's a lot less painful just to avoid being stupid now.

And no, I wouldn't kiss my cousin.

Obscurans February 28 2008 6:59 PM EST
Social spiders have an active kin-selection mechanism = enforced inbreeding
More kin-selection (i.e. breed MORE with your cousins)
Higher diversity in non-social spiders
Americans eat Mexicans
Selection for cooperation
Benefits outweigh costs in spider inbreeding Take the PDF: second news item: lower genetic diversity in social spiders

Obscurans February 28 2008 7:11 PM EST

Actually there is, but for a slightly different reason. People with cystic fibrosis used to... DIE before they reached reproductive maturity. Now, with advances in medicine, even these people have a decent chance at... having children. So, without the homozygous lethal removal selection, MORE people are now carrying the mutation that causes cystic fibrosis. Note: you need both copies of the gene defective to get deadly mucus buildup.

Genetic inbreeding brings out recessive genes. There is NO indication of whether recessives are bad. Quite a few genetic diseases are dominant: Huntington's, Marfan's, a type of colorectal cancer. Why are they still there? Huntington's kills you AFTER you make children, so "it's not a fitness defect".

Given a population of "good" genes, inbreeding is GOOD. Humans already have an extraordinarily low genetic diversity across the entire species - we have a lot of "recessives" with respect to some malfunctioning dominating allele.

A cousin shares only 25% of my genes. 2nd cousin 12.5%. Given that recessives with defects are ~1% of ALL my genes (a very exaggerated overestimate), then the probability of hitting one is... ~0.25%, compared to say half that for the general population (or i.e. this extended family has *double* bad genes). Excess risk is ~1/800, while for all humans, Klinefelter's syndrome happens in ~1/500 of all males.

Klinefelter's is when your sex chromosomes are XXY instead of XY. That's aneuploidy, and not really related to your actual genes at all - the chromosome division went wrong.

N0seBLeeD February 28 2008 7:15 PM EST

Ty Calynne. Score one for the normal people.

three4thsforsaken February 28 2008 7:19 PM EST

No, I don't find Jessica Alba that hot.

and even if I did, I still couldn't see myself kissing her. Partly because it's against my morals, mostly because, I dunno, it feels so unnatural for me to think of a family member that way, family is very important to me, and somehow, my brain and upbringing just says no... it's hard to explain.

It's like be unable to see a certain color. It never occurs to you, you can't imagine it, your head explodes when you try.

QBOddBird February 28 2008 7:24 PM EST

Regardless of how DNA changes, the relation between members of the family is still there. There's also the second part to that, as well:

"how far do you go back? Just until you can't trace your heritage anymore? What if another member of her family settles in with a member of yours after you two get married and then you're married to your cousin? Do you swear off all romantic contact?"

Even if your DNA does become so different after a period of time, how far should the relation be apart for you to decide? What if you fall in love with someone and then you find out they're your 6th cousin? Do you tell them that your feelings no longer matter?

ActionAction February 28 2008 7:28 PM EST

Oh god Orlando Bloom in a box <3.

I would totally do it. Orlando Bloom is genetically perfect anyway :).

Obscurans February 28 2008 7:29 PM EST

More like, should your first date be to the genetic testing lab?

You can only determine genetic similarity... by actually doing the tests, not just family trees. Then you don't get cousins are on average 25% similar, you get an actual number of genes of which you have identical alleles.

Even better, you can even see which alleles are identical and GOOD for you, and which aren't. Oh wait, that's complete genetic profiling...

QBBarzooMonkey February 28 2008 8:54 PM EST

Ewwwwwwww, kissing is gross!

On the other hand, I'd certainly let her __________ and ________, and then we'd ________, ___________, and __________ on top of the ___________ with some _____________, and then ______________ in the ______________________...

And that's just in the kitchen!

5583 days old {Gaza} February 28 2008 9:03 PM EST

Just remember, noone is over 15 generations from Caine...

forktoad February 29 2008 9:02 AM EST

I would find that amounting to incest...
Unless Albert Einstein and others were wrong reproduction among close relatives leads to genetic deformities so I guess it would be dangerous to think in that line anyway...

Colonel Custard February 29 2008 9:50 AM EST

Obscurans: I think the defects caused by inbreeding amount to more than just a concentration of defective recessive alleles. Unless I'm completely wrong about this, I think the genetic similarity between the mother's body cells and the baby's causes early development problems because the body isn't quite sure whether to treat them as a fetus or as part of the mother's uterus.

For example:
Siblings share about 50% of genes, on average. Say two siblings have a child, then that child would share somewhere around 75% of the exact same alleles as the mother, on average, and possibly significantly more, in extreme cases.

