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Morality of Marrying Aisha at an Early Age

 

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12/15/10

 

Bismillaah al Rahmaan Al Raheem

When "attacks" against Islam are examined rationally, it comes out ON EACH ISSUE
that Islam should be the accusing party indeed, not the other way around.

"Of all the world's great men, none has been so much maligned* as Muhammad."

W. Montgomery Watt, Muhammad at Medina,  Oxford University Press, 1956.
* ma-lign: v.t. to speak harmful untruths about... (R. H. Webster's).

Introduction | The Answers (Summary)
False-Prophet? | Atonement | Grammatical-Mistakes | Polygamy | Early Marriage | Inconsistency | Theological-Errors | Woman's-Status | Islam and "Terrorism" | Jesus-&-Muhammad-PBUT

For Comments or questions, click here

 

ISLAM ANSWERS - EARLY MARRIAGE Part 1
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Several attacks have been raised recently against early marriage in Islam, which clearly result from ignoring facts about pre-modern society and Islam, or intentionally concealing them.

 

1)      Age of Consent in History

One such claim is that Islams age of consent was relatively low in history.

         First of all, early procreation was a necessity for human survival. Lifespan ranged from 20 to 30 years,[1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]  [6]  [7]  [8]  [9]  due to high death rates.[10]  [11]  [12] Even until the 18th century, 8 children were still needed by each fertile wife just to maintain the population.[13]  [14]  [15]  [16]  [17]  [18]  [19]  [20] Also, sexual attraction accompanies puberty,[21]  [22] which genetically ranges from ages 7 to 13 in women.[23]  [24]  [25]  [26]  [27]  [28]  [29]  [30] So, whether one believes this instinct resulted from evolution, or part of Gods plan, procreation after puberty in history is natural and acceptable.

         According to the Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, the age of consent throughout historyusually coincided with the age of puberty with the absolute minimum at seven.[31]   Both that Journal and Encyclopedia Britannica state that age of consent laws were passed from Roman law to the Church to English Common Law,[32]  [33] which states: between 7 years and puberty there could be consent but not consummation until puberty, with no parental consent required from the age of 12.[34] This was confirmed in 1877 by the US Supreme Court.[35]  [36]  Even today, 6 states and the District of Columbia allow this Common Law marriage, [37]  [38]  [39]  [40]  [41]  [42] and such marriages are then constitutionally recognized in all 50 states.[43]

         Marriage as early as age 7, which was considered the age of reason,[44]  [45] or directly after puberty was the norm for the vast majority of all human society even until the 19th century.[46]  [47]  [48]  [49]  [50]

         1300 years earlier, Islams minimum of 9 was 2 years higher, and also added the protection of requiring parental consent even after age 12.[51]

         The delay of puberty in industrialized cities between 1700 and 1850 does not disprove the norm of early marriage in history, because that was an abnormal result of poor sanitation, [52]  [53]  [54] lack of exercise, and the vast introduction of cheap, un-nutritious cereal diets.[55]  [56]  [57]

As a result, not only was Islams age of consent higher than all pre-modern law, it also added the protection of requiring parental consent after age 12.

 

2)      Psychological Maturity in History

The second claim is that Islam allowed marriage at puberty in pre-modern times, which caused psychological harm because puberty was too young to give informed consent.

         The fact is that even until the 18th century, reaching puberty meant becoming an adult, in terms of maturity, behavior and responsibility, as stated in the Journal of Social History, Online Etymology Dictionary, Journal of Marriage and the Family, and numerous academic references.[58]  [59]  [60]  [61]  [62]  [63]

         Children faced the daily struggle for physical and economic survival,[64]  [65]  [66]  [67]  [68] and while this type of environmental stress actually causes puberty at a younger age,[69]  [70]  [71] it is proven to have also speeded psychological maturity.[72]  [73]  [74]  [75]  [76] This maturity helped in coping with the responsibilities of early marriage and childbearing.

         These responsibilities were indeed valued by society, including the most important founding father of the United States,[77] Benjamin Franklin.[78]  

         It was only in the industrial mid-18th century that psychological maturity started to delay,[79] due to side effects that are proven to delay maturity such as: increasing comforts of life, diminished parental guidance,[80]  [81]  [82] and that children remained children longer to complete their education.[83]  [84]  [85]  [86]

         It is therefore ridiculous to demand late marriage in pre-modern society on the pretense of psychological harm as it would have wiped out the human race for reasons that only arise for immature adolescents today.

         Since psychological maturity and adulthood were reached at puberty in pre-modern times, it is also naive to slander early marriage in history as:

1)      Child sexual abuse: "the engagement of a child in sexual activities for which the child is developmentally unprepared and cannot give informed consent.[87]

2)      Pedophilia: the sexual attraction towards pre-pubescent children.[88]  [89]  [90]

As a result, early procreation was psychologically appropriate and even a valued benefit to society.

 

3)      Risks of Early Procreation in History

The third claim is that Islam allowed procreation at puberty in pre-modern times, which was more dangerous to the younger mothers.

         This attack cites a UNFPA study, but conceals that the study was for 2 contemporary impoverished nations, and that almost all of these deaths are preventable simply by providing access and transportation to hospitals.[91] The International Journal of Epidemiology states studies implicate poverty, not maternal age, as the real threat to maternal and infant welfare.[92]  In pre-modern times, the high risk of childbirth, due to lack of medical knowledge and hygiene, affected all women regardless of age.[93]

         In fact, early procreation was a genetically superior trait for population growth in pre-modern times for 2 reasons:

1)      Women who have puberty earlier have children who grow up faster and weigh more.[94]

2)      Life history theory states that in a less stable environment, natural selection will favor individuals that reproduce earlier...within a population.[95]  [96]

As a result, early procreation was not harmful, but beneficial to newborns and genetics.

 

4)      Early Marriage in Modern Times

The fourth claim is that Islam allows marriage at puberty in modern times, which causes sexual and psychological harm.

         First of all, it is untrue that Islamic age of consent is lower in modern times compared to other laws. For example, the US and other countries currently allow marriage well under the age of 16 with pregnancy, or parental or court approval.[97] In contrast, 17 Islamic countries have age of consent ranging from 15 to 18 years with parental consent,[98]  [99]  [100]  [101]  [102]  [103]  [104]  [105]  [106]  [107]  [108]  [109]  [110]  [111]  [112]  [113]  [114] which was raised specifically as an implementation of Islamic Law.[115]  [116]  
In fact, because of the contemporary delay in maturity, marriage at puberty today would violate 6 basic Islamic rules:

1)      Rushd, psychological maturity, or prudent judgement is required before marriage.[117]  [118]

2)      No one should harm anyone else. [119]  [120]  [121]  [122]

3)      Peoples best interests must be observed.[123]

4)      No one should bear any burden beyond their capacity. [124]  [125]  [126]  [127]  [128]

5)      Governments and guardians are entrusted to act correctly.[129]  [130]  [131]

6)      Compliance to urf, new social norms that are considered good.[132]  [133]  [134]

         Secondly, it is untrue that Islamic marital law results in more harm in modern times compared to other laws. In fact, the Islamic requirement of marriage provides to every sexual relationship and its potential offspring the benefits of faithfulness, emotional support, mutual trust, commitment,[135] parental guidance and wide social support.[136] In addition, with a slightly lower average age of marriage, Islamic countries benefit from the early marriage mentality, which is proven to result in psychological maturity at a relatively younger age.[137]
On the other hand, non-Islamic societies permit and condone sexual activities years before psychological maturity and the legal age of marriage,[138] which causes devastating sexual harm to adolescents, such as the following current US statistics:

o   50% of child sexual abuse offenders are adolescents themselves,[139] committing sexual abuse, child pornography, child prostitution and incest,[140] using deception, force or coercion.[141]

o   35% of all 17 year olds have been sexually abused.[142]  [143]

o   12% of all 14 year olds have had sex involuntarily.[144]  

o   Half of all new HIV infections occur among adolescents.[145]  [146]

o   70% of 13 year olds who had sex said it was against their will.[147]

o   7% of 12 year olds have had sex.[148]  [149]

o   90% of prostitutes were victims of child sexual abuse.[150] [151] [152]

o   The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14.[153]

o   Sexually active teenagers are 3 to 8 times as likely to attempt suicide.[154]  [155]

o   76% of unplanned teen mothers end up on welfare[156]

o   Every year in the worlds richest countries, there are 1.25 million teen pregnancies and 500,000 teen abortions.[157]

o   Countries that choose legalized prostitution as their solution, like Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, end up with increased rates of child prostitution and sex trafficking,[158]  [159]  [160]  [161] child pornography,[162]  [163] incest,[164] [165] and even legal beastiality, sex with animals.[166]  [167]  [168]  [169]

         In modern times, the age of puberty has fallen [170]  [171] below the age of psychological maturity,[172]  [173] [174] sexual values have greatly degraded,[175] and the late marriage mentality is delaying psychological maturity even further.[176] These 3 trends will continue to increase the above devastating sexual harm to adolescents in non-Islamic countries.

         While extremely rare cases of marriage at puberty in Afghanistans countryside are exploited to attack all Muslims, it must be noted that even in Islamic countries that have not yet officially raised the minimum age of consent, they have done so in practice. Otherwise Islams critics would have publicized more than just a few cases from some isolated tent villages. More importantly, even such Islamic countries do not have any of the sexual atrocities that are documented at alarmingly high ratios in the same countries attacking Islam.

As a result, Islams flexible marital law provides far better protection than contemporary laws by prohibiting sexual activities prior to psychological maturity and then marriage.

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, Islam responsibly channels sexual instincts through marriage, with the prior condition of psychological maturity. And contrary to claims of improved morality, non-Islamic laws have alarmingly driven child sexual abuse and psychological harm to epidemic proportions.

