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Consanguineous marriage and post natal mortality in Karnataka, South India

Bittles, A.H., Devi, A.R., Savithri, H.S., Sridhar, R. and Rao, N.A. (1987) Consanguineous marriage and post natal mortality in Karnataka, South India. Man, 22 (4). pp. 736-745.

Link to Published Version: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2803361
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Abstract

In the four southern states of India, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, consanguineous marriages have been strongly favoured for some 2000 years. The continuing popularity of this practice has given rise to considerable speculation, and formulation of a major hypothesis, regarding the implications of long-term human inbreeding. To test this hypothesis consanguinity data were collected on 65,492 liveborn pregnancies delivered in the cities of Bangalore and Mysore, Karnataka between 1980 and 1985. Over 33 per cent. Of all marriages sampled were inbred, equivalent to a coefficient of inbreeding (F) of 0.0298. The highest rates of inbreeding were observed in the Hindu community among whom there was a notable preference for uncle-niece marriages. Analysis of data on postnatal death failed to reveal a consistent, statistically significant trend with increasing consanguinity. The probable explanation(s) for this finding and the general effects of inbreeding on the south Indian gene pool are considered in detail

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
Copyright: 1987 Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/12520
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