In my book, though, here's how it is: if it's a distant enough relative that you guys don't even know about each other, it's cool. I wouldn't kiss-in-a-more-than-family-appropriate-way anyone I see at family reunions. Though I'm aware that I'm related in some way to about half the population of Pennsylvania (my maternal grandmother had quite a large family), I wouldn't think much of it if I found out someone I was interested in was from there. If they're my 42nd-cousin once removed... I most likely have no idea who they are. And, beyond that, think about how it works:
Siblings are only the kids your parents have.
Cousins are the kids that any of your parents' brothers and sisters and their spouses have
Second cousins are your parents' cousins.
Assuming that each couple in the chain has 3 kids, that gives you 2 siblings, 12 cousins, and 12 second cousins. If your second cousins each have a couple kids, that gives you 24. If this happened 3 generations back, and people have kept on reproducing, you've got like 600 people you've never met who share fairly recent common ancestors.
And then there's the issue of whether your great-aunt got remarried after her first husband died, and then you acquired 3 new 4th-cousins...
So, by the time you get to 42nd cousin status, that includes at least 6 billion people. In fact, once you get out far enough, it's impossible to be related to anyone in just one way, because they are a child of two different people who are distantly related to you in different ways.

Again, I wouldn't kiss any of my cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents/siblings/nieces/nephews if I had any. But 8th cousin, if I met her at a club? Sure.

GummyBear February 29 2008 10:04 AM EST

Yes, yes I would

chuck1234 February 29 2008 12:20 PM EST fatigue's set in....

for a change, don't you think it'd be much, much simpler if we introduced each other to our respective hot cousins, instead of hitting on them ourselves....a flurry of such transatlantic introductions will in the bargain make things much easier for Mother Nature and the future integrity of the human species....just a thought.

Lochnivar February 29 2008 1:11 PM EST

nice idea chuck.....

Though it would kind of suck for the person with the hottest cousin.... trading a 10 for an 8 would just hurt.

as for cousin kissing (or anything else), I don't know if I could say to my dad 'Yeah I'm hittin' your little brother's baby girl...'

I foresee unpleasant silences...

2nd cousins? I'm all over that (I wouldn't even know who they were!)

QBOddBird February 29 2008 1:15 PM EST

Exactly, Custard/Loch - like I said in my first post, I wouldn't kiss my first cousins (bleh) but if it was like a 4th cousin...heck, you'd have to search through the family tree to find your relation in the first place :P

8DEOTWP February 29 2008 1:29 PM EST

I'd ask her for 1,000$ instead, and buy 180M CB$.

TheHatchetman March 1 2008 12:14 AM EST

I'm actually quit surprised how many replies this got... I was expecting like 20-25 tops :P

Xenko March 1 2008 12:41 AM EST

Apparently people have a lot of hot cousins....

Obscurans March 1 2008 1:30 AM EST

CC: actually the reverse is true. Rhesus blood factors, if the mother *differs* from the child, causes a ton of problems.

You can be either Rhesus + or -, if you're positive you have the antigen (and not the antibody). If the mother is Rhesus -, then if she has a baby that is Rhesus +, she becomes sensitized to the antigen, and any subsequent baby that is also Rhesus + may suffer from erythroblastosis fetalis, basically the mother's blood (connected through the placenta) has antibodies that smash up the baby's blood.

Occurs when the *father* is Rhesus + (dominant), so same genes are useful. Also, the major histocompatibility complex in humans predisposes us to choose away from similar genes. So, you don't need to legislate this thing, the closer they are to you the less hot (and more family) they "look" to you. Quotes since biochemical receptors aren't voluntary senses in a way.

BootyGod March 1 2008 2:41 AM EST

*shrugs* The only cousins I really have close to my age are on my father's side, and I hate them all. And I guess they're hot. And I wouldn't kiss them for all the CB money in freed's right pocket.


On an objective level though, I really don't care what people do. Up until it affects someone else's life. If two people know they're very closely related, and have childrens and birth defects arise caused from the inbreeding, THEY -are- responsible. For their own selfishness, they have condemned someone else to quite a bit of unhappiness.

But, on the same note, does anyone crucify parents who aren't related when their children are born with birth defects? No, in that case, it's just a rare, tragic occurence.

To sum it up, I don't think I would simply because I have a strong dislike of my family and I cannot imagine not having it. Touching them or even imagining it in a romantic fashion is repulsive to me. But this leaves me free to be fine if others wish to do it, as long as certain things are done.

For brother/sister and 1st cousins, don't have children or adopt. If you decide to have children, what happens is your responsibility. There will be no "Why did this happen to us!?". We all know.

Everyone else, love is rare. If you find it, social taboos that are completely moral based should not stop you from being with that person.

If you have a problem with it, congratulatons. Keep it to yourself.
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