Therefore, when such attacks against Islam are analyzed impartially, they reveal the perfect applicability of Islams solution from the 7th century until today, and the utter failure of any other system to provide any protection whatsoever to societys youth. At best, these attacks are also found to be irresponsibly superficial due to the seriousness of this issue.


[2]  Average Life Expectancy at Birth
The average life expectancy in Classical Greece was 28...The average life expectancy in Classical Rome was 28

[3]  Americans and their health - A little good news, WIN Wyoming, November 2004
During the Roman Empire, the average life expectancy of humans was about 22-25 years.

[4]  "old age" Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008
In ancient Rome and medieval Europe the average life span is estimated to have been between 20 and 30 years.

[5]  Time traveller's guide to Medieval Britain
The Middle Ages are a dangerous time... Average life expectancy is only 30.

[6]  A millennium of health improvement
The average life expectancy for a male child born in the UK between 1276 and 1300 was 31.3 years.

[9]  It's Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years By Stephen Moore, Julian Lincoln Simon
Throughout most of human history, death came at an early age--25 to 30 years was a typical lifespan. The essential element of the human condition was a day-to-say struggle to fend off death...Increasing life expectancy at birth from the lower 20s to the high 20s around 1750 took thousands of years. Over the next two centuries, life expectancy in the richest countries suddenly accelerated and tripled. From the mid-18th century to today, life spans in the advanced countries jumped from less than 30 years to about 75 years.

[10]  The End of Life: Medical Considerations - Causes Of Death
In the 1800s and early 1900s, infectious (communicable) diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, and diphtheria were the leading causes of death.

[11]  Commentary: The pitfalls of policy history. Writing the past to change the present, S Ryan Johansson, Cambridge Groups for the History of Population and Social Structure, Cambridge University
"...most people were too poor, and therefore too poorly nourished, to resist the relentless onslaughts of disease, particularly infectious disease. In 18th century Western Europe, agricultural development increased the food supply and let ordinary people buy more and better food. Better nutrition increased their resistance to infectious disease, and reduced death rates, all without the assistance of medical care.

[12]  Health: A millennium of health improvement, December 27, 1998, BBC News
Childbirth was less sanitary, and put the mother at a high risk of fatal infection. Complications in the birth were more frequently fatal too, as, although midwives existed, they had little medical knowledge and their hygiene was poor.

[13]  "Saga Background: Women", Theban Tribunal Sourcebook
...Early marriage and procreation of children was the norm in Byzantium...One reason for the promotion of teenage marriage was the emphasis on the virginity of the bride. Another, unstated reason may have been the desire to make the most of the childbearing years; because of the high rate of infant mortality, a woman had to bear many children to insure the survival of a few. Furthermore, since many women died young (if they survived infancy, they had an average life expectancy of about thirty-five years), it behooved them to marry and begin producing children as soon as physically possible.

[14]  THE DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION, Keith Montgomery, Department of Geography and Geology, University of Wisconsin Marathon County
"STAGE ONE is associated with pre Modern times, and is characterized by a balance between birth rates and death rates...The high rate of birth (even higher if one were to adjust it for women of childbearing age) could be due any or all of the  factors that are associated with high fertility even today in many less developed countries. With a high death rate among children, there would be little incentive in rural societies to control fertility except in the most unbearable of circumstances...STAGE TWO sees a rise in population caused by a decline in the death rate while the birth rate remains high, or perhaps even rises slightly. The decline in the death rate in Europe began in the late 18th.C. in northwestern Europe and spread over the next 100 years to the south end east."

[15]  Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics Population and demography Version 1.0 April 2006 Walter Scheidel Stanford University
High mortality logically implies high fertility. For instance, a mean life expectancy at birth of 25 years compels on average every woman surviving to menopause to give birth to approximately five children to maintain existing population size. The corresponding rate was higher still for married women: one reconstruction posits a lifetime mean of 8.4 births for continuously married women in Roman Egypt (Frier 2000: 801).

[16]  Crisis In The Family: Connecticut And The Nation, Lou Ratt, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
In concrete terms, historians observe, the American woman of 1800 bore, on the average, seven or eight children; the American woman of 1900 bore three or four...You can start with an initial population of 100. Half of them are women. Those fifty women have to produce 200 children in twenty years. If all the women produced an equal number of children, and all the children lived, the number of children necessary would be four. However, ten percent of the women dont marry. Eliminate five women. Ten percent of the women who do marry prove to be infertile. Eliminate another five women. Finally, ten percent of the women lose their husbands before they can produce children. Eliminate another ten percent. You are left with thirty-five women. These women could produce 200 children if each bore 5.7, or between five and six children each. However, ten percent of the children, or twenty, die as infants, and another ten percent do not live into adulthood to produce children of their own. Add another twenty. You now have 240 births necessary. Remember, though, that of the 200 children, half of which will be female, that you want, thirty percent will not be able to do their share of reproducing. You need an additional sixty children to ensure that the population can continue to double. So, you need 300 children. Divide that number by the available thirty-five women. Each woman must bear between eight and nine children...Between seven and eight is the figure that demographic historians estimate was the average for number of children in the American family in 1800

[17]  William Faulkner, a twentieth- century American novelist once wrote, The past is not dead, Sep 2004
"In the 17th century, the majority of people worked as farmers.  In this profession, it was beneficial to have as many people helping as possible in order to maximize profit. Thus, the average number of children per household was 8.3 compared to todays 1.3 children, according to 'Colonial America to 1763'."

[18]  The Real Population Problem: Too Few Working, Too Many Retired, William Poole and David C. Wheelock, The Regional Economist, April 2005
For centuries, the worlds population grew slowly, as high rates of mortality largely offset high birth rates.

[19]  The Peopling of America, Digital History
Child Mortality in New England: 180-200 of every l,000 died first year, 35-40 percent failed to reach adulthood

[20]  Unit 5: Human Population Dynamics // Section 2: Mathematics of Population Growth
Until the mid-19th century birth rates were only slightly higher than death rates, so the human population grew very slowly. The industrial era changed many factors that affected birth and death rates, and in doing so, it triggered a dramatic expansion of the world's population

[21]  Molecular investigations into complex behavior: Lessons from sexual orientation studies, Human Biology,  Apr 1998  by Pattatucci, Angela M
"Remarkably, the mean age of phenotypic expression of sexual orientation, assessed in terms of the age of the first romantic/sexual attraction to another person, was constant at approximately 10 years"

[22]  Puberty May Start at 6 As Hormones Surge, By HARA ESTROFF MARANO, July 1, 1997
...the adrenal sex steroids do what sex hormones typically do, influence behavior as well as the body...Using data from three separate studies, they said that sexual attraction first manifested itself in the fourth grade, from the ages of 9 to 10...In Dr. Herdt's study, the mean age of first-recalled sexual attraction was 9.6 for men, 10.1 for women. In the cancer institute's studies, the mean age of first sexual attraction was 10 to 10.5...Dr. Herdt recalled 'being struck by the significant number of teens in our study who made remarks about attractions' occurring at 9 or 10. 'I thought that was strange, certainly inconsistent with the literature,' Dr. Herdt said. 'But many of the teens specifically placed their experiences in the fourth grade'.

[23]  New research shows how evolution explains age of puberty, From the University of Southampton
They found that Paleolithic girls arrived at menarche - the first occurrence of menstruation - between seven and 13 years. This is a similar age to modern girls, which suggests that this is the evolutionarily determined age of puberty in girls...Disease and poor nutrition became more common as humans settled, causing puberty to be delayed. Modern hygiene, nutrition and medicine have allowed the age of menarche to fall to its original range.

[24]  When Little Girls Become Women: Early Onset of Puberty in Girls
There are new guidelines for pediatricians that are guaranteed to shock: girls who start to develop breasts and pubic hair at age six or seven are not necessarily "abnormal" (Kaplowitz, et al., 1999). In fact, by their ninth birthday, 48% of African American girls and 15% of white girls are showing clear signs of puberty.

[25]  "reproductive system disease." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008
Abnormally early has traditionally been defined as younger than 9 years in boys and younger than 8 years in girls, though studies undertaken since the 1990s indicate that the normal onset of puberty may be occurring at a younger age in girls in developed countries and that therefore the age of precocious puberty for girls may actually be as low as 6 or 7.

[26]  Early Puberty: What Is Normal and When Is Treatment Indicated?
Girls and boys who enter puberty before 8 and 9 years of age, respectively (corresponding to about -3 SDS), are arbitrarily considered to need referral for endocrine investigation. A recent report from the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society suggested that the limit for investigation of girls and boys should be lowered to 7 and 8 years, respectively. For African-American girls, 6 years is the suggested age.

[27]  Nutritional Information, Precocious puberty
Precocious puberty, or early sexual development, is happening everywhere. Its estimated that one out of six girls aged eight may be entering puberty. The age at which puberty begins has been steadily declining. Today, the average age of first menstruation is under 12 years. Reports of early puberty have come from many countries including Canada, the US, Australia, Britain, the European Union, Asia, and the Caribbean. A groundbreaking US study on 17,000 girls found that 27 percent of African-American and almost seven percent of Caucasian girls had the onset of secondary sexual characteristics, i.e., either breast development or pubic hair development, by the age of seven. By the time the girls turned eight-years-old, 15 percent of Caucasian girls and 50 percent of Afro-American girls were starting puberty. Even more startling was the finding that one percent of Caucasian and three percent of African-American girls showed these characteristics by the age of three.

