Inbreeding definition is "sexual relationship between couples who share the same ancestry-bloodline and family history, for the goal of conceiving children."
Simply, it can be described as "the marriage between two people who are closely related to each other in terms of family and bloodline. Like a marriage or sexual relation between cousins or blood relatives can be included in the category of inbreeding.
[su_quote]The practice of inbreeding was common in the past[/su_quote]
Inbreeding was very commonly practiced in the past but even in the modern world, many people like to follow such practice mostly to reserve their pure family traits and blood.
Sexual relation or marriage between close relatives helps to bear the family characters like children but many other risks also come along with such type of breeding practice.
Like the combination of bad genes that are present in closely related males and females can put significant chronic damage to their children's health.
According to history, such type of relation was commonly practiced by the ordinary to high standard people.
Marriage between close blood relatives was very common, before the 18th century the marriage between brother and sister was also not considered as Taboo.
A large number of cases are found in history books especially about many royal families who have a large history of inbreeding to preserve their bloodline.
[su_quote]In ancient Egypt kings like to marry their sisters and half-sisters. In the modern world, half-sister means step-sister or cousins[/su_quote]
Inbreeding in humans
Such a type of breeding was/is very common in the human population. Most people marry relatively close people to preserve the characters of their family bloodline.
In many areas of the world people still like to marry their own relatives.
Scientists say Inbreeding is useful to preserve the family bloodline and can help to bear specific and closely related character's children related to their parents.
But significant health-related risks also bear along with the child as the combination of the same dangerous genes present in males and females can put the newborn wellness at risk with chronic health issues.
Why Inbreeding is dangerous
Inbreeding is dangerous and risky. Risks and complications can remain for life with the children. Below some most common risks are mentioned which may guide you properly about "why inbreeding is considered as dangerous for children and parents":
"Inbreeding depression" means less fitness and health capability in newborns because of the results of inbreeding. It reduces biological fitness which results produce more vulnerable humans to healthy and risky conditions.
Breeding in close relatives bears weak and medically unfit children which mostly have less capability to face the harsh condition of various types.
Being genetically close puts the children on the edge to get suffered from gene-related diseases and illnesses. Illnesses related to genes mostly remain for life and come with more likely no proper cure.
In short, a gene-related disease is more likely to remain with the person's whole life.
Low birth rate
"Inbreeding depression" has links with the results of low fertility or birth rates. It has been observed that couple who are blood relatives often faces problems in conceiving children.
According to NCBI research data, women face more pregnancy and fertility-related risks when they marry with their own family blood relatives.
Such types of risks included not conceiving pregnancy, low birth rate, stillbirth, abnormally low baby's weight, weak newborn, and children with the less functioned immune system.
Children who have close relative parents also remain at risk of developing fertility-related problems.
Risks of improper sexual development in children are also noted very highly because of close relative marriage or sexual relations.
[su_quote]Inbreeding is the major cause of infertility and impotence. A famous example is Charles 2 of Spain, who was believed to be born because of strict inbreeding. During his life, he faces a lot of health issues including sexual and fertility problems. Due to his sexual illness and infertility, he was unable to bear the child with a woman. After his death, there was no one to take his place, which led to the extinction of his own family traits and rule. [/su_quote]
Many kinds of research and analysis studies have found that people who marry their own blood relatives(cousin marriages) often face more infertility risks.
Women married with their close relatives often face pregnancy issues more than other women who marry out of the bloodline family.
Mental health and complications risks always remain high in children because of inbreeding studies says.
Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, and many other severe mental disorders can run in family genes as scientists say the probability of these disorders increases if these illnesses are present in one of the parents or in their family.
Studies have found that children of inbred families face huge risks of cognitive declined functions and mental disorders which can affect them at any time of their life span.
The mentally retard ratio is observed more in inbred families as compared to non-inbred.
After researches and analysis researchers have found that inbred individual faces 90 percent more risks of mental disability and retard cognitive functions as compared to those who are born in a non-bred family.
