Age of Consent in European & American History

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What was the ‘Age of Consent’ in European and American history, prior to the 20th century? In this article, I shall bring forth evidences which demonstrate that the ‘Age of consent’ was indeed, very young, even by today’s standards. I will provide academic sources which show that girls were allowed to be married at the age of 10 years old and sometimes times, as young as 7 years old, legally. It was norm just over 100 years ago to see girls being married off at very young ages. In most cultures, the marriage would have been consummated at the onset of puberty.

1. Professor of history Margaret Wade Labarge

“It needs to be remembered that many Medieval widows were not old, Important heiresses were often married between the ages of 5 and 10 and might find themselves widowed while still in their teens.” [1]

2. Professor Richard Wortley and…

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Categories: Islam

11 replies

  1. Here is a New York Times article on this issue from the year 1895,

    https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/09/13/the-age-of-consent-laws-in-america-1800s/

    Also look at London’s Child Marriages, 1500-1800s, licences given out by the Church, see how young some of the ages of the couple’s are,

    https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/10/20/londons-child-marriages-1500-1800s/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Discover,
      I viewed the second link you provided. It is interesting to note that a 26 year old English Christian woman married an extremely underage 2 year old boy. The second marriage license documents another marriage between an underage 4 year old boy and a widow.

      I wonder what would motivate a phenomena, and why would the Christian priest consent to performing such a marriage that seems to take advantage of a youthful boy child, who will likely be entrapped into a life of providing for a wife he never asked for?

      How do modern day Christians judge the morality of such marriages as this, and are they willing to excuse such a practice which was clearly condoned by the Church?

      Like

    • Happy to condemn it. Are you happy to condemn Muhammad?

      Like

  2. Thanks again to Discover the Truth!!

    Those who want to criticize Islam by projecting their own modern values and moralities into the past, need to stop and look at the evidence which would implicate their own religion and ancestors in the same supposed “crimes” as well.

    The accumulated evidence makes clear that in virtually every society in the world, both male and females were often married at young ages, and if under the age of consent, the marriage was not consummated until puberty. What was the norm in 7th century Arabia, appears to be the norm in the rest of the world at that time too, even up until just 100 years ago.

    Even if our own modern standards have changed with the passing of time, it gives us no right to pass judgment on those who lived according to the moral values that were wide spread and prevalent in ages past.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good topic. Much needed. In my research on this topic I came across somebody saying Common Law was based on the Bible. And Common Law allowed young age marriage back in the day. Also there was a member of the Royal family who married really young, I was on a Royal Family website page and they were explaining it away as something normative at that time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. References of a sexual nature in the bible prove that the subjects have matured to the point that they have a natural desire for sexual relations. It’s impossible to set an arbitrary point in time at which this point has been reached that is always true for every individual. Islam is foolish to attempt this.

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  5. ” It’s impossible to set an arbitrary point in time at which this point has been reached that is always true for every individual. ”

    In terms of the earliest possible age. The right law would err on the side of safety to set the latest possible point in time at which it could be said that sexual maturity has been reached in terms of every possible viewpoint, both physical and psychological.

    Islam errs to try and set a point in time which is the earliest possible but which cannot be guaranteed to have been reached by all individuals.

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