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J Biosoc Sci. 2009 Jan;41(1):107-24. doi: 10.1017/S0021932008002940. Epub 2008 Jun 13.

Consanguinity trends and correlates in the Palestinian Territories.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, American University of Beirut, Lebanon.


Secondary analysis of the trends and correlates of consanguinity in the Palestinian Territories was conducted using data from two separate surveys in 1995 and 2004. The analysis was conducted on ever-married women aged 15-54 who were asked about their relation to their husband in both surveys. A total of 16,197 women in 1995 and 4971 women in 2004 were successfully interviewed. Consanguinity was found to be widely practised in the Palestinian Territories with rates of total consanguinity reaching 45% of all marriages in 2004. Analysis was conducted with the data from the two surveys combined and this indicated that consanguinity was significantly decreasing with time after controlling for other variables. Age of the women, their age at marriage, region and locality type they lived in and their standard of living were all found to be significant predictors of consanguinity. The education level of the women was not found to be significant. After controlling for the survey year, women's labour force status was also found to be a non-significant predictor of consanguinity. Although consanguinity was found to be significantly decreasing slowly with time after controlling for other variables, the future trends of consanguinity are not known due to the unstable political situation in the territories, which could have a direct effect on marriage patterns.

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