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To be completely flabbergast at US Child Marriage Laws (or lack of)?

(12 Posts)
1DAD2KIDS Thu 07-Dec-17 09:22:13

I know the USA is not the best place on earth but it is supposed to be a developed nation. I was completely shocked to find about 50% of states have no minimum age for marriage and of the other half some are as low as 13. Even a lot of developing nations have outlawed Marriage of children. I am totally shocked that this is a thing in the US.

1DAD2KIDS Thu 07-Dec-17 20:18:36

Rhynswynd Thu 07-Dec-17 20:21:02

It is shocking. I remember watching Jerry Springer (or similar) in the 90s and being shocked at the 15 year old married woman/girl. None of the audience batted an eyelid.

LovingLola Thu 07-Dec-17 20:24:44

I read an article a few years ago about families living in the Appalachian mountain areas in the Eastern United States (population c 25 million). Child marriage is very common - think 13 year olds marrrying their uncles. Education of girls is not a priority.
You would think you were reading about Afghanistan - not a 1st world developed country.

PricklyBall Thu 07-Dec-17 20:27:03

Yes, I started a thread about this a few months back. I just find it gobsmacking. There was a really heart-breaking video I saw recently (BBC? One of the Guardian's video reports? sadly I can't remember where) which had interviews with adult women who'd been forced as children into marriage by their parents, often to cover up sexual abuse by an older male relative.

1DAD2KIDS Thu 07-Dec-17 20:41:28

How is the nation no up in arms over it? Surely the vast majority of Americans are not cool with it? I would have thought illegalising child marriage would be a basic of child protection?

LostInTheTunnelOfGoats Thu 07-Dec-17 20:47:25

I've read about this before but the WTF is still as fresh as ever. The US is such a weird place in some ways, strict over some things but you can be 35 and show up to get married with your 13 year old victim bride, and that's just fine. And yes there's plenty of people saying it's awful, but in 2017 why is it not ancient history?

PricklyBall Thu 07-Dec-17 20:52:37

According to one American poster on the thread I started, the problem is States' autonomy versus federal law. I imagine it would be hard to get a change to the constitution through both houses (even if Trump and the Republican majorities in the two houses were the sort of people to care, which I imagine they're not.)

Also, I imagine a lot of Republican voters would see the issue as one of a suitably morally acceptable problem to the issue of child pregnancy. Of course, those child and teenage pregancies are predictable results from their reluctance to allow sex ed, and "abstinence only" policies, together with their policies on contraception (think of the Holly Lobby ruling - courtesy of Gorsuch, Trump's appointee to the Supreme Court - which allows employers to exclude contraceptive provision from their employees' health care provision on "moral and religious grounds".)

It's a weird mindset over there in some parts/social strata. Leaving teenage girls in ignorance about how their bodies work, denying them contraception which could help them prevent pregnancy, denying them abortions if they do get pregnant - all fine. Forcing girls into marriage when they do get pregnant - also fine. There is a substantial part of the US voting population who really do think that way, barbaric as it may seem to us.

PricklyBall Thu 07-Dec-17 20:54:49

Cost of contraception in the states here - typically 20 to 50 dollars pcm for non-insured women, co-pays of 5 to 15 dollars for women with insurance.

IdaDown Thu 07-Dec-17 21:34:56

I don’t get it.

Some / all (?) states have statutory rape. Remember the Rob Lowe case. So, marriage over rides (SR) this and paedophillia?

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Thu 07-Dec-17 22:03:31

It is WTF. The first time I heard about this I was genuinely shocked, and I still feel like that each time someone mentions it.

RestingGrinchFace Thu 07-Dec-17 22:09:35

The US just isn't a first world country. Many parts seem perfectly civilised which is a reflection on the people who live in those places not on the country, its laws or, its government.

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