Unsettling Study Finds Second Cousins Technically Fair Game

Illustration for article titled Unsettling Study Finds Second Cousins Technically Fair Game

BOSTON—Providing new and disconcerting insights into long-speculated risks of human mating, a Boston University Medical College genetic study published last week in Nature Genetics found that, despite the longstanding cultural and social stigma of the pairing, second cousins are, in fact, technically fair game. “Our findings clearly, if unfortunately, show that despite the perceived close familial bonds, sufficient genetic variation exists in second cousins to make them suitable mates,” the study read in part, further stating that while such a relationship might make some or all members of your family uncomfortable, speaking from a purely scientific standpoint, that shouldn’t stop you. “Although, it’s not exactly ideal, like being with someone much more distantly related to you, or ideally being with someone who is absolutely no relation at all, it does appear that second cousins are, for lack of a better term, allowed. Certainly a taboo against the second cousin pairing still exists in our culture, and there is significant interest in conducting an unsettling follow-up study to investigate the possibility that the coupling’s transgressive nature might actually make it, colloquially speaking, even hotter.” In a highlighted footnote, the study specifically emphasized that siblings and parents are never under any circumstances “up for grabs.”