Premarital carrier matching is a form of genetic counseling in which two individuals are told, if both are carriers, that they have a 25% risk at each pregnancy of having a child affected by the disease for which they were tested. If only one individual is a carrier, this information is not disclosed. This scheme is offered to a consanguineous Bedouin community characterized by the high prevalence of genetic diseases and a religious ban on abortion.
Researchers conducted this study to elicit attitudes of community members concerning cousin marriage and genetic counseling.
The data collection method was semi-structured interviews were conducted with 49 Bedouin respondents.
The study concluded that a majority of Bedouin respondents confirmed the traditional and social role of cousin marriage. In this context, the main reasons were clan solidarity, interpersonal compatibility, preservation of family property, parental authority, and social protection for women. A majority of the respondents also associated cousin marriage with genetic diseases. Regarding genetic testing, most respondents preferred the option of premarital carrier matching, which was supposed to reduce stigmatization, especially of women. The result of this community-based and the culture-sensitive process was a focus on premarital carrier matching.