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Thread: When Did Teen Girls Stop Commonly Getting Married?

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    When Did Teen Girls Stop Commonly Getting Married?



    A long, long time ago.

    Marriage in the Ancient World

    In the Western world (and generally speaking) before imperial Rome, girls were deemed sufficiently mature for marriage and sex when they first started menstruation (and boys, by the way, when they developed pubic hair). Marriage was relatively unregulated by the state then, and instead was seen as a private family matter, so it is presumed these boundaries were flexible.

    The Roman emperors began to take matters in hand beginning with Caesar Augustus’ marriage laws (18 BC and 9 AD):

    He ordered that no betrothal should be valid if the man did not marry within two years of such betrothal . . . [and] that the girl must in every case be at least ten years old at her betrothal . . . . girls are held to have reached the marriageable age on the completion of twelve full years.

    By the end of the empire, the age of consent for girls had been well settled, as the “official” age of reaching puberty was set at 12.

    Medieval Marriage

    The Catholic Church had rules for just about everything during the Middle Ages, and one of its most authoritative texts was the Decretum Gratiani. Written by the jurist Johannes Gratian in the 12th century, it set a minimum age for betrothal (not necessarily marriage) at seven years for boys and girls, and the lawful age for a woman to consent to marriage (and “carnal intercourse”) at twelve, although certain unusual circumstances would render marriages at younger ages valid, as well.

    Gratian was followed by others including Hostiensis (Henricus de Seguisio) who opined that a young woman’s physical development, not her age, should determine whether she was ready for marriage.

    Recent scholarship indicates that although medieval marriages could occur at ages as young as 12, that might not have been the norm:

    While marriages at very young ages could and sometimes did take place, particularly for girls of high social status, it would be a mistake to see marriage below or around the age of puberty as the norm even for young noblewomen. . . . Emerging evidence is eroding the stereotype . . . [with] work on low- and lower-middle-status women [showing that] . . . a large proportion of the sample married between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two, [and] . . . showing that urban girls [in Yorkshire] tended to marry in their early to mid-twenties and rural girls . . . in their late teens to early twenties.

    Marriage in Early America

    A study performed by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) on marriage in North America and Western Europe mirrors the findings of the Yorkshire researchers; the NBER found that young women from the 17th through 19th centuries were not all that young when they got married.

    For example, in Massachusetts records dating from 1652 to 1800 demonstrate that the mean age of first marriage for ladies was between 19.5 and 22.5 years, and records for other colonies reflect similar ages. In fact, the average age of first marriage for all of the colonies studied was 19.8 before 1700, 21.2 during the early 18th century, and 22.7 during the late 18th century.

    This is consistent with data gathered in England, France and Germany that puts the average mean age of first marriage for women at 25.1 from 1750-1799 and 25.7 from 1800-1849.

    Marriage Post Civil War

    Maintaining the trend, by the end of the 19th century, the median age when women were first getting married was between 22 and 24 years old, and this tendency continued into the 1940s.

    In fact, the lowest median age of first marriage since the early 1700s was had by the baby boom generation, where the age dropped to 20.5 years in 1950.

    Marriage Age Today

    As of 2010, the median age of first marriage for women was 26.1 (28.2 for men), although research demonstrates that “marriage is most often delayed rather than foregone,” and although they may wait awhile, “more than 90 percent of women will eventually marry.”

    Researchers note that the median age in 2010 was 3.4 years higher than in 1900, and opine that this “likely reflects the change in women’s status in society – as women are pursing education and careers before marriage . . . they are increasingly delaying the age at which they marry.”

    If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

    The Surprising Truth About Cousins and Marriage
    Mark Twain and His Hobby of Collecting Girls from 10-16 Years Old
    The Youngest Person to Give Birth Was Only 5 Years Old
    Why are Women Called Sluts, Dames, and Broads?
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    Bonus Facts:

    A little over 2,000,000 marriages happen in the U.S. each year, or about 6.8 marriages per 1,000. The divorce rate is typically around 3.6 per 1,000 per year.
    According to a recent CDC study of first marriages and cohabitation, between 2006 and 2010, the number of women in a first marriage declined by 8% while those in a cohabiting relationship increased by 8%.
    While you’ll often read that there is a 50%-52% chance of any given marriage ending in divorce, this isn’t quite accurate, or at least doesn’t tell the whole story. It only looks at the raw figures of marriages each year vs. the number of divorces. This doesn’t take into account repeat divorcees, which skew the totals in any given year. In fact, 67% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. The average divorce rate for first marriages is only about 41% in the United States, and these divorce rate figures have been declining significantly in the last few decades.
    Marriages where both partners have a college degree only end in divorce about 25% of the time.
    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index....tting-married/

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    Is this another creepy male fantasist thread?

