The age of female consent to sexual activity and marriage is largely a social issue. In the early days of the territorial expansion into the American Wild West, there were simply no laws and people pretty much did whatever they wanted. Even civilized England had no minimum age for marriage until 1836 and during the peak of the British Empire (1836 – 1928) the age was 12 for females. In 1929 the age was raised to 18 and it’s been down hill for the Empire ever since.
The United Nations is not united and has been subject to cultural influences. It wasn’t until 1964 that the minimum recommended age of consent was set at 15 by UNICEF and eventually in 1990, it was raised to 18. In the United States, the land of the Moral Majority and the supreme example of a moral nation, one in 25 marriages involves a child bride.
While setting the legal age of consent is a political process, it is rooted in cultural beliefs driven by poverty, family bonding for political power and religious beliefs. In Africa, the percentage of underage brides is between 40 -77% for many nations and in the Middle East 24-64%.
It is obvious, that the age of consent was only recently raised in the West and now the UN is being used to set global standards in the name of health and controlling global populations. It’s not hard to conceive that this Christian Crusade to raise the age of consent is being met with an Islamic Jihad.
For Muslims, Muhammad’s status as the supreme example of perfect human behavior means that there must be cultural acceptance that he married a 6 year old bride and consummated the marriage when she was nine years old. In the context of 7th century Arabia this was not unusual and even his enemies did not berate him for this protective action. Just as many from the moral Majority accept the literal interpretation of the Bible, many Muslims accept the literal interpretation of the Koran and legislate accordingly. In Iran, an age of 9 is legal and America’s enemy the Ayatollah Khomeini married a 10 year old girl when he was 28 .
The worse the economic and social conditions of a region are, the more parents seek out the protective covenant of marriage for their daughters. In the Refugee camp area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, half of 13 year old girls are married and perhaps as many as 2/3 of second graders are either married or engaged. Old men are definitely seeking solace in the arms of very young girls.
When will it end – Never!
So long as America runs her crusades to impose her values on the world, there will be wars and refugee camps and so long as these occur in Islamic Nations, parents will do the best they know how within the dictates of their religion, culture and traditions to protect their daughters.