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Causes and Consequences of Child Brides

Causesand Consequences of Child Brides

Child marriage has been a problem in the society, and the young girlshave to follow what their parents have decided. For instance, thecultural or the religious practices have nurtured long-held beliefssuch as the forced marriage that has even coerced young girls intorelationships they did not want. In this case, the polygamy customsare also another cause of the young relationships while some rapistsmight marry their young victims since they are escaping any legalaction that might be undertaken. However, the child brides areexposed to various challenges, and they can undergo anxiety disordersor pregnancy complications because of their tender ages andimmaturity. This essay will illustrate how the forced wedlock,polygamy and rapists trying to escape punishment are some of theleading causes of child brides, and it will also reveal the healthproblems and the depression that the victims might experience.

Some families are often fond of forcing their young girls to be childbrides despite their tender age. In this case, some of these familieswill engage in such activities because of poverty. Hence, they willforce the girl to be married to a richer person that will provideenough income to support the entire family. In some cases, thecultural beliefs are behind the forced marriages since they aresimply adhering to the long-held traditions. Lemmon (2016) interviewsNina Van Harn, who is a victim ofthe forced marriage, and she outlines some of the reasons that led tothe scenario. More important, Nina reveals that she lived in thecountryside, and her family was conservatives that had less contactwith the outside world. As a result, the forced marriages were morecommon in that region, and they did not see anything wrong with thepractice. In fact, their father is the one that arranged themarriage, and she did not have any option, but, to comply. She hadnever met the man, but, she was forced to marry him. She evenrevealed how she was not happy, and she wishes that she had pickedher husband without being coerced into marrying a stranger.

The polygamy practices are also another aspect that creates room forthe child marriages. In most cases, a man ends up having multiplewives, and no one will question the minim age of the women. Theloopholes motivate men to marry even the young ladies since they areconsidered to be more beautiful. To some extent, marrying a younggirl might be associated with some pride and authority in the societyas well. Hence, polygamy has been a practice that has nurtured childlabor in the American community. Even Reiss (2015) reveals how somefamilies in the US are still practicing polygamy and the childmarriages too. In fact, the article shows that the parental consentand blessing is common among the few examples of marriages that theauthor looked at. The scenario indicates that polygamy should bediscouraged in order to reduce the number of child marriages in thesociety.

In some cases, rape has been one of the causes of child marriagessince rapists marry their victims as a way of escaping any punishmentthat might arise. Couch (2015) reveals how rapists are oftenthreatened with the legal action, and they are forced to seekalternative solutions. As a result, they will decide to marry thevictim even if she is still young to carry the consequences thatmight include the pregnancy that the girl might have. In the process,the two might end up staying together and forgetting that theirmarriage was initiated by a rape case instead.

Unfortunately, the girls that are forced into the child marriages arevulnerable to various challenges in their lives. Pearson (2011)reveals that the women that have been married at a younger age “aremore likely to experience mental health problems, includingdepression, anxiety and bipolar disorders.” Besides that, theymight even resort to drug abuse as a way of reducing their stress andthe marital problems they might face. In particular, most of thegirls often have their goals, and being forced into marriages meanthat they cannot achieve them. At times, the child marriage isassociated with weakness, shame, and intimidation. The lack ofmaturity in handling some marital problems might also be stressful tothese young girls. For instance, some might even experience pregnancycomplications or even infidelity. Hence, all these issues might be ahuge burden for the young girls to handle. In the process, it isclear that the child marriages are inappropriate for the youngergirls and the government need to initiate the necessary measures thatwill protect them from such heartless men.

In conclusion, the religious and cultural beliefs have createdpolygamy and forced unions that have also facilitated the childmarriages in the society. More specifically, the practices havecoerced the young girls into relationships with strangers that theyhave never met. In fact, the parent often consents such unions, andsuch societies have considered them as long-held practices. Mostcommunities will be unable to identify any wrong or immoral practiceswith the decisions. In reality, the beliefs need to be discouragedsince they are ruining the future of such young girls that might haveother goals in life. The way that the young girls do not give anyconsent to the marriages also makes them unethical. In the process,some of the children are too young for such relationships, and theymight experience depression or even anxiety disorders.


Couch, Robbie. (23rd Feb, 2015). Countries Are BanningRapists From Marrying Their Victims To Avoid Punishment: Report.Retrieved on 18th Nov, 2016, from:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/23/rape-equality-now-report_n_6722928.html

Lemmon,GayleTzemach. (14thSep, 2016). Uncoveringthe problem of forced marriage in the U.S. Retrieved on 18thNov, 2016, from:http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/uncovering-problem-forced-marriage-u-s/Reiss,Fraidy. (13thOct, 2015). America’s Child-Marriage Problem. Retrieved on 18thNov, 2016, from:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/opinion/americas-child-marriage-problem.html?_r=0Pearson,Catherine. (30thAugust, 2011). Child Marriage Is ‘A Major Psychological Trauma,’New Study Says. Retrieved on 18thNov, 2016, from:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/30/child-marriage-psychological-effects_n_941958.html