Vol 39 older men dating younger women
Parents feel that marriage provides their daughter with a sense of protection from sexual promiscuity and safe from sexually transmitted infections.
However, in reality, young girls tend to marry older men, placing them at an increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
The difficulty to save and preserve wealth for dowry was common, particularly in times of economic hardship, or persecution, or unpredictable seizure of property and savings.
These difficulties pressed families to betroth their girls, irrespective of her age, as soon as they had the resources to pay the dowry.
Ruth Lamdan writes: “The numerous references to child marriage in the 16th- century Responsa literature and other sources, shows that child marriage was so common, it was virtually the norm.
In this context, it is important to remember that in halakha, the term ‘minor’ refers to a girl under twelve years and a day.
Thus, Goitein notes that European Jews would marry their girls early, once they had collected the expected amount of dowry.
A bride price is the amount paid by the groom to the parents of a bride for them to consent to him marrying their daughter.
The practice began to be questioned in the 20th century, with the age of individuals' first marriage increasing in many countries and most countries increasing the minimum marriage age.Bride's families would seek out any available bachelors and marry them to their daughters, before events beyond their control moved the boy away.Persecution and displacement of Roma and Jewish people in Europe, colonial campaigns to get slaves from various ethnic groups in West Africa across the Atlantic for plantations, Islamic campaigns to get Hindu slaves from India across Afghanistan's Hindu Kush as property and for work, were some of the historical events that increased the practice of child marriage before the 19th century.In many cases, only one marriage-partner is a child, usually the female.Causes of child marriages include poverty, bride price, dowry, cultural traditions, laws that allow child marriages, religious and social pressures, regional customs, fear of remaining unmarried, illiteracy, and perceived inability of women to work for money.Such fears and social pressures have been proposed as causes that lead to child marriages.Extreme poverty may make daughters an economic burden on the family, which may be relieved by their early marriage, to the benefit of the family as well as the girl herself.Child marriages were common throughout history for a variety of reasons including poverty, insecurity, as well as for political and financial reasons.Today, child marriage is still fairly widespread, particularly in developing countries, such as parts of Africa, The incidence of child marriage has been falling in most parts of the world.Child marriages of girls is a way out of desperate economic conditions, or simply a source of income to the parents.Social upheavals such as wars, major military campaigns, forced religious conversion, taking natives as prisoners of war and converting them into slaves, arrest and forced migrations of people often made a suitable groom a rare commodity.