[28]  Changing times: The evolution of puberty", Gluckman & Hanson, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology Volumes 254-255, 25 July 2006, Pages 26-31
An evolutionary and life history perspective is used to consider the evolution of puberty. The age of menarche would have evolved by the Neolithic to be matched to social maturity. It is suggested that in developed countries menarche is now returning to a similar age as in the Neolithic...

[29]  Puberty, Encyclopedia of Psychology
Although most children begin puberty between the ages of 10 and 12, it can start at any age from 8 to 16. The most obvious determining factor is gender; on average, puberty arrives earlier for girls than boys.

[30]  Puberty May Start at 6 As Hormones Surge, By HARA ESTROFF MARANO, July 1, 1997
In fact, two University of Chicago researchers, Dr. Martha K. McClintock, a biopsychologist, and Dr. Gilbert Herdt, an anthropologist, say that puberty may actually begin around the age of 6.

[31]  Age of Consent A Historical Overview Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, Volume: 16 Issue: 2/3, 5/3/2005
Age of Consent throughout history has usually coincided with the age of puberty although at sometimes it has been as early as seven. Early on age of consent was a familial or tribal matter and only became a legal one in the Greco-Roman period. The Roman tradition served as the base for Christian Europe as well as the Christian Church itself which generally, essentially based upon biological development, set it at 12 or 14 but continued to set the absolute minimum at seven. In the past century there has been a tendency to raise the age of consent but the reasons for the change have not always been clear and the issue has been further complicated by the reluctance of many contemporary historians to recognize what the actual age of consent in the past has been. This failure has distorted the importance of biology on age of consent in the past.

[32]  Age of Consent A Historical Overview Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, Volume: 16 Issue: 2/3, 5/3/2005
... The Roman tradition served as the base for Christian Europe as well as the Christian Church itself which generally, essentially based upon biological development, set it at 12 or 14 but continued to set the absolute minimum at seven.

[33]  sexual behaviour, human Encyclopedia Britannica 2008
when secular law replaced religious law, there was rather little change in content...in England and the United States there was no such rift with the past. In the latter country, as each new state joined the union, its sex laws simply duplicated, to a great extent, those of pre-existing states;

[34]  family law Encyclopedia Britannica 2008
Historically, the attitude of the English common law was that a person under seven years of age lacked the mental ability to consent to marriage, and that between seven years and puberty there could be consent but not consummation. At common law, therefore, the marriage of a person between the ages of seven and 12 or 14 was inchoate and would become choate on reaching puberty, if no objection was raised.

[35]  MEISTER V. MOORE, 96 U. S. 76 (1877)
The defense was:...That that evidence utterly failed to establish a valid marriage at common law. The Revised Statutes of Michigan upon the subject of the solemnization of marriages, adopted in the year 1838 and in force at the time of the alleged marriage, enact as follows:...
'SEC. 6. Marriages may be solemnized by any justice of the peace in the county in which he is chosen, and they may be solemnized throughout the state by any minister of the gospel who has been ordained according to the usages of his denomination and who resides within this state and continues to preach the gospel.'
'SEC. 8. In the solemnization of marriage, no particular form shall be required except that the parties shall solemnly declare, in the presence of the magistrate or minister and the attending witnesses, that they take each other as husband and wife. In every case there shall be at least two witnesses, besides the minister or magistrate, present at the ceremony.' "

[36]  MARRIAGE OF MINORS.; THE NEW LAW FIXING THE AGE OF CONSENT--CRIMINAL LIABILITY OF CLERGYMEN AND MAGISTRATES, New York Times, July 14, 1887
At common law, a marriage contracted under the age of consent was not regarded as void, but only as an imperfect marriage, valid until voided by the parties after their arrival at the age of consent...The common law rule of 14 in males and 12 in females was derived from the civil law, also substantially from the canon...In the revision of the statutes, the age of consent was fixed at 17 for males and 14 for females, but so deep rooted had the common law become that the section was repealed by chapter 320 of the laws of 1830, the Legislature of that year having arrived at the conclusion that owing to the delicate nature of the marital relation and the complications growing out of it, the common law rule had better be allowed to stand.

[37]  "Common Law Marriages", New York Divorce and Family Law
Infancy was also an impediment to marriage. Children below the age of seven were incapable of marrying. After the age of seven they might marry, but the marriage was voidable until they were able to consummate the marriage, which the law presumed to be at age fourteen for boys and twelve for girls. Beyond those ages the marriages were valid, even though the parties were under the age of twenty-one and did not have their parents' consent. Later statutes imposed the requirement of parents' consent.

[38]  DC Almanac, Marriage
"MICHAEL WASSERMAN, DC HISTORY NET - Based on my review of the statute applicable between 1901 and 1925...Sections 1283 and 1284 specify which marriages are absolutely void or merely voidable after judicial decree....The fourth paragraph of section 1284 (added in 1902) specifically declares the age of consent to marriage to be 16 for males and 14 for females, and makes marriages in which one party is under age voidable at the suit of the party."

[39]  "Issuance of marriage license to persons under 18", Joslyn Wilson, Assistant Attorney General
At common law, a male was deemed competent to contract a valid marriage at 14 years of age; for females the age of consent was 12 years. Green v. Green, supra; 55 C.J.S. Marriage s. 11. Any marriage, however, occurring between the age of 7 years and the age of consent was merely voidable, but a marriage where one or both of the parties were under the age of 7 years was void and without legal significance. 55 C.J.S. Marriage s. 11. A marriage by one above the age of consent but below the age of contract generally is fully valid. 55 C.J.S. Marriage s. 11 at p. 823; also see Hunt v. Hunt, 161 So. 119, 122 (Miss. 1935). Although not required at common law, the state may require the consent of the parents or guardian as a preliminary to the marriage of minors. 55 C.J.S. Marriage s. 23.

[40]  "Silent Partners", Legal Assistance for Military Personnel
Voidable marriages are those where insufficient age, fraud, duress, sham ceremony, physical disability (disease or incurable impotence), or mental disability taint what appears to be an otherwise valid marriage. If a marriage is voidable, then it must be "avoided" (or challenged in court) by the one whose disability causes the problem at some point in time before the listing of the disability. Otherwise, avoidable marriage may "cure" into a valid marriage...A different kind of common law marriage is represented by the situation where a valid marriage is formed from an invalid marriage after the impediment is lifted. For example, a party might be underage at the time of the marriage. Continued cohabitation as husband and wife after the underage party attains majority, however, results in the marriage ripening into validity where this form of common law marriage is recognized.

[41]  re In The Marriage of J.M.H. and Rouse, COLORADO COURT OF APPEALS, Judge James Hartmann, June 15, 2006
AND/OR
Colorado Court of Appeals -- June 15, 2006
AND/OR
re In The Marriage of J.M.H. and Rouse, COLORADO COURT OF APPEALS, Judge James Hartmann, June 15, 2006
"...The Uniform Marriage Act (UMA)...provides that [n]othing in this section shall be deemed to repeal or render invalid any otherwise valid common law marriage between one man and one woman." Section 142104(3),C.R.S. 2005...The jurisdictions that recognized common law marriage are Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Idaho*, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas**, and Utah...Similarly, the United States Supreme Court has held that common law marriages are valid, notwithstanding statutes that require ceremonial marriages to be solemnized by a minister or a magistrate, if no specific provision to the contrary exists... Common law, not the UMA, governs the existence of a common law marriage...Regarding the age of consent for common law marriage specifically, courts in other jurisdictions have uniformly declared that the common law age of consent applies to common law marriages, even when statutes otherwise require parental or judicial approval for persons under a specified age, unless those statutes expressly modify or abrogate the common law...The common law marriage of a person is valid, regardless of whether the person has reached the age of competency as established by statute, if the person is competent under the common law...Under English common law, children below the age of seven were incapable of marrying. After that age they could marry, but the marriage was voidable until they became able to consummate it... which the law presumed to be at age fourteen for males and twelve for females...Accordingly, several jurisdictions have adopted those ages as the common law ages of consent for marriage "
[*] only before 1997
[**] minimum 13

[42]  Marriage Laws of the Fifty States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, Cornell Law School
Alabama, Iowa, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Washington DC

[43]  "Common Law Marriage", National Conference of State Legislatures
"The United States Constitution requires every state to accord Full Faith and Credit to the laws of its sister states. Thus, a common-law marriage that is validly contracted in a state where such marriages are legal will be valid even in states where such marriages cannot be contracted and may be contrary to public policy."

[44]  Age of reason (canon law), Amazines
The age of reason, also called the age of discretion, is the age at which children become capable of moral responsibility. On completion of the seventh year a minor is presumed to have the use of reason (canon 97 2 of the Code of Canon Law), but mental retardation or insanity could prevent some individuals from ever reaching it. Children under the age of reason and the mentally handicapped are sometimes called "innocents" because of their inability to commit sins even if their actions are objectively sinful, they lack capacity for subjective guilt.
While in the Eastern Churches Confirmation (also known as Chrismation) and Eucharist are bestowed on the infant who has just been baptized, in Latin Rite Catholicism, Confirmation (except in danger of death) may be lawfully conferred only on a person who has the use of reason (canon 889 2), and Holy Communion may be administered to children only if "they have sufficient knowledge and (are) accurately prepared, so that according to their capacity they understand what the mystery of Christ means, and are able to receive the Body of the Lord with faith and devotion.

[45]  CHAPTER IV : MATRIMONIAL CONSENT, Code of Canon Law
Can. 1095 The following are incapable of contracting marriage:
1 those who lack sufficient use of reason;
Can. 1096 1 For matrimonial consent to exist, it is necessary that the contracting parties be at least not ignorant of the fact that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman, ordered to the procreation of children through some form of sexual cooperation.
2 This ignorance is not presumed after puberty.
Can. 1107 Even if a marriage has been entered into invalidly by reason of an impediment or defect of form, the consent given is presumed to persist until its withdrawal has been established.

