Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
How many examples have you lined up? You didn't even state an specific examples, and I can only be left to guess you're referring to scattered state-by-state issues and court cases about teens getting abortions or the like. In a mostly anecdotal argument of comparing general impressions, I'd say my one clear and specific nation-wide example is a good match for your complete lack of specific examples.
You might need to go back a little further than that. BTW...we aren't necessarily talking about kids getting married to one another here.
Note, I wasn't talking about average age of first marriage, just what was permissible. I'm saying that from what I vaguely remember about life in rural America, pre-Civil war, teenage marriages weren't so uncommon as to be shocking. According to this web page
, "As late as 1930, twelve states allowed boys as young as 14 and girls as young as 12 to marry (with parental consent)".
Not sure I see it quite this way.
I'm taking a broad view of centuries, not the ups and downs of recent decades, wherein you can find trends in both directions concerning status, responsibilities, rights, and privileges vs. age.
What's not a "fundamental moral issue"? Age of sexual consent?
Yes. For me it all comes down to what the impact of sexual activity would be, the interplay of consent, understanding, psychological and physical consequences, social setting, the ability to take responsibility, etc., which makes the age line for consent something less than a clear, bright, or fixed line. Age itself isn't the issue, although it's clearly an important factor in whether consequences of sexual activity are good or bad, and it's in those consequences where the moral issue lies for me, not in the cultural taboo surrounding the issue.
If you are over 25 years old, you have much to be thankful for, as there is a very good chance you would not have advanced to your current age if you had lived in any time but the modern period.
Life expectancy from prehistoric times until 1400 or so was in the range of 20-30 years. For example, Benedictine monks in Canterbury, England in the period 1395-1505 lived, on average, only 22 years from birth, despite having better nutrition, clothing, sanitation and shelter than the population as a whole.
Of course, high infant mortality rates can skew these figures, but high infant mortality rates also mean that females need to start pumping out babies as soon as physically possible to help maintain or grow a human population.