Consanguineous marriage in PR China: A study in rural Man (Manchu) communities
Taylor and Francis
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Biomedical and Sports Science
Although there is a long history of consanguineous marriage in China, information on its prevalence is very limited. The Man (Qing) dynasty ruled China for over 250 years, but no consanguinity studies have been reported on this important population. The objective of the present investigation was to determine the present-day level of consanguineous marriage in the Man community, and to compare the data with existing consanguinity information on other Chinese populations. The study was conducted in a group of 11 rural Man communities in the north-eastern Chinese province of Liaoning. Household-based interviews were conducted by local staff on 513 couples, 418 of whom were Man with another 95 Man-Han inter-ethnic marriages. Basic pedigrees were constructed to determine the biological relationship between each set of spouses. Thirty of the 418 couples were in a consanguineous union, with a mean coefficient of inbreeding 102 = 0.0012. The small population sizes of the study may have contributed to the spatial variation in the patterns of inbreeding. Across generations there was a reduction in consanguineous marriages and an increase in inter-ethnic unions, which paralleled changes in civil marriage regulations.