[46]  "Agnes-Anna of France,wife of Alexius II and Andronicus I of the Comneni Dynasty", An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors, Lynda Garland, Andrew Stone
Agnes was only eight on her arrival at Constantinople... Agnes was born... in 1172... The ceremonies took place in the palace on 2 March 1180...Child brides, whether Byzantines or foreign princesses, were the norm rather than the exception, especially from the late twelfth century. Irene Ducaena, wife of Alexius I Comnenus, was twelve at her marriage, and empress before she was fifteen; the Byzantine princess Theodora, Manuel's niece, was in her thirteenth year when she married Baldwin III of Jerusalem; and Margaret-Maria of Hungary married Isaac II Angelus at the age of nine. Agnes's age, then, was not unusual, especially as it was customary for young engaged couples in Constantinople to be brought up together in the house of the socially superior partner.

[47]  "Saga Background: Women", Theban Tribunal Sourcebook
For most girls in Byzantium, childhood came to an abrupt end with the onset of puberty, which was usually soon followed by betrothal and marriage. Early marriage and procreation of children was the norm in Byzantium...

[48]  "History of Marriage in Western Civilization", Magnus Hirshfeld Archive for Sexology
Marriage in Medieval Europe...On the average, however, males married in their mid-twenties, and females in their early teens (i.e., soon after their first menstruation).

[49]  "History of Marriage in Western Civilization", Magnus Hirshfeld Archive for Sexology
Marriage in Ancient Greece and Rome...As Demosthenes, the orator, explained it: 'We ...wives to bear us lawful offspring'...Marriage in Ancient Israel...The main purpose of marriage was procreation and the perpetuation of a man's name...Marriage in Medieval Europe...On the average, however, males married in their mid-twenties, and females in their early teens (i.e., soon after their first menstruation).

[50]  The Household and the Making of History: a Subversive View of the Western Past, Hartman, Mary S., Rutgers University, Cambridge University Press, 2004
"This book argues that a unique late marriage pattern, discovered in the 1960s but originating in the Middle Ages, explains the continuing puzzle of why western Europe was the site of changes that...when the peasants in northwestern Europe began to marry their daughters almost as late as their sons. The appearance of this late marriage system, with its unstable nuclear household form"

[51]  Shari'ah, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008
A legal capacity to transact belongs to any person of prudent judgment (rashid), a quality that is normally deemed to arrive with physical maturity or puberty. There is an irrebuttable presumption of law (1) that boys below the age of 12 and girls below the age of 9 have not attained puberty, and (2) that puberty has been attained by the age of 15 for both sexes. Persons who are not rashid, on account of minority, mental deficiency, simplicity, or prodigality, are placed under interdiction: their affairs are managed by a guardian and they cannot transact effectively without the guardian's consent.

[53]  New research shows how evolution explains age of puberty, From the University of Southampton
Disease and poor nutrition became more common as humans settled, causing puberty to be delayed. Modern hygiene, nutrition and medicine have allowed the age of menarche to fall to its original range.

[54]  International Variability of Ages at Menarche and Menopause: Patterns and Main Determinants, Human Biology 73.2 (2001) 271-290
Vegetable calorie consumption per person and per day has a small, but significant, influence on age at menarche, supporting the idea that good [End Page 282] nutritional conditions favor early menarche (Frisch 1982, 1985; Warren 1983; Haq 1984)....In fact, age at menarche seems to be closely related to extrinsic factors such as living conditions and, especially, the energy balance allocated to individuals.

[55]  Evolutionary Aspects of Nutrition and Health, Book Review
...insulin resistance was once advantageous for humans, who were eating a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, but once the diet shifted to a highly refined carbohydrate diet, hyperinsulinemia was no longer beneficial and it now causes diseases such as NIDDM, coronary heart disease, and hypertension. They also point out that beyond the Agricultural Revolution and its radical change to the human diet, we must also consider the profound effects of the Industrial Revolution and the Post-Industrial diet with the proliferation of highly refined carbohydrates in the last centuries.

[56]  Disease during the Industrial Revolution
Disease was a constant threat during the Industrial Revolution. Changes in the way that people lived and the conditions in which they worked led to disease being able to spread much more rapidly, and new forms of disease emerged that were as deadly as any killer that had been before.
Towns grew very quickly as factories led to migrations from the countryside and immigration from different parts of Europe and the empire. As the demand for housing increased so rapidly the quality of homes constructed was low. Housing for the worker was cramped in, built quickly and built with little regard for hygiene. In many cities the result was that large slums appeared.
These slums were areas where houses were small, roads narrow and services such as rubbish collection, sewage works and basic washing facilities nonexistent. In this type of climate bacteria grow quickly, the water supply is likely to become infected and weaker people are likely to fall ill much more rapidly.
Water was often the problem. Factories would dump waste into streams and rivers. The same streams and rivers were used to supply homes with water for washing and cooking. Soon peoples health was endangered. In many slums the same water supply was infected with human sewage as toilet facilities were often inadequate and sometimes consisted of a toilet block that was emptied irregularly: meaning that when it rained, the waste may overflow into the gutter and therefore into the rivers and streams.
The result of this is the spread of disease.
One of the main killers of the industrial age was Cholera. This deadly disease was water borne and spread through filthy cities with ease, killing thousands. Typhoid also took a hold in some areas and aain made great use of the poor sewage provisions to take a hold of many areas.
Diseases such as Cholera and Typhoid are now fairly easily prevented. Basic cleanliness, underground sewage pipes and regularly cleaned and controlled water supplies doing most of the work to prevent any re-occurrence of this form of disease.

[57]  Medieval diets 'far more healthy', BBC News
Their low-fat, vegetable-rich diet - washed down by weak ale - was far better for the heart than today's starchy, processed foods, one GP says.
And while they consumed more they burnt off calories in a workout of 12 hours' labour, Dr Roger Henderson concludes.
But the Shropshire GP accepts that life for even prosperous peasants was tough.
But after examining the available records, Dr Henderson suggests that medieval meals were perhaps even better than the much touted "Mediterranean" diet enjoyed by the Romans.
While this would have involved fish, fruit, whole grains and olive oil - as well as red wine - the rich often overindulged, while the poor may not always have been able to obtain them.
The average medieval peasant however would have eaten nearly two loaves of bread each day, and 8oz of meat or fish, the size of an average steak.
This would have been accompanied by liberal quantities of vegetables, including beans, turnips and parsnips, and washed down by three pints of ale.
Crucially, there was little refined sugar in their food, while modern eating habits are dominated by biscuits, cake and sweets.
"If you put this together with the incredible work load, medieval man was at much less risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes than we are today," said Dr Henderson.

[58]  "Saga Background: Women", Theban Tribunal Sourcebook
For most girls in Byzantium, childhood came to an abrupt end with the onset of puberty, which was usually soon followed by betrothal and marriage. Early marriage and procreation of children was the norm in Byzantium...

[59]  William Faulkner, a twentieth- century American novelist once wrote, The past is not dead, Sep 2004
"In the 17th century...children rapidly evolved into adulthood. In the words of the historian John Demos, 'the seventeenth century had no real word for the period of life between puberty and full manhood.' In fact, as noted in 'Colonial America', well bred children were supposed to both behave and look like small adults."

[60]  "Apprentices as Adolescents in Sixteenth Century Bristol", Anne Yarbrough, Journal of Social History, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Autumn, 1979), pp. 67-81
Since Erikson's formulation of the nature of adolescence, it has most frequently been argued that adolescence only fully emerged in the 19th century.

[61]  puberty [Johnson], 1382, from O.Fr. pubert, from L. pubertatem (nom. pubertas), Online Etymology Dictionary
"puberty: 'the time of life in which the two sexes begin first to be acquainted' [Johnson], 1382, from O.Fr. pubert, from L. pubertatem (nom. pubertas) 'age of maturity, manhood,' from pubes (gen. pubertis) 'adult, full-grown, manly.' "

[62]  "Adolescense in Historical Perspective", Demos & Demos, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Nov., 1969), pp. 632-638
The "discovery" of adolescence can be related to certain broad changes in American life--above all, to changes in the structure of the family as part of the new urban and industrial order...
The idea of adolescence is today one of our most widely held and deeply imbedded assumptions about the process of human development. Indeed must of us treat it not as an idea but as a fact...
Yet all of this has a relatively short history. The concept of adolescence, as generally understood and applied, did not exist before the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Once could almost call it an invention of that period...
We shall limit our attention to developments in the United States, since adolescence was on the whole an American discovery.
We shall begin with a sketch of some common ideas about childhood and "youth" during the period 1800-1875, as revealed in two kinds of sources: (1) a rapidly developing literature of child-rearing advice, and (2) a large body of books and pamphlets directed to the young people of the country and bearing especially on their "moral problems." Then we shall summarize the activites of the "child-study movement (beginning in about 1890)...
And finally we shall propose a hypothesis for drawing together these various types of material and above all for explaining the relationship between the idea of adolescence and the social phenomena to which it was a response. It is here that questions of family life will come most fully into view, since adolescence was, we believe, profoundly related to certain fundamental changes affecting the internal structure of many American homes.

[63]  William Faulkner, a twentieth- century American novelist once wrote, The past is not dead, Sep 2004
"In the 17th century...children rapidly evolved into adulthood. In the words of the historian John Demos, 'the seventeenth century had no real word for the period of life between puberty and full manhood.' In fact, as noted in 'Colonial America', well bred children were supposed to both behave and look like small adults."

