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Though contemporaneous, the eugenics movement did not play much of a direct role in the bans.
George Louis Arner in 1908 considered the ban a clumsy and ineffective method of eugenics, which he thought would eventually be replaced by more refined techniques. Since that time, Kentucky (1943) and Texas have banned first-cousin marriage and since 1985, Maine has mandated genetic counseling for marrying cousins to minimise risk to any of serious health defect to their children.
In some cultures and communities, cousin marriage is considered ideal and actively encouraged; in others, it is subject to social stigma.
Cousin marriage is common in the Middle East, for instance, where it accounts for over half of all marriages in some countries.
Cousin marriage has often been chosen to keep cultural values intact, preserve family wealth, maintain geographic proximity, keep tradition, strengthen family ties, and maintain family structure or a closer relationship between the wife and her in-laws.