Child Marriages in the United States

by Victoria Zangaro


“Due to the fact that these girls are not going to have the proper education or even the maturity level to intake all that is happening, there is not much they can do to change their families' social and economic status, which dolefully repeats for generations upon generations to come.”


In the United States, there is a claim, that child marriages are not something that pertains to that part of the world. In the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Child, mentions that children need to be over the age of 18 in order to get married. Many countries have signed this document; however, the United States is not one of them. In the laws that are emplaced in the United States, it mentions that an individual has to be 18 or older to get married. Nevertheless, if they have parental consent, they can get married much earlier than this. In most child marriages, it is the parent’s idea for their child to be married, not the child. It can be for a plethora of reasons if that’s for a religious practice or to pay off some sort of debt. Even so, the parents are aware that their own child is being married off to an adult. Between the years of 2000 to 2015, there have been 200,000 legal marriages where a minor is involved, this is only the data of 41 states out of the 50. In a study, it was shown that girls that are married before the age of 18 come from poor backgrounds and it is the parent’s way to obtain money to survive.


Not only does child marriages decrease the chance for the young lady to have a wonted childhood, but also diminishes her chance to earn a proper education. There is a 50 percent more likely that a girl will drop out of school, in order to maintain this new lifestyle. Having such betimes childhood marriages, it makes these young ladies have twice the possibility to pass away in childbirth from the ages of 15 to 19. This clearly does not solve any problems, because this turns into a cycle of poverty that becomes really burdensome to overcome. Due to the fact that these girls are not going to have the proper education or even the maturity level to intake all that is happening, there is not much they can do to change their families social and economic status, which dolefully repeats for generations upon generations to come (Ferguson, 2018).


In the state of Massachusetts, 84 percent of the 1,231 cases were girls married to an adult male. The age range would be from 14 to 17 years old. These young girls that are put into these tragedies face abuse from their husbands and have no way to escape or to find refugees. For these girls, the parents allow them to drop out of school and get married to a man much older than them and may not take into account all the emotional and physical damage that it can generate. There will also never be equivalent representation in the households, in the idea of principles and beliefs. The women will have to subject themselves to the ideas of their husbands, and not have a voice of their own. In these marriages, the men hold most of the power and use it to belittle the young women. This just makes the imbalance of power much more substantial, which is not appropriate or wise for any young lady to face (Massachusetts Senate passes bill to ban child marriage 2019).


This problem of child marriage is an ongoing and prevalent topic in the United States. It is not something that should be dismissed but look profoundly upon to seek multiple ways that thousands of young ladies can preserve their childhood and innocence.




Work Cited

[1] Ferguson, S. (2018, October 29). UNICEF USA BrandVoice: What You Need To Know About Child Marriage In The U.S. Retrieved June 23, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/unicefusa/2018/10/29/what-you-need-to-know-about-child-marriage-in-the-us-1/

[2] Sschoenberg@repub.com, S. (2019, July 25). Massachusetts Senate passes bill to ban child marriage. Retrieved June 23, 2020, from https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/07/massachusetts-senate-passes-bill-to-ban-child-marriage.html

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