[64]  It's Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years By Stephen Moore, Julian Lincoln Simon
The essential element of the human condition was a day-to-say struggle to fend off death

[65]  sexual behaviour, human Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008
The old family pattern was inexorably disrupted by the rise of the industrial state. Children were no longer kept at home to share in the work and be economic assets but left for school or for nonfamily employment...

[66]  William Faulkner, a twentieth- century American novelist once wrote, The past is not dead, Sep 2004
"The economic structure of the colonial times forced children to start work early."

[67]  Does the American Family Have a History? Family Images and Realities, Digital History
Families in Colonial America...children were likely to lose at least one parent by the time they married

[68]  Does the American Family Have a History? Family Images and Realities, Digital History
Families in Colonial America...Many children left their parents homes before puberty to work as servants or apprentices in other households

[69]  Early Age at Menarche and Allostatic Load: Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Allsworth, Weitzen, Boardman, Annuals of Epidemiology, Volume 15, Issue 6, Pages 438-444 (June 2005)
Although the overall allostatic load scores were low when compared with older adults, the mean allostatic load score was higher among those with menarche at ages 10 or younger compared with those with later ages at menarche (1.99 vs. 1.33). After adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, level of education, household poverty income ratio, smoking, and depression history, women with high allostatic load scores had more than 2 times the odds as those with low scores of experiencing menarche at age 10 or earlier.

[70]  Family stress, perception of pregnancy, and age of menarche among pregnant adolescents, Ravert & Martin, Adolescence Summer 1997
specifically, the role of family stress has been linked with pubertal timing and early female maturation (Belsky, Steinberg, & Draper, 1991; Wierson, Long, & Forehand, 1993)... adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to stressful events

[71]  Allostasis and Allostatic Load: Implications for Neuropsychopharmacology, McEwin, Neuropsychopharmacology (2000) 22 108-124.10.1038 /sj.npp.1395453
The primary hormonal mediators of the stress response, glucocorticoids and catecholamines, have both protective and damaging effects on the body. In the short run, they are essential for adaptation, maintenance of homeostasis, and survival (allostasis). Yet, over longer time intervals, they exact a cost (allostatic load)...

[72]  Changing times: The evolution of puberty", Gluckman & Hanson, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology Volumes 254-255, 25 July 2006, Pages 26-31
An evolutionary and life history perspective is used to consider the evolution of puberty. The age of menarche would have evolved by the Neolithic to be matched to social maturity. It is suggested that in developed countries menarche is now returning to a similar age as in the Neolithic as infection and undernutrition, features of post-Neolithic society, have reduced impact. But recently the psychosocial expectations on adolescents in western societies have changed and social maturity now significantly follows menarche.

[73]  William Faulkner, a twentieth- century American novelist once wrote, The past is not dead, Sep 2004
The familys need for this extra source of income required children to be accelerated into adulthood. This is different in modern society.

[74]  New research shows how evolution explains age of puberty, From the University of Southampton
They found that Paleolithic girls arrived at menarche - the first occurrence of menstruation - between seven and 13 years. This is a similar age to modern girls...'This would have matched the degree of psychosocial maturation necessary to function as an adult in Paleolithic society based on small groups of hunter-gatherers,' they write...However, today there is a mismatch between sexual maturity and psychosocial maturity, with sexual maturity occurring much earlier. This mismatch is a result of society becoming vastly more complex, with psychosocial maturity therefore taking longer to reach.
'For the first time in our 200,000 year history as a species, humans become sexually mature before becoming psychologically equipped to function as adults in society,' explains Professor Hanson.
'All our social systems work on the presumption that the two types of maturity coincide. But this is no longer the case and never will be again because we cannot change biological reality. We have to work out a new set of structures - schooling, for example - to deal with this reality.'

[75]  Evolution, development and timing of puberty. Hanson, Gluckman Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 7-12
The age of menarche has fallen as child health has improved...In the past few decades, as puberty has advanced, biological maturation has come to precede psychosocial maturation significantly for the first time in our evolutionary history. Although this developmental mismatch has considerable societal implications, care has to be taken not to medicalize contemporary early puberty inappropriately.

[76]  When Little Girls Become Women: Early Onset of Puberty in Girls
But the implications for parents, teachers, and others who work with children are equally important: many young girls in early elementary school are developing breasts and pubic hair at a time when they are still playing with dolls and Junior Monopoly, and are too young to understand the emotional mood swings and other symptoms of adolescence.

[77]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin
Benjamin Franklin (January 17 [O.S. January 6] 1706 April 17, 1790) was one of the most important and influential Founding Fathers of the United States of America.

[78]  Benjamin Franklin On An Early Marriage, The Pennsylvania Packet, October 30, 1789
" The tempers and habits of the young are not yet become so stiff and uncomplying as when more advanced in life; they form more easily to each other, and hence many occasions of disgust are removed. And if youth has less of that prudence which is necessary to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of young married persons are generally at hand, to afford their advice, which amply supplies that defect; and by early marriage youth is sooner formed to regular and useful life...when nature has rendered our bodies fit for it, the presumption is in nature's favor, that she has not judged amiss in making us desire it...By these early marriages, we are blessed with more children, and from the mode among us, founded by nature, of every mother suckling and nursing her own child, more of them are raised. Thence the swift progress of population among us, unparalleled in Europe. In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratulate you most cordially upon it. You are now in the way of becoming a useful citizen, and you have escaped the unnatural state of celibacy for life, the fate of many here, who never intended it, but who, having too long postponed the change of their condition, find at length that it is too late to think of it; and so live all their lives in a situation that greatly lessens a man's value"

[79]  William Faulkner, a twentieth- century American novelist once wrote, The past is not dead, Sep 2004
Todays more industrial economic structure requires children to stay in childhood longer.

[80]  sexual behaviour, human Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008
The old family pattern was inexorably disrupted by the rise of the industrial state. Children were no longer kept at home to share in the work and be economic assets but left for school or for nonfamily employment, and the degree of parental control diminished.

[81]  William Faulkner, a twentieth- century American novelist once wrote, The past is not dead, Sep 2004
" Children received discipline and learned values within a family environment. The role of family in a child's experience has dramatically diminished since the 17th century. Traditional family roles have changed and as a result, children spend larger periods of time in school... As mentioned in the US census, in 1995 alone, around 45% of children were enrolled in some version of daycare. With so much of a child's education entrusted to strangers who do not know the family well, it has become more difficult to control, or even to know, what values children are picking up. In addition, children have a greater peer influence as they are with peers constantly. Thus, the changing times have altered the traditional child rearing roles and changed the values instilled in contemporary children."

[82]  The Cradle and the Gap
From ancient times through the early centuries of this country's history, early puberty has been considered the proper time to go to school. Now, however, educators and psychologists have brainwashed the public into thinking that public schools can outparent families. The state has taken over education and removed children from the home at too young an age. This practice has led to: (1) a poorer education, as shown by the decline in literacy since the beginning of public education; (2) the creation of a generation gap, as a result of keeping children in institutions and away from parents; and (3) peer dependency and poor self-worth attitudes, because children spend more time with peers than with parents. Research and example have proved the theses that the home is the best educational nest, that parents are the best educators, and that parents are educable. Educational factors that make home schooling successful include the importance of the singular adult example undiluted by too many peers, the need to explore widely without the inhibitions of the classroom, the need for many quality personal adult-to-child responses, and the availability of books in public libraries. The best age for school entrance is in the range of 8-12 years old, as determined by early childhood studies on socialization and readiness for learning.

[83]  sexual behaviour, human Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008
The old family pattern was inexorably disrupted by the rise of the industrial state. Children were no longer kept at home to share in the work and be economic assets but left for school or for nonfamily employment...

[84]  "Industrial Revolution." Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008
The main features involved in the Industrial Revolution were technological, socioeconomic, and cultural. The technological changes included the following: (1) the use of new basic materials, chiefly iron and steel, (2) the use of new energy sources, including both fuels and motive power, such as coal, the steam engine, electricity, petroleum, and the internal-combustion engine, (3) the invention of new machines, such as the spinning jenny and the power loom that permitted increased production with a smaller expenditure of human energy, (4) a new organization of work known as the factory system, which entailed increased division of labour and specialization of function, (5) important developments in transportation and communication, including the steam locomotive, steamship, automobile, airplane, telegraph, and radio, and (6) the increasing application of science to industry. These technological changes made possible a tremendously increased use of natural resources and the mass production of manufactured goods....There were also many new developments in nonindustrial spheres, including the following: (1) agricultural improvements that made possible the provision of food for a larger nonagricultural population, (2) economic changes that resulted in a wider distribution of wealth...(4) sweeping social changes, including the growth of cities, the development of working-class movements, and the emergence of new patterns of authority...Finally, there was a psychological change: man's confidence in his ability to use resources and to master nature was heightened.

[85]  William Faulkner, a twentieth- century American novelist once wrote, The past is not dead, Sep 2004
Children must also remain children longer in order to complete their education.

[86] Psychological neoteny and higher education: Associations with delayed parenthood, Charlton, Medical Hypotheses, Volume 69, Issue 2, Pages 237-240 (2007)
Marriage and parenthood are indicative of making a choice to settle down and thereby move on from the more flexible lifestyle of youth; and furthermore these are usually commitments which themselves induce a settling down and maturation of attitudes and behaviors...Parenthood is associated with a broad range of psychologically maturing and socially-integrating effects in both men and women...The conclusion is that psychological neoteny is indeed increasing, and mainly as a consequence of the increasing percentage of school leavers going into higher education.

[87]  Child Sexual Abuse I: An Overview, Advocates for Youth
The American Medical Association defines child sexual abuse as "the engagement of a child in sexual activities for which the child is developmentally unprepared and cannot give informed consented. Child sexual abuse is characterized by deception, force or coercion.

