Should I Marry My Cousin?

BBC Three – On iPlayer now!

In this bold documentary, 18 year-old Hiba explores the controversial but legal custom of first-cousin marriage. It’s a practice which has gone on within her own family for generations. And as she reaches adulthood she faces a massive dilemma – deciding whether to follow tradition and marry a cousin or go her own way.

Investigating the devastating health impact that first-cousin marriage can have and the arguments for and against, Hiba finds out if it is even possible to desire such a close relative…

In Britain where cousin marriage has been legal for over 400 years, first-cousin marriage is one of the last taboos, often viewed on a par with incest. However in one community – the British Pakistanis – 55 per cent of young people marry their first cousin. And in Bradford, where Hiba comes from, that figure is an astonishing 70 per cent.

Should I Marry My Cousin? is on iPlayer now

Although she’s only 18, Hiba is already talking to her family about marriage. For them first-cousin marriage is the norm and some members of the family are especially keen for her to continue the tradition.

Her uncle Younis is in favour – four out of five of his own children are in cousin marriages. Her dad, Maroof, is on the fence and her mum, Nuzhat, is very much against it, but both have said they will support Hiba in whatever decision she makes.

So, should Hiba marry a cousin? In this authored and informative film, which takes us deep into a rarely-seen community within Britain and abroad, Hiba is about to find out.