Here are some mental diseases and issues that can affect inbreeding:
- Schizophrenia (Severe mental issue)
- Bipolar disorder (Severe mental issue)
- Weak mind intelligence capability (Low IQ)
- Depressed Personality ( Long term depression and anxiety)
- Verbal issues (Speaking problems)
- Neuropsychological disorders (hereditary parkinsonism), etc.
High mortality risks
Researched data has concluded marriage between the same blood relatives can boost up the dangerous mortality-related risks for children.
By analyzing 999 families belonging to Jammu Kashmir, the experts find that the mortality rate was very high in those families in which inbreeding practice was common whereas it was low who were not observed following it strictly.
A High number of physical and risks of extra-ordinary dangerous diseases can make inbreed children die at an early or unexpected age.
Heart disease, body weakness, impotence, mental disorders, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and many other fatal diseases can cause more adverse results in children whose parents are close relatives.
As such diseases can run with genes which is why the mortality risks always remain high because of inbreeding.
[su_quote]Burden and pressure on the health system are too heavy because of too much practice of breeding within the family. Efforts to reduce inbreeding and its complications are not producing the results properly, mostly due to the high unawareness or least prevalence of proper information[/su_quote]
Same genes that cause illness or body health damage in blood relatives couples can produce combined adverse results in the newborn child.
The combination of the harmful same type of genes increases the probability, effect, and severity of illnesses which can put the person at high mortality risks.
In 2013 6.3 million children dies because of health complications. Almost 99 percent of this death happened in illiterate and least developed countries.
Experts say inbreeding and its results are more likely to have close links with such huge numbers of children's deaths.
Being uneducated and having no required awareness keeps people unaware of the consequences of inbreeding which makes them keep practicing it without understanding the results.
Less capable immune system
The immune system's main responsibility is to protect the body from illness-causing parasites, bacteria, viruses, and many other factors that can make the body vulnerable to health issues and diseases.
A good immune system can keep the person healthy and protective against illnesses whereas a bad and weak immune system can lead to mild to severe health issues that may increase the risks of mortality.
The immune system is the body's defense system against invaders that cause the body wellness issues.
Scientific researches have concluded that close relative marriages produce children with the less capable immune system. Such kids always remain on the verge of health damage.
According to NCBI inbred children often remain ill because of their bad immune systems. They usually become more vulnerable to health issues and face a more detailed history of visiting the doctor as compared to non-bred children.
There are two types of genes in terms of health quality, good genes, and bad genes.
Good genes run with health-friendly qualities while bad genes run with illness properties. Parents having close family relations (blood relatives) can have an equal type of healthy and risky genes.
These genes can put their combined value(both parents) in the child and the combination of bad or risky genes can increase the probability of health risks for the child further more than the child conceived by non-bred parents(parent with no blood ties or relation).
High CVD risks
Cardiovascular Health(CVD) has very importance in all living organisms. Having bad CVD health can be related to severe illness and may lead to sudden death.
Heart attack, stroke can be lethal in most cases. That is why healthy cardiovascular health is also be needed to keep the certificate of valuable health and wellness.
A study done in a specific area of the subcontinent conclude that Cardio vascular-related issues are very common in inbred families. The traits of heart-related issues were found considerably high in such families as compared to the non-bred families group of the nearest area.
Also, many European researchers have given the same conclusion.
Researches say that inbreeding has a large potential in increasing the health-related faults in newborn and can lead to cardiovascular issues which may result in high mortality risks.
In short, experts have given the view that inbred families and their children can face more dangerous complicated Cardio Vascular Risks as compared to those families who do not usually practice inbreeding.
[su_quote]Obesity which can also run with genes may also increase the CVD severity and risks[/su_quote]
Severe genetic disorder and complications
Inbreeding is notorious for causing severe genetic disorders. Such disorders can make children handicapped for life.
The medical survey in India found that almost 30 percent of child-related diseases have found linked with the inbred practice of their native people.
Marriage in blood relatives can make the children the patient of recessive gene disorder which results can appear as body abnormalities in the child and various other gene-related disorders.
Some genetic disorders due to inbreeding are listed below:
- Hearing loss
- Body parts deformation etc.
Long term diseases
Genetic diseases do not go away mostly. Commonly such type of illness remains for life. Wellness issues or disability for life can make living very hard and in many cases, the patients of such illnesses commit suicide because of the severe torture that receives due to being abnormal.
Long-term health issues make them die early, because of high-intensity complications associated with their illnesses. Also, most of these diseases do not have proper treatment and cure, which is another reason that promotes early age death in inbred people.
Less physical capabilities
It is a fact that most inbred children are usually noted born with health and fitness-related issues according to medical data. As compared to non-bred children they face more physical health-related issues.
The expert found that inbreeding reduces the child's fitness, their body appearance and can make their body posture unattractive as compared to the opposite group of children.
If inbred parents are weak or obese then it is a high probability that their children may face weakness or obesity and related issues after birth or in later life.
Why do people inbreed
There are many reasons due to which people like to marry their close family members. Here below some of the main reasons are discussed:
The most common reason people do marriage within the family is to preserve the bloodline traits, values, and characters. They want to have children's resemblance like their own.
In the past Royal families often marries their close siblings to preserve the authority and kinship of the family.
Marriage of king, prince, or princess with the family member was responsible for making the relationship strong and decisions and family brawls risks were also noted to be minimized by such close blood relations.
Also, many kings marry their own siblings just to keep their bloodlines pure. Just take an example of "Tutankhamun" the late Pharoah of Egypt who married his sister to keep the blood pure. History says he bears 2 children with her and both of his children died in infancy.
The prince with pure blood was considered as the next King or Pharoah and other siblings were noted neglected by historians. That is why almost every royal women and men always prefer to like their own close siblings to maintain and increase the status of their children.
Almost every human has some type of identity like family, caste, race, color, and clan-related. Many people belonging to such groups have various types of customs.
Many tribal and caste-related customs include marrying within the family. Like in the Indian subcontinent especially in the Hindu religion the marriage outside of caste is considered forbidden.
In this case, also inbreeding prevails because of the people's motives to keep the bloodline pure and strongly associated with the clan, caste, group, or race.
To build up relations
The third thing that promotes inbreeding is the motives of building strong relations with the family members. Often people marry their children with family members to increase the family ties and for specific benefits.
The main benefits of marrying within the family are conceiving the children of almost the same characters and traits and also marriage within the family increases the family bond and makes relations more solid.
Also, that type of marriage usually lasts longer than those which are arranged outside of the family.
Husband and wife mostly live in peace because of their same heritage whereas having different roots causes more family-related quarrels. That is why many families prefer to marry within their family circle.
How to stop it
The fact is that inbreeding cannot be stopped. A large number of the human population especially in under-developed and developing countries practice it. Also, people belonging to various tribes do not like to marry outside of their bloodline.
Changing the mind of such people is almost impossible but with proper knowledge and valuable education, the awareness level can be increased.
With proper guide and awareness, a large number of people can understand the reality, which may help to reduce the impact of inbreeding complications, risks, and consequences.
The purpose of this article was just to provide information and to increase awareness.
All the provided information has proofs from sources and research papers, which you can easily access by clicking the below "source" button. Thank you for reading the article and we will welcome your suggestions.
- JSTOR - https://www.jstor.org/stable/2089618
- The genetics of inbreeding depression - https://www.nature.com/articles/nrg2664
- Inbreeding Effects on Fertility in Humans: Evidence for Reproductive Compensation https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002929707616760
- Inbreeding Depression on Female Fertility and Calving Ease in Spanish Dairy Cattle https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022030207720507
- Inbreeding and extreme outbreeding cause sex differences in immune defence and life history traits in Epirrita autumnata https://www.nature.com/articles/6800945
- Estimating the Inbreeding Depression on Cognitive Behavior: A Population Based Study of Child Cohort https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4196914/
- Increased cardiovascular risks associated with familial inbreeding: a population-based study of adolescent cohort https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27084548/
- Genomic inbreeding and runs of homozygosity are associated with cardiovascular disease traits in the Norfolk Island genetic isolate https://www.authorea.com/users/21564/articles/306188-genomic-inbreeding-and-runs-of-homozygosity-are-associated-with-cardiovascular-disease-traits-in-the-norfolk-island-genetic-isolate