[89]  American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition text revision), 302.2 : DSM-IV-TR: Pedophilia
Pedophilia: Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children

[90]  "child", The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.  2000.
"A person between birth and puberty.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, from Old English cild."

[91]  Americans for UNFPA, Womens Health
Almost all of these deaths are preventable. UNFPA trains skilled birth attendants and establishes reliable transportation to medical facilities--the most effective ways to reduce maternal mortality in remote areas.
UNFPA and UNIFEM Joint Proposal for a Planning Grant Improving Social and Economic Opportunities for Adolescent Girls in Ethiopia and Bangladesh
in Ethiopia and Bangladesh...girls aged 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women aged 20 to 24

[92]  Teen pregnancy is not a public health crisis in the United States. It is time we made it one, Janet Rich-Edwards, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2002;31:555-556
Indeed, it is testimony to the increasing strength of epidemiological methods that maternal age can be stripped from its tight association with economic and social risks, yielding the conclusion that teen pregnancy (at least for the 98% of teen pregnancies that occur after age 14 in the US) poses little, if any, inherent biological risk in the developed world. Such studies implicate poverty, not maternal age, as the real threat to maternal and infant welfare.

[93]  Commentary: The pitfalls of policy history. Writing the past to change the present, S Ryan Johansson, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2005 34(3): 526-529
"...most people were too poor, and therefore too poorly nourished, to resist the relentless onslaughts of disease, particularly infectious disease. In 18th century Western Europe, agricultural development increased the food supply and let ordinary people buy more and better food. Better nutrition increased their resistance to infectious disease, and reduced death rates, all without the assistance of medical care. It took another century (i.e. 1870) before public health and the decline of fertility made a complementary but still minor contribution to the continuing, nutrition-driven decline of mortality. Thus, if the goal of contemporary health policy is to further reduce mortality, society should invest its resources in the reduction of malnutrition, and more broadly, the eradication of poverty, not more and more sophisticated forms of medical care.

[94]  Mother's early puberty boosts child's obesity risk, 24 April 2007, NewScientist.com, Roxanne Khamsi
a combination of genetic and behavioural factors explains why women who undergo puberty early appear to have children who grow faster and weigh more. Mothers may pass on genes that cause swift development, he explains. By the same token, they may pass on eating habits that prime the body for early maturation.

[95]  population ecology Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008
Of the many differences in life history that occur among populations, age at the time of first reproduction is one of the most important for understanding the dynamics and evolution of a population. All else being equal, natural selection will favour individuals that reproduce earlier than other individuals within a population, because by reproducing earlier an individual's genes enter the gene pool sooner than those of other individuals that were born at the same time but have not reproduced. The genes of the early reproducers then begin to spread throughout the population. Individuals whose genetic makeup allows them to reproduce earlier in life will come to dominate a population if there is no counterbalancing advantage to those individuals that delay reproduction until later in life.

[96]  population ecology Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008
populations in which individuals reproduce at an early age have the potential to grow much faster than populations in which individuals reproduce later.

[98]  Algeria: Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 18 with parental consent

[99]  Bahrain, National Laws, Legislation of INTERPOL member states on sexual offences against children, 2008
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 15 with parental consent, or 21

[100]  Bangladesh, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 18 (with exceptions)

[101]  Egypt, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 16 with parental consent

[102]  Iraq, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 15 with parental consent, or 18

[103]  Jordan, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 15 with parental consent, or 18

[104]  Kuwait, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 15 with parental consent, puberty and maturity (with exceptions)

[105]  Libya, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 20 (exceptions with parental and court permission and benefit to parties)

[106]  Malaysia, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 16 with parental consent (exceptions with court permission)

[107]  Morocco, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 15 with parental consent

[108]  Pakistan, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 16

[109]  Palestine, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 15 with parental consent

[110]  Somalia, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 16 with parental consent, or 18

[111]  Syria, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 17 with parental consent

[112]  Tunisia, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 17 (exceptions with parental and court permission and benefit to parties)

[113]  Yemen, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law: 15 with parental consent

[114]  UAE, Islamic Family Law Legal Profiles, Emory Law School, 2002
State Religion: Islam, Sharia Marital Law

Age makes all the difference, Bassma Al Jandaly, Gulf News, November 02, 2007
Dubai: You can get married in the UAE if you are 18 years old, but if you are less than the legal age, a judge will have to decide whether you are competent enough to wed. If you are 18 years of age and older but your guardians are stopping the marriage, you can approach a court judge to sort out the issue.

"Getting Married in Abu Dhabi", Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority
Islam is the official state religion and the Sharia Court in Abu Dhabi performs marriage, regardless of applicants nationalities, according to Islamic law...Regardless of a womans age the Sharia Court would always require her guardians approval for the marriage.

[115]  Islam: Governing Under Sharia, Sharon Otterman , Council on Foreign Relations
Most Middle Eastern countries continue to incorporate some traditional sharia into their legal codes, especially in the area of personal-status law, which governs marriage, divorce, and inheritance.

[116]  Age makes all the difference, Bassma Al Jandaly, Gulf News, November 02, 2007
Dubai: You can get married in the UAE if you are 18 years old, but if you are less than the legal age, a judge will have to decide whether you are competent enough to wed.

"Getting Married in Abu Dhabi", Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority
Islam is the official state religion and the Sharia Court in Abu Dhabi performs marriage, regardless of applicants nationalities, according to Islamic law.

[117]  Shari'ah, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008
A legal capacity to transact belongs to any person of prudent judgment (rashid), a quality that is normally deemed to arrive with physical maturity or puberty...Persons who are not rashid, on account of minority, mental deficiency, simplicity, or prodigality, are placed under interdiction: their affairs are managed by a guardian and they cannot transact effectively without the guardian's consent.

[118]  { ...} {Test the orphans, so that if they have reached the age of procreation, and if (you) discerned from them sound judgement then deliver to them their fortune} Quran: Al Nisaa (The Women) 4:6, p. 77
The responsibility of another person or children is far more important to test than the responsibility of money alone. Furthermore, this is the only verse in the Quran using the term Balaghu Alnikah (age of procreation) for puberty, and it is to mention the condition of sound judgement before gaining the responsibilities normally associated with puberty. (Muhaddith MR)

[119]  al Mustadrak, al Hakim, vol. 2
...an authentic hadeeth by Imaam Muslims criteria: Citing Abu Saeed al Khudri that the Prophet PBUH said:
No harm (is allowed), nor harming back. Whoever harms, Allah Will Harm him, and whoever makes things difficult (for others), Allah Will Make things difficult for him.
.
... - : - - : ( ѡ ). .

[120]  Imaam Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmizhi, Nasaai, Ibn Maajah, and Al Tabaraani (citing Abi Sirmah), and Al Hakim (citing Abu Saeed Al Khudri):
Whoever harms, Allah Will Harm him, and whoever makes things difficult (for others), Allah Will Make things difficult for him.
ϡ
 

[121]   Hadith Hasan (authenticated): Malik, Suyuti, Ahmed, Shafii; and Imam Munawi in Faydh al Qadir, Sharh al Jame al Saghir vol 6, hadith #9899
Allahs Messenger said: No harm (is allowed), nor harming back.
, ѡ ѡ . :  9899

[122]  "The Language of God", Francis Collins, pp 243-244
"four ethical principles undergird much of bioethics, and are common to virtually all cultures and societies: 1-Respect for autonomy...2- Justice...3- Benefience-The mandate to treat others in their best interests 4- Nonmaleficence-"First do no harm" (as in the Hypocrstic oath)...A religious person will see these as principles clearly laid out in sacred texts of the Judeo-Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, and other religious traditions..."

[123]  "The Language of God", Francis Collins, pp 243-244
"four ethical principles undergird much of bioethics, and are common to virtually all cultures and societies: 1-Respect for autonomy...2- Justice...3- Benefience-The mandate to treat others in their best interests 4- Nonmaleficence-"First do no harm" (as in the Hypocrstic oath)...A religious person will see these as principles clearly laid out in sacred texts of the Judeo-Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, and other religious traditions..."

[124]  Tafsir al Qurtubi, Explanation of the Quran: Al Tawbah (The Repentance) 9:91
His saying: {Not on the weak nor on the sick nor on those who find nothing to spend is any blame (haraj, or fault)  if they are true to Allah and His messenger...} is a foundation that obligations are waived from upon the infirm, thus any person who is not capable of something, then it is waived for him; sometimes to a replacement which is an (other) action, and sometimes to a financial assignment, and there is no difference between incapability regarding the body or the wealth.
And similar to this aayah is His saying: {Allah does not burden a soul except according to its capability} (Baqarah, 286)
And His saying: {There is no blame on the blind, nor is there blame on the lame, nor is there blame on the sick.} (Al Nur, 61)
9:91
: { } .
  : { " [: 286]  
: { " [: 61].

[125]  Quran: Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage) 22:78
...He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in religion any hardship (haraj)...
22:78

[126]  Tafsir al Qurtubi, Explanation of the Quran: Al Nur (The Light) 24:61
{Not on the blind is blame (haraj, or fault), nor on the blind is blame (haraj), nor on the sick is blame (haraj), nor on yourselves to eat from your houses...(or from houses of various relatives)...}
But the selection (by Qurtubi) is to say: That Allah has lifted the burden from upon the blind, concerning obligations that necessitate eyesight, and from upon the limping (lame) concerning action that require walking in order to become obligatory as well as actions that become impossible due to limping, and from upon the sick, whatever is waived by disease such as fasting, the conditions and details of prayer and jihad and similar (duties). Then He (Allah) said, providing details: And there is no blame upon you to eat from your houses.
So this is a correct meaning, and a clear and beneficial explanation, supported by Islamic law (sharia) and reason, and does not require textual sources in (this) explanation of the Aayah.
I say (al Qurtubi): And this is what Ibn Atiyyah indicated; he said: So the outward meaning of this Aayah, and the commandment of Sharia, indicate that blame is lifted from upon them concerning anything that they have an excuse against.
24:61
{ ...}
: ѡ ̡ ǡ . : . ͡ ϡ .
: : ѡ ա .

[127]  Quran: Al Maedah (The Repast) 5:6
O you who believe, if you rise for prayer, wash your faces and hands to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and (wash) your feet to the two ankles. And if you are unclean then purify (yourselves). And if you are sick, or on a journey, or one of you comes from the lavatory, or have had contact with women, and then you find no water, then take clean earth (sand,dust), and wipe your faces and hands with it. Allah does not want to place on you of hardships (haraj), rather, He wants you (to be) purified and perfect His grace upon you, that you may be grateful
5:6

[128]  Quran: Al Anam (The Cattle) 6:152, Al Araf (The Heights) 7:42, Al Muminum (The Believers) 23:62
We do not charge a soul except what it can bear

Quran: Al Baqara (The Cow) 2:226
Allah does not charge a soul except what it can bear

Quran: Al Baqara (The Cow) 2:286
A soul is not charged except with what it can bear

[129]  Al Athkaru al Nawawiyya, Imam Nawawi, hadith # 2/850
...Abu Hurayra said:
Allahs Messenger (pbuh) said: The person asked for advice is entrusted.
Muslim, abu Dawud, Nasaii, Tirmithi, Nasaii, ibn Maja, and it is an authenticated saying (hadith hasan)
ɡ , :  2/850
  : : " ". (849) (55) (4944) 7/156. (850) (5128) (2823) (2824) (3745) (3746) .

[130]  Tihfet al Ahwathi: The Explanation of Sunan al Tirmizhi, Mubarakpuri
(The person asked for advice is entrusted)
The person asked for advice: Whoever asked his advice has requested his opinion about what contains benefit is entrusted: from security or trust, confidence, its meaning is that the person asked for advice is entrusted concerning the matters being asked about, so he should not be treacherous (commit treason) to the person asking, by withholding what is of benefit to him.

( ) () ѡ

[131]  Fayd al Qadir: The Explanation of Jame al Saghir, Imam Munawi, Hadith # 9201
The person asked for advice is entrusted, that is, entrusted concerning the matters he is asked about, mentioned al Teebi, because he was given responsibility for the matter in which he was entrusted, so if he knows the benefit of the person who gave him responsibility of his own affair, he should not withhold it, for if he withholds it he will then be harming him but the Prophet PBUH said: No harm (can be initiated), nor harm performed (in retaliation)...
, ѡ ѡ . :  9201
( ) ( )

[132]  Tafseer Al Nasafi:
{command to what is Urf} (Quran: The Heights 7:199, p. 176)
What is considered good and fine among actions, or every feature that reason confirms and that Islamic Law accepts.
{ }

[133]  Durr al Manthur, Al Suyuti
{command to what is Urf} (Quran: The Heights 7:199, p. 176)
What is considered good.
{ }

[134]  Baydawi (famous for linguistic eminence in tafseer):
{command to what is Urf} (Quran: The Heights 7:199, p. 176)
What is considered good and recommended so among actions.
{ }

[135]  "What's Happening to Marriage?", Essay from State of Our Unions: The Social Health of Marriage in America, 1999
The Marriage Relationship...benefits such as sexual faithfulness, emotional support, mutual trust and lasting commitment.

[136]  The Household and the Making of History: a Subversive View of the Western Past, Hartman, Mary S., Rutgers University, Cambridge University Press, 2004
"This book argues that a unique late marriage pattern, discovered in the 1960s but originating in the Middle Ages, explains the continuing puzzle of why western Europe was the site of changes that...when the peasants in northwestern Europe began to marry their daughters almost as late as their sons. The appearance of this late marriage system, with its unstable nuclear household form"

[137] Psychological neoteny and higher education: Associations with delayed parenthood, Charlton, Medical Hypotheses, Volume 69, Issue 2, Pages 237-240 (2007)
Marriage and parenthood are indicative of making a choice to settle down and thereby move on from the more flexible lifestyle of youth; and furthermore these are usually commitments which themselves induce a settling down and maturation of attitudes and behaviors...Parenthood is associated with a broad range of psychologically maturing and socially-integrating effects in both men and women...The conclusion is that psychological neoteny is indeed increasing, and mainly as a consequence of the increasing percentage of school leavers going into higher education.

[139]  Child Sexual Abuse I: An Overview, Advocates for Youth
In up to 50 percent of reported cases, offenders are adolescents.

[140]  Child Sexual Abuse I: An Overview, Advocates for Youth
Child prostitution, pornography and cult (or "ritual") abuse are specific activities also included in the definition. Incest is sexual abuse where the offender is a family member.

[141]  Child Sexual Abuse I: An Overview, Advocates for Youth
Child sexual abuse is characterized by deception, force or coercion

[142]  Myths and Facts about Childhood Sexual Abuse
A national study in 1986 indicated that 35% of all children under age 18 had been sexually abused.

[143]  Child Sexual Abuse I: An Overview, Advocates for Youth
The National Resource Council estimates the percent of the U.S. population which has been sexually abused to range from a low of 20-24 percent to a high of 54-62 percent of the population; the higher estimate includes sexualized exposure without touching, such as masturbating in front of the child. The largest retrospective study on the prevalence of child sexual abuse found 27 percent of women and 16 percent of men reported abuse.

[144]  Troubled Teens Statistics - Teen Help for Troubled Teens
In the U.S.,...6 in 10 of those who had sex before age 15 report having had sex involuntarily.
Teenage Sex and Promiscuity
Twenty percent of all adolescents have had sex at least once before their fifteenth birthday.
(Therefore 60% x 25% = 12% of all 14 year olds have had sex involuntarily)

[145] Troubled Teens Statistics - Teen Help for Troubled Teens
Half of all new HIV infections occur among adolescents.

[146]  Preventing Teenagers from Getting Contraceptives Unless They Tell a Parent Puts Teens at Risk, ACLU 7/18/2003
Over half of all new HIV infections in the United States occur in adolescents.

[147]  Troubled Teens Statistics - Teen Help for Troubled Teens
In the U.S., 7 in 10 women who had sex before age 14...report having had sex involuntarily.

[148]  A LEAGUE TABLE OF TEENAGE BIRTHS IN RICH NATIONS, Unicef, Innocenti Report Card, 2001
But it is among younger teenagers that the kaleidoscope has been most vigorously shaken. According to some sources, for example, seven per cent of American children now have sex even before they have become teenagers.

[149]  Troubled Teens Statistics - Teen Help for Troubled Teens
Nationwide, 6.2% of high school students had had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13.

[150]  In Whose Interest? Feminist Research on Prostitution, Off Our Backs, July 1997
Those who work with prostituted women have found that 90% of the population are incest and child sexual abuse survivors, oftentimes abused by many perpetrators (The Council for Prostitution Alternatives, WHISPER).

[151]  "Child Prostitution", US Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS)
The majority of American victims of commercial sexual exploitation tend to be runaway or thrown away youth who live on the streets who become victims of prostitution...These children generally come from homes where they have been abused, or from families that have abandoned them

[152]  "Myths and Facts of Incest", Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center
"90% of young prostitutes were victims of sexual abuse."

[153]  "Child Prostitution", US Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS)
The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14

[154]  Sexually Active Teenagers Are More Likely to Be Depressed and to Attempt Suicide, Rector, Johnson, Noyes, June 3, 2003, Center for Data Analysis Report #03-04
"Thus, sexually active girls are more than three times more likely to be depressed than are girls who are not sexually active...Thus, sexually active teenage boys are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than are boys who are not sexually active."

[155]  "Does Abstinence Education Really Work?", Project Reality
Sexually active girls are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide that abstinent teenage girls. Sexually active males are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide. Suicide rates have doubled to teens between 1960-2001.

[156]  Some Eye-opening Teen Pregnancy Facts, Parent Super Site
"95% of teen pregnancies are unplanned...80% of teen mothers end up on welfare."
(Therefore 95% x 80% = 76% of unplanned teen mothers end up on welfare)

[157]  A LEAGUE TABLE OF TEENAGE BIRTHS IN RICH NATIONS, Unicef, Innocenti Report Card, 2001
"In the worlds rich nations...at least 1.25 million teenagers become pregnant each year...approximately half a million will seek an abortion and approximately three quarters of a million will become teenage mothers... Sex before marriage and the expectation of several sexual partners before beginning a stable relationship has now become the norm in most industrialized countries.

[158]  "Comments of CATW in preparation for the United States 2002 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report", Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
"Legalized or decriminalized prostitution industries are one of the root causes of sex trafficking. There is an fundamental connection between legal recognition of prostitution industries and the increase in significant numbers of victims who have been subjected to sex trafficking. Nowhere do we see this relationship more clearly than in countries advocating prostitution as an employment choice, or who foster the legalization of prostitution, or who support the decriminalization of the sex industry...Another argument for legalizing prostitution in the Netherlands was that it would help end child prostitution. In reality, however, child prostitution in the Netherlands has increased dramatically during the 1990s...The sheer volume of foreign women who are in the prostitution industry in Germany by some NGO estimates now up to 85 per cent casts further doubt on the fact that these numbers of women could have entered Germany without facilitation. As in the Netherlands, NGOs report that most of the foreign women have been trafficked into the country since it is almost impossible for poor women to facilitate their own migration, underwrite the costs of travel and travel documents, and set themselves up in business without outside help."

[159]  Worst Forms of Child Labour Data: Germany, Global March Against Child Labor
Child Trafficking...NATIONAL STATISTICS...At least 200 women, including girls under the age of 16, were trafficked by one Polish man to Germany and the Netherlands between 1993 and 1996...Germany is a destination and transit country for trafficked women. Estimates vary considerably on the number of women and girls trafficked to and through the country, ranging between 2,000 and 20,000 per year....Most trafficking victims are women and girls between the ages of 16 and 25 who are forced to work as prostitutes....Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Austria are major destinations for women trafficked from Lithuania, based on the figures of women subsequently deported from these countries to Lithuania....The German Federal Department of Criminal Investigation estimates that 5% of the women trafficked from Eastern Europe are younger than 18....Germany is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for women trafficked from Ukraine and Russia...Sweden is used as a transit country for trafficking Latin American women to brothels in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

[160]  Child Prostitution in the Netherlands, Carin Tiggeloven, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 18-12-2001
"The number of Dutch children working in prostitution has increased dramatically over the past five years: from 4,000 to 15,000 according to figures published by the Amsterdam-based ChildRight organization...recent years have seen a significant rise on the number of Dutch girls forced into the sex industry..."

[161]  "Human Rights Reports of Europe and Central Asia: Germany", 2003, The Protection Project
Germany is the top destination country for trafficking in women and children for prostitution...The sex trade in Germany, Europes largest economy, brought in US$7.5 billion in 2003,  which makes Germany an attractive destination country for prostitution networks that traffic women and children.

[162]  " 'Tens of thousands' blocked from child porn", Nov 25 2005, The Local: Swedens News in English
"Every day 20,000 to 30,000 attempts by Swedes to enter child pornography sites are blocked, according to the latest figures from the police...Between 80% and 90% of child porn web sites are blocked by the filters...Nevertheless, the figures are "grotesque", said Ecpat's general secretary Helena Karln...'It's significant and shocking that so many people in our country are interested in watching children being raped and in certain cases tortured,' she said to SvD."

[163]  German Police Turn Up the Heat on Internet Sex Offenders, 08-01-2007, DW-World.de Detche Welle
Thousands of suspected pedophiles and child-porn users in Germany...using the Internet to view and trade sex photos and videos...investigators said they found photos and videos of children in "violent and degrading situations."...Child pornography on the rise...Some 800 cases involving child pornography passed through the state's district attorney's office in Stuttgart in 2006. That number represents an increase from 690 cases in 2005 and 620 cases in 2004. The suspects come from all parts of society...Few cases of child pornography, however, are easy to prosecute, district attorney spokeswoman Bettina Vetter told the Stuttgarter Zeitung. Only one third of all child pornography cases are carried through to a court sentence while many cases are often abandoned for lack of evidence, she said.

[164]  "German Government Publication Promotes Incestuous Pedophilia as Healthy Sex Ed", John-Henry Westen, July 30, 2007, LifeSiteNews.com
Booklets from a subsidiary of the German government's Ministry for Family Affairs encourage parents to...Two 40-page booklets entitled "Love, Body and Playing Doctor" by the German Federal Health Education Center..."Fathers do not devote enough attention to the clitoris and vagina of their daughters. Their caresses too seldom pertain to these regions, while this is the only way the girls can develop a sense of pride in their sex," reads the booklet regarding 1-3 year olds.  The authors rationalize, "The child touches all parts of their father's body, sometimes arousing him. The father should do the same."...For ages 4-6, the booklet recommends teaching children the movements of copulation...According to the Polish daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita, the BZgA booklet is an obligatory read in nine German regions. It is used for training nursery, kindergarten and elementary school teachers...Rzeczpospolita reports that the Eckhardt Scheffer of BZgA claimed that before releasing the manual the organization consulted parents, educators and child psychologists. 93% of whom gave a positive evaluation.

[165]  "A Research Note on Incest", Svend Riemer, The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Jan., 1940), pp. 566-575
"There is no doubt that incest, especially father-daughter incest, is very widespread within certain strata of Swedish society"

[166]  "Europeans pay big for beastiality at barnyard brothels", Aftermath News, October 2, 2006
"Denmarks animal bordellos reportedly draw Norwegian clients, but both countries have loopholes that make such establishments legal...Denmarks animal bordellos have been advertising on the Net and reportedly draw customers from as far away as Norway, Germany, Holland and Sweden who want to pay for sex with horses and other beasts... Mersereau said just because theres been publicity about such facilities in Denmark who are catering to those kinds of sickos, that doesnt mean those activities arent happening elsewhere."

[167]  "Animal bordellos draw Norwegians", Aftenporten News from Norway, Sep 14 2006
"According to the 24timer report, Germans, Dutchmen, Swedes and Norwegians visit the Danish bordellos, and a web site devoted to bestiality claimed that many of Denmark's animal sex clients stem from Norway...A new dissertation from the Institute of Criminology at the University of Oslo showed that Norwegian veterinarians know of at least 124 cases of animal sex abuse in Norway. The thesis reports that 22 percent of Norwegian veterinarians suspect or are sure that they have treated animals that have been sexually abused by humans."

[168]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestiality#Legal_status
Currently, the legality of bestiality varies greatly around the world. It is legal in some countries, such as Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands...Countries such as Belgium, Germany and Russia are in between the two as they permit sexual activity with animals but strictly prohibit the promotion of animal-oriented pornography

[169]  Bestiality on the Rise in Sexually Libertine Sweden, LifeSiteNews.com, May 4, 2005
"Sweden, known the world over for its avant garde sexual mores has crossed yet another barrier in its moral descent with the news that sexual abuse of animals is on the increase. A government commissioned study has found that more than 200 animals, mostly horses, have been sexually abused in Sweden since the 1970s...Unlike most countries, bestiality is not illegal in Sweden. The legal prohibitions against both bestiality and homosexuality were lifted by the country in 1944....In an article published last year entitled "The End of Marriage in Scandinavia", author Stanley Kurtz reported "Sweden is probably the most secular country in the world. Secular social scientists (most of them quite radical) have largely replaced clerics as arbiters of public morality." The decline of general sexual morality, evident in Swedish society, seems to be manifesting itself in many disturbing ways, spiraling downward with increasing rapidity."

[170]  Falling Age at Puberty, Population Reports, Volume XXIII, Number 3, October, 1995
Boys and girls now experience puberty at younger ages than previous generations. In general, girls enter puberty between ages 8 and 13 and reach menarche (first menstruation) several years later, while boys enter puberty between ages 9 and 14 (436, 529). The reasons for earlier menarche in girls are not well understood. Most of the change is attributed to better health and nutrition (160, 185, 529). In North America age at menarche decreased by three to four months each decade after 1850

[171]  The invention of adolescence, V.R., Psychology Today, Jan/Feb 95
Since the mid-1800s, puberty--the advent of sexual maturation and the starting point of adolescence--has inched back one year for every 25 years elapsed. It now occurs on average six years earlier than it did in 1850--age 11 or 12 for girls; age 12 or 13 for boys.

[172]  Evolution, development and timing of puberty. Hanson, Gluckman Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 7-12
The age of menarche has fallen as child health has improved...In the past few decades, as puberty has advanced, biological maturation has come to precede psychosocial maturation significantly for the first time in our evolutionary history. Although this developmental mismatch has considerable societal implications, care has to be taken not to medicalize contemporary early puberty inappropriately.

[173]  New research shows how evolution explains age of puberty, From the University of Southampton
They found that Paleolithic girls arrived at menarche - the first occurrence of menstruation - between seven and 13 years. This is a similar age to modern girls...'This would have matched the degree of psychosocial maturation necessary to function as an adult in Paleolithic society based on small groups of hunter-gatherers,' they write...However, today there is a mismatch between sexual maturity and psychosocial maturity, with sexual maturity occurring much earlier. This mismatch is a result of society becoming vastly more complex, with psychosocial maturity therefore taking longer to reach.
'For the first time in our 200,000 year history as a species, humans become sexually mature before becoming psychologically equipped to function as adults in society,' explains Professor Hanson.
'All our social systems work on the presumption that the two types of maturity coincide. But this is no longer the case and never will be again because we cannot change biological reality. We have to work out a new set of structures - schooling, for example - to deal with this reality.'

[174]  When Little Girls Become Women: Early Onset of Puberty in Girls
But the implications for parents, teachers, and others who work with children are equally important: many young girls in early elementary school are developing breasts and pubic hair at a time when they are still playing with dolls and Junior Monopoly, and are too young to understand the emotional mood swings and other symptoms of adolescence.

[175]  A LEAGUE TABLE OF TEENAGE BIRTHS IN RICH NATIONS, Unicef, Innocenti Report Card, 2001
In particular the weakening of traditional attitudes has combined with commercial pressures to create more sexualised societies in which old taboos serve mainly to add to the allure of the formerly forbidden. Increasingly, sexual imagery and content are permeating the information and entertainment environments within which todays teenagers develop awareness, experiment with identity, and live out their aspirations towards adulthood. Unsurprisingly in such a context, sexual activity among teenagers has increased (perhaps aided by a fall in the average age of puberty as a result of better health and nutrition).

[176] Psychological neoteny and higher education: Associations with delayed parenthood, Charlton, Medical Hypotheses, Volume 69, Issue 2, Pages 237-240 (2007)
Marriage and parenthood are indicative of making a choice to settle down and thereby move on from the more flexible lifestyle of youth; and furthermore these are usually commitments which themselves induce a settling down and maturation of attitudes and behaviors...Parenthood is associated with a broad range of psychologically maturing and socially-integrating effects in both men and women...The conclusion is that psychological neoteny is indeed increasing, and mainly as a consequence of the increasing percentage of school leavers going into higher education.

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