It’s a bit weird for certain circles and people (you know who) to salivate over this prospect like it meant what they think it means (sex, proximity, choice) and furthermore, to infer that what is old is good, from a time when leeches and the Iron Maiden were in use.
- 71% of marriages had spouses within 0–5 years of each other.
- 88% of marriages had spouses within the acceptable “not creepy” range.
- 17 was the average marriage age for women.
- 36% of women married under the age of 15.
- 23 was the average marriage age for men.
- 20% of men married under the age of 15.
Young women – and young men.
It’s a creepy old man (30-40 considering the ages we define as Old, properly adult) wanting to marry someone so young thing that weirds people out. Like, might hang out at the school gates and kidnap your daughter kind of weird. As if they can’t handle an actual woman with mature expectations and want to pervert an innocent’s understanding into deviant abusive stuff.
In addition, these couples do not have their first child until the wife is at least 16 years old, if not 18–25.
They had standards. Marriage didn’t mean sexual access, especially where young marriage was common, in royalty.
Often they could just appear at functions together and live in different places (or different bedrooms) for a number of years. The women had to mature enough (16-18) that childbirth wouldn’t kill them. Yeah, that. Fucking pedophiles advocating this don’t give a damn about that.
There could be a couple reasons for this. Régine Pernoud notes that 12 was generally considered the age of legal consent for girls and 14 the age of legal consent for boys, though local custom could set consent at a later age.
This doesn’t require that 12 and 14 were expected ages for sexual activity, so the data would support the suggestion that young marriages were not consummated until both parties were older.
Key word – consent.
If your wife didn’t consent to consummate, (or marry you, if that was a choice) then you couldn’t rape her. The wedding night thing is more modern as a stupid expectation (you’re too tired to do much) when the ages were brought forward or they needed to explain the early pregnancy. There would be social consequences considering her youth and weakness (women also being considered like children in this time period regardless of age), especially if it was done with great violence (it would need to be, so basically rape).
I didn’t look at the background of most other marriages, but from the time between marriage and first births, this seems to be pretty typical. Marriage age and age of sexual activity may not have been the same thing. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found anything from scholars to give more guidance on the best way to interpret this information.
It’s a thing feminists use to make men look evil. The worst part is that evil men pretending to be good (it’s good for society, as they say they don’t want their daughters to do it though) advocate what is tantamount to child rape (they give excuses). We know from medicine and anatomy and physiology that childhood is completely real, provable in forensics and can be measured to the last detail and psychological maturity, such as for consent, takes longer to form. Logically, the age of consents should be pushed back at least until the age of majority (usually 18) but that would make sense so I don’t expect governments to implement it. Lower ages of consent give pedophiles various excuses.
Half of these “creepy” marriages bore no heirs, and in those that did, the wife was of an age we would consider sexually responsible by modern standards.
The virgin fetishists always raise their ugly head in these discussions and expect they’re the norm. Imagine being one of those people who gets off on ruining purity, how awful. Seeking out good in the world to destroy it, would make anyone balk. They want social sanction, even encouragement, to hurt children.
In 20% of marriages, the wife was older than her husband. In most she is 1–3 years older, but in a couple, it’s as much as 8. I mention it simply because I’ve never seen this information included in a study before.
Don’t tell the idiots who believe age is like a use by date. I hope age is cruel to them.
Christine Klapisch-Zuber says that “literature of the fabliaux widely exploits the theme of unequal ages in marriage between a graybeard and a tender young thing.”  This appears to be the best answer to the stereotype. Fabliaux or satires usually depict events that were seen as unusual, strange, and undesirable by a medieval audience. When a modern audience no longer has the same point of reference as the original audience, many of these become mistaken for the norm, and a stereotype is born.
Perverts even in the Middle Ages. When you’re weirder than torture, congrats. I recall seeing some, they were depicted as despicable lecherous pigs with scraggly beards and grope hands. Like Fagin.
In modern times, people still prefer 20s and early 30s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_at_first_marriage
Healthier children this way too. Going back…
Arguably, this is why the West developed.
Women married earlier for protection and a lower risk of death. Hardly a stellar choice we want to emulate.
….by the end of the 18th century it had risen to roughly 26 years and continued to climb with the celibacy rate as a result of falling infant mortality rates, declining famines, and other factors…
And when times got really bad, no marriage at all.
… in the decades after the Great Famine, the age of marriage had risen to 28–29 for women and 33 for men and as much as a third of Irishmen and a fourth of Irishwomen never married due to chronic economic problems that discouraged early marriage…
While the average age at first marriage had climbed to 25 for women and 27 for men in England and the Low Countries by the end of the 16th century, and the percentage of Englishwomen marrying fell from over 90% to just over 80% through the 17th century and their average age at first marriage rose to 26
There are lessons here. Don’t ask a gross old guy who puts off women his own age anything about marriage or little girls.
The rise of Christianity created more incentives to keep families nuclear; the Church instituted marriage laws and practices that undermined large kinship groups. From as early as the fourth century, the Church discouraged any practice that enlarged the family, like adoption, polygamy, taking concubines, divorce, and remarriage.
Adoption – of bastards from a promiscuous manwhore. Anything that redirected attention and family resources (part of the bargain of marriage) were forbidden.
Ideally, the ages match, and we saw this as the world developed
as Christianity expanded men married increasingly earlier and women married increasingly later
Basically, the manosphere is wrong on pretty much anything regarding wives and LTRs.
the chance for women to earn money in the one hundred and fifty years after the Black Death was attractive, with less competition for jobs; as much as half of women in the North willingly worked to earn money for marriage while their Southern contemporaries were married or widows before turning to work and unmarried young women only worked as a last resort, lest her honor be put at risk
In the last decades of the century the age at marriage had climbed to averages of 25 for women and 27 for men in England and the Low Countries as more people married later or remained unmarried due to lack of money or resources, and these averages remained high for nearly two centuries and averages across Northwestern Europe had done likewise.
So when I see some loser approaching middle age salivating over the prospect of a naive schoolgirl for a supposedly docile wife who won’t complain or know to complain when he’s a bad person or a terrible husband (purpose of vows), this question is often a good test for creeps.
If I hear “Women should…..”
It’s like a feminist saying Men should. Don’t. Nobody needs to do anything, who made you Pope?