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The Effects of Early Marriage

Abstract

The marriage institution joins two adults in a social bond and offers them opportunities to gratify their psychological and physical needs. However, for teenagers, before eighteen years of age, getting married presents an enormous struggle and lost opportunities. Having families results in young girls working extremely hard, sometimes doing odd jobs, to earn a living. This is attributable to such girls being unqualified for most jobs as they did not get the opportunity to obtain quality education. The link between early marriage and educational opportunities, mainly for girls, is so strong that increased awareness should be encouraged in developing countries. To eradicate early marriages, there is a need for the government, activists, nongovernmental organizations, and other concerned groups to assist challenge and repeal traditional and biased perceptions on discriminatory access to education.

The marriage institution connects two adults, for example, a man and a woman, in a social relationship and offers them opportunities to satisfy their psychological and physical desires, as it is generally acceptable. In almost all societies across the globe, the institution of marriage has the mandate of validating the sexual relationship involving the adults that have decided to engage in it. Nevertheless, getting married in adolescence, before eighteen years of age, presents an immense struggle and lost opportunities. In many developing countries across the globe, there is a tendency of many girls between the ages of eight and sixteen years, being married, mainly forcefully, to older men (Delprato et al., 2017). In such communities, young girls are often treated as the property of earning wealth by their parents in terms of dowry. In early marriages, adolescents experience extreme difficulties exacerbated by their lack of education, psychological adversity, and insufficient social skills to mention a few.

Negative Impacts

Since the commencement of civilization, humankind realizes the significance of marital custom and it is considered as one of the main societal components. Marriage, in practical terms, is a social agreement between adults such as a male and female where out of one’s volition each is responsible to the other for mutual benefit. Therefore, in human life, marriage is regarded as an important and joyful institution. However, early marriage customs are a cause for alarm. Presently, child or adolescent marriage as a crucial human rights catastrophe is among the critical developing issues of concern globally. As a harmful traditional practice and norm, child marriage because of an initial and compelled alliance has had enfeebling effects on many adolescents, especially girls. The practice is harmful and greatly undermines the girl child and all that which may be of her best interest (Velotti et al., 2016). For families with lesser education as well as poor backgrounds, child marriage occurs at a high rate.

One of the greatest losses for a girl when married young is education. The inability to acquire education fully as with other children results in multiple travails to the girl. Opportunities for a girl to develop individually are limited once she is withdrawn from a learning institution and engaged in marriage to have children. After childbirth, most girls express the desire to re-embark on their studies and further their education (Herliana et al., 2018). However, most learning institutions refuse to take in a married or parenting girl. Having families means that young girls work excessively, sometimes doing odd jobs, to earn a living. This is because such adolescents are not qualified for most jobs as they did not get the chance to acquire quality education.

Although the psychological and social impacts of early marriage differ, the greatest consequence is the withdrawal of the adolescent from formal education. In some communities, the moment a girl attains the age of about ten to fourteen years, her parents have already planned a wedding for her and force her to drop out of school to become someone’s wife and have children (Santelli et al., 2019). Nevertheless, at the age of fourteen years, a girl is not mature and has not even fully attained basic education. The lack of educational opportunities, insufficient social proficiencies, and the psychological adversity attributable to early marriages result in poor livelihood for the innocent adolescent.

The connection between early marriage and educational opportunities, particularly for girls, is so strong that increased awareness should be promoted in many countries across the globe. In many underdeveloped and developing nations, it is hard for adolescent girls to continue schooling since numerous marriage opportunities are being floated to their parents, who, in most cases, get lured by the highest bidder. Consequently, early marriages have decreased the possibility of adolescent girls completing the high school level of education (Rukhadze, 2018). Conversely, maintaining adolescents in school has been identified as the best approach to delaying early marriages and increasing the likelihood of future success.

The greatest effects concerning economic outlays are fertility and an increase in population. Early marriages make adolescents bear children while they are still young and increases their probability of having many children in their lifetime. This decreases the possibility of their new households catering to the arising needs successfully hence resulting in poverty for them and their offspring. The elimination of early marriage will attract immense welfare gains through the prevention of overpopulation and breaking the cycle of poverty. Low-income and underprivileged conditions are the major factors behind early marriages since many families in rural areas in some countries have exceptionally large families. Many children have made poor parents unable to cater to their educational requirements, and this results in the perception of early marriages as opportunities that decrease the financial burden (Santelli et al., 2019). In worse cases, many such parents plan marriages between their adolescent girls and creditors as a means of settling debts. The notion that early marriages will resolve the poverty issue of their parents often becomes a way of worsening it.

Early marriages do not only divest adolescents of their educational opportunities but also make them suffer emotional adversity. In most communities that uphold early marriages, from birth, girls are continually taught to believe that their only roles in life are getting married, giving birth, and looking after children. Being forced into early marriages, and to someone that they do not love, usually leads to unhappiness in the relationship and life at large (Rukhadze, 2018). Such emotions often worsen over time and result in an abusive marriage riddled with violence or even murder. In some instances, when the girl finds that they cannot cope with abuse from their husbands any longer, they chose to either commit suicide or leave with the children. Going back to their families increases the financial burden and passes on the sequence of poverty to the children.

Possible Interventions

There is a high likelihood that an adolescent who enters in marriage will be from communities where educating girls is not as esteemed as in the case of boys. The girls who are forcefully married and their parents are in most cases illiterate and have minimal or no awareness of her rights. On the contrary, ensuring that girls attain at least secondary school education increases their likelihood of access to employment and offers them the capability to support themselves and their offspring. To prevent or eliminate early marriages, there is a need for the government