Consanguineous marriage and its relevance to divorce, polygyny and survival of marriage: evidence from a population-based analysis in Jordan

M. Mazharul Islam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Consanguinity has been extensively studied in the context of its negative health outcomes for offspring and socio-demographic factors, but little evidence-based research has been done on its potential social benefits. Aim: To examine the association between consanguineous marriage and the risk of divorce or separation, polygyny, and survival of marriage in Jordan. Subjects and methods: Data were obtained from the 2018 Jordan Population and Family Health Survey, covering a nationally representative sample of ever-married women of reproductive age. Descriptive statistics, multiple logistic regression, and survival analysis techniques were used for data analysis. Results: The prevalence of consanguineous marriage was found to be 27.5% in Jordan in 2018, while the prevalences of polygyny and divorced/separated rates were 4.4% and 4.7%, respectively. Both consanguineous and polygyny rates showed declining trends, but divorce/separation rate showed an increasing trend. Compared to non-consanguineous marriages, the risk of divorce/separation and polygyny were found to be lower among women with consanguineous marriage, while the survival of marriages was found to be higher for consanguineous marriages than for non-consanguineous marriages. Conclusions: Findings revealed that consanguinity has some social benefits as it plays protective roles against divorce or separation, polygyny and enhances the survival of marriages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Consanguineous marriage
  • divorce
  • Jordan
  • polygyny
  • survival of marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Physiology
  • Ageing
  • Genetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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