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Marriage refers to a union of two individuals who come together to form a family as recognized by social or legal provisions. With the consideration of marriage as a contract and provisions of laws of contracts, there are limitations to age at which people can marry at their own consent.
People under the age of eighteen are thus prohibited from consenting to marriage unless under approval of their parents. This paper seeks to argue that people under the age of eighteen should not be allowed to marry. The paper will look into opinions for and against marriage at a minor age with the aim of opposing marriage before the age of eighteen.
Why people should marry before eighteen years old
There are a number of opinions that have been raised to support marriages at a younger age, below the maturity age. The realized fertility rate among women in the minority age bracket and outside marriage has been a common occurrence. Fertility rate is also being realized to increase among women who are not married as compared to the category of married women, a category that includes women under the age of eighteen.
A research conducted towards the end of the twentieth century indicated that teenagers who were not married were particularly under the condition of high fertility that led to high births among the minors outside marriage.
According to these opinions that associate minority age of women together with not being married as a factor to increasing number of illegitimate children, it has been argued that marriage at a minor age is a solution to reducing the number of illegitimate children as well as reducing fertility levels, an objective that has been sought by a number of governments across the globe (Seiler, 2002).
Early marriages that include teen marriages have also been supported by the fact that as people grow old, body factors deteriorates and has a possibility of reducing a woman’s chances of getting married. Facial attractiveness or even skin conditions that changes as people grow old thus calls for engagements into marriage as soon as an individual possibly can in order to avoid failure to get a marriage partner on the basis of unfavorable body changes.
There have also been fears of increasing activities as people grow older. Involvements in economic activities together with increasing responsibilities that people realize with time in life is also identified to hinder a person’s chances of getting into marriage at a later age. Avoiding such incidents would be to get married as earlier as possible which would include consideration of marring at a minor age (Neckerman, 2004).
Contrary to the published negative results of teenage marriages, there are a number of marriages that have been established by teenagers and have stood tests of time to realize success. It is also noted that researchers have been biased to concentrate on the negative side effects of early marriages and ignoring positive realizations.
The existence of positivity that has realized long lasting relationships in marriage in a generation where a majority of marriages ends in divorce is an indication that the marriages established at the tender minority age might hold keys to keeping families together (Boykin, 2004).
Why people should never marry before 18
One of the reasons given for opposing early marriages is the risks that young women are subjected to with respect to pregnancies. Death for instance is reported to be more probable in adolescent women as compared to older women during their expectancy period as well as during child birth (UNICEF, 2011).
There has also been an association between early marriage among women and the age difference between a woman and her husband. This is realized to be a disadvantage to the woman in terms of authority in marriage. A minor woman who is married to an older man can, for instance, be subjected to unfair treatment by the spouse on the basis of age advantage (Rashad, Osman & Fahimi, 2005).
Financial considerations in marriage is another factor on whose basis people should not be allowed to get married before the age of eighteen. In most cases, marriage is accompanied with responsibilities that call for social commitments. At the age of eighteen, individuals are expected to be in the process of establishing grounds for their economic stability.
Marriage at any age below the maturity age would imply that married individuals compromise on their education and trainings that would have a negative impact on the individuals who marry below the maturity age as well as an entire economy in cases where significant number of individuals marries at minority ages. This will impose a long term economic threat of lack of professionals due to opportunities that were lost to early marriages (Dahl, 2010).
Early marriage is associated with dropping out of school as well as directly related to poverty as reported by a research that was released by Milton library which established a woman’s chances of living in poverty is dependent on the level of education that has been acquired by the woman in question. Early marriages that hinder education is thus a tool to spreading poverty in societies (Muse, 2010).
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A consideration of teenage marriage in Singapore also revealed an aspect about the negative impacts of marriages at minority age. According to research, the trend in early marriages has been declining over the past decades. This is attributable to changes that have been realized with respect to the level of knowledge that is possessed by people.
Changes that have been realized in economies that have induced competitiveness in job markets have also stressed on the importance of education leading to early marriage being reserved and education being prioritized among the young people. This illustrates the negative impacts that prioritizing marriage among minors instead of education would subject people to.
The relationship between highest level of education and the rate of minority marriages was also significantly realized in the research. According to the research, individuals with barely any formal education formed about half of the population of individuals who got married at minority ages. This trend however decreased with increasing level of education of individuals (Tay & Yip, n.d.).
The established economic strains and competitiveness in present economies requires well established career bases that take time up to maturity ages. Ensuring economic stability of individuals would thus call for discouraging marriage before eighteen years.
Though there exist opinions in support of early marriages, there are a large number of undisputable disadvantages surrounding early marriage such as health risks on women and poverty that calls for serious opposition to marriage by minors.
Boykin, E. (2004). Successful Teenage Marriages: A Qualitative Study of How Some Couples Have Made it Work. Scholar Lib. Web.
Dahl, G. (2010). Early teen marriage and future poverty. Early Teen Marriage. Web.
Muse, A. (2010). Early teen marriage and future poverty. Summary. Web.
Neckerman, K. (2004). Social inequality. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.
Rashad, H., Osman M. & Fahimi, F. (2005). Marriage in the Arab world. Web.
Seiler, N. (2002). Is teen marriage a solution? Online Home. Web.
Tay, J. & Yip, W. Teen marriages in Singapore. SMJ. Web.
UNICEF. (2011). Early Marriages. Web.