The Whitaker family of rural West Virginia have been making headlines for their infamous inbreeding practices over the course of many generations. With an estimated 200 members, the family has become the subject of much fascination and controversy. This article will take a look at the history of the Whitakers and explore some of the implications associated with their lifestyle choice.
Brief background on the Whitaker family
The Whitaker family hails from rural West Virginia and has been making headlines for their infamous inbreeding practices for many generations. It is estimated that the family consists of over 200 members, all closely related through marriages between siblings, cousins or other close family members. The practice of intermarriage within the Whitaker family has been traced back to the early 1800s when the first couple in the family married.
Explanation of their inbred status
The practice of inbreeding within the Whitaker family has been largely attributed to the small, isolated nature of their rural West Virginia community. The family has remained relatively closed off from the outside world and as such, many members have married within the same social circle or even between siblings or other close relatives. This practice has created a gene pool that is much more limited than that of the general population, resulting in a higher risk of genetic disorders and other health issues associated with inbreeding.
History of Inbreeding in the Whitaker Family
Origins of inbreeding in the family
The practice of inbreeding within the Whitaker family is believed to have its origins in the early 1800s when the first couple of the family married. Since then, marriages between siblings, cousins and other close relatives have become more common as generations passed. This practice has likely been perpetuated by the small, isolated nature of their rural West Virginia community – where members may not have had access to a larger pool of potential marriage partners.
Spread of inbreeding across generations
The practice of inbreeding within the Whitaker family has continued to spread across generations. As the population of the family has grown, so too has their practice of marrying within their own social circles. This has resulted in a gene pool that is much smaller than that of the general population, therefore increasing the chances of genetic disorders and other health issues associated with inbreeding. This can be seen in the increasing rate of birth defects and other medical conditions that have been observed in the family.
Societal attitudes toward the Whitaker family
Societal attitudes towards the Whitaker family have been largely negative. This is due to their infamous practice of inbreeding and the implications associated with this lifestyle choice. Many people view the practice as a form of incest and are critical of its potential health risks. The family has also been subject to much ridicule and discrimination in their local community, as well as in the media where they have become the subject of fascination and controversy.
Health Issues in the Whitaker Family
Genetic diseases and disorders
Due to the practice of inbreeding within the Whitaker family, there is an increased risk of genetic diseases and disorders. Studies have shown that inbreeding can lead to a higher probability of birth defects and other medical conditions due to a decrease in genetic diversity. This is because individuals who are closely related share similar sets of genes, which increases the chances of inher iting the same genetic mutation. Common health issues associated with inbreeding include intellectual disabilities, hearing and vision loss, heart defects, and many more.
Physical and mental disabilities
Physical and mental disabilities are common in the Whitaker family due to their long history of inbreeding. As a result of the small gene pool, members of the family have an increased risk of inheriting genetic diseases or disorders from their close relatives. This can lead to physical disabilities such as hearing and vision loss, as well as mental disabilities like intellectual impairment or learning difficulties. The prevalence of these disabilities in the family has been attributed to their practice of inbreeding.
Medical care challenges and expenses
Medical care challenges and expenses associated with inbreeding within the Whitaker family have been significant. Due to the increased risk of genetic diseases and disorders, members of the family often require specialized care that can be difficult to access in their rural West Virginia community. Medical treatments are also costly and can put a strain on the family’s resources, making it challenging for them to receive the necessary care they need to manage their conditions.
Legal Troubles and Social Isolation
Criminal records of family members
Criminal records of family members are not uncommon within the Whitaker family. In some cases, members have been charged with crimes such as theft and assault that are believed to be related to their inbred lifestyle. These charges often lead to legal troubles and can result in jail time or other punishments. The criminal records associated with the family can also cause them to be socially isolated from their community,
Difficulty in finding marriage partners outside the family
Finding marriage partners outside the family can be difficult for members of the Whitaker family due to their long history of inbreeding. Many people view the practice of inbreeding as a form of incest and are often hesitant or unwilling to marry someone from the same family. This has caused members of the Whitaker family to struggle to find suitable marriage partners outside their own social circles, making it even more difficult for them to escape their lifestyle of inbreeding.
Stigma and discrimination faced by the family
The Whitaker family has often been subject to stigma and discrimination due to their inbred status. This can manifest itself through verbal or physical abuse, or even exclusion from social events or activities. The family is often viewed with suspicion and fear due to the perception that they are genetically inferior or somehow “unnatural”.
Documentary “The Whitakers”
Short summary of the documentary
The documentary, “The Whitakers,” follows a family of West Virginians living in poverty and isolation due to the effects of generations of inbreeding. It explores the medical, legal, and social challenges faced by the family as a result of their lifestyle. The documentary also takes a look at the history of inbreeding within the family and how it has impacted its current state. Through interviews with members of the family, as well as medical experts, the filmmakers document the struggles that the Whitakers face and seek to gain insight into their way of life.
Reactions of family members and the public to the documentary
The reaction from family members to the documentary was mixed. Many of them felt that it portrayed their lives in a negative light, as they were often seen as nothing more than a source of ridicule and judgement by outsiders. Other family members were thankful for the spotlight shed on their community and appreciated how it helped bring attention to the difficult challenges they face due to the consequences of inbreeding.
The story of the Whitaker family has served to bring attention to an often overlooked issue: inbreeding. The implications of this practice are immense, ranging from health concerns to legal troubles, to social isolation. It is important to recognize that such practices are still occurring today and can have a serious impact on individuals and communities.
It is also important to remember that inbreeding is most often done out of desperation, not malice or recklessness. By understanding the unique challenges faced by families like the Whitakers, we can better support them and ensure they receive the care and attention they need.