Child Marriage Research Papers

Child Marriage Research Papers-72
Although this definition sounds straightforward, the realities of child marriage can be complicated.

Although this definition sounds straightforward, the realities of child marriage can be complicated.

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Two out of five girls in Sub-Saharan Africa marry under the age of 18.

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But in contexts where ‘child marriage’ mainly takes place in late adolescence, and where autonomy in partner choice is clearly apparent, we need to be careful not to falsely vilify parents.

For some young women, it may represent a strategic choice to marry early and be the best locally available option, especially if they are already sexually active or they have started having children.” Schaffnit also notes the importance of considering locally-available options.

“We find that marrying early brings a higher bridewealth, which may incentivize early marriage of daughters for parents to some extent,” Schaffnit said.

“But marrying at ages 15 to 17 is not obviously detrimental to daughters, with the wellbeing of those marrying early largely indistinguishable from those that marry above 18 years.

“Marrying early was associated with lower educational attainment,” she said, “but rather than early marriage causing girls to drop out of school, the most likely explanation here is that girls that leave school for other reasons have few socially acceptable options in life but to marry and start a family.” The papers were based on surveys of nearly 1,000 girls and women 15 to 35 years in rural Mwanza Region, where 35 percent of brides marry before age 18. The papers are “Parent-offspring conflict unlikely to explain ‘child marriage’ in northwestern Tanzania,” in Nature Human Behaviour, and “ ‘Child marriage’ in context: Exploring local attitudes towards early marriage in rural Tanzania,” in Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters.

Other co-authors are Anushé Hassan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Mark Urassa of the National Institute of Medical Research in Mwanza, Tanzania.


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