    Teenage girls stopped getting married around the same era that teenage boys stopped getting married. And Teenagers stopped getting married when Child Labor was outlawed.

    The age of marriage for boys in Ancient Rome was 14........

    And in China, boy could be as young as 8, marrying brides slightly older than them......

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    There was a time in the past when people weren't children until 35. People in the past learned to actually grow up.
    Never mind the earlier women start having kids the more of them she'll have and the healthier they'll be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astragoth View Post
    There was a time in the past when people weren't children until 35.
    ?????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astragoth View Post
    Never mind the earlier women start having kids the more of them she'll have and the healthier they'll be.
    Children born to teens are more likely to have lower IQ, lower birth weight, greater risk of death, greater risk of emotional disturbance, greater risk of chronic medical conditions - it goes on and on.

    Also, young mothers can't have barrels full of kids if they die in childbirth because their still developing bodies are not ready for the trauma, it is patently unsafe to have children before you are 19 and astronomically risky under 15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonaby View Post
    Is this another creepy male fantasist thread?
    Think it might have been posted to combat that very genre

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonaby View Post
    ?????
    Yes, that is exactly what it means. The purpose of childhood is not to enjoy every minute of it, and thus extend it forever until you are balding in mom's basement with no mate playing video games, or being a perpetual student in women's studies running up your loan obligations. The purpose of childhood is to learn how to be a successful adult.


    Most people think as they are trained to think, and most people make a majority.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coillearnach View Post
    Children born to teens are more likely to have lower IQ, lower birth weight, greater risk of death, greater risk of emotional disturbance, greater risk of chronic medical conditions - it goes on and on.

    Also, young mothers can't have barrels full of kids if they die in childbirth because their still developing bodies are not ready for the trauma, it is patently unsafe to have children before you are 19 and astronomically risky under 15.
    In the past, in our natural environment, so to speak, young teens did not have children. That is a later "invention".

    Studies on modern hunter-gatherers show women reaching menarche at an average age of 16, and giving birth to their first child around 19
    https://paleoleap.com/why-cavemen-didnt-die-young/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astragoth View Post
    There was a time in the past when people weren't children until 35. People in the past learned to actually grow up.
    Never mind the earlier women start having kids the more of them she'll have and the healthier they'll be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coillearnach View Post
    Children born to teens are more likely to have lower IQ, lower birth weight, greater risk of death, greater risk of emotional disturbance, greater risk of chronic medical conditions - it goes on and on.

    Also, young mothers can't have barrels full of kids if they die in childbirth because their still developing bodies are not ready for the trauma, it is patently unsafe to have children before you are 19 and astronomically risky under 15.
    I think there is a healthy middle way between the two extremes. Of course, as a woman you shouldn't wait until 30 or even 35 to have children. This is way too old. It would be okay, if it were just a few women who maybe had bad luck in dating and needed more time to find the right partner, but if it becomes the norm to have the first child intentionally after 30, then it's just destructive for society. I never understood that stupid concept of "having fun" before finally settling down and starting a family. In many cases this just means whoring around during your best years and totally wasting them. People who do that are immature and not the best marriage material anyway.

    But on the other hand, I don't consider girls having children under the age of 18 as healthy and normal either. In my opinion, a woman should get married and have her first child ideally between the age of 18 and 21. That is still very young, but not too young. It is young enough to have much time for having many children, but old enough to have them safely and without health risks. For women, the biologically best and safest age to have children is between 18 and 25. So there is absolutely no need to pressure girls under 18 into having children. I had my first at 24 and I consider that a little late but that's how my life went. I'm expecting my 4th in November and will be 31 at that time. I think that's okay. Maybe I could have had 1-2 more by now, if I had met my husband earlier, but it is how it is and life does not always go the ideal way. An ideal Germanic society should promote the age between 18-21 as the norm for women to get married and have their first child. There would still be some women who have their first child somewhat earlier or later, but if the majority of Germanic women followed that norm, we would be way better off.

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    The best age for women to have children seems to be in the early 20s, from what I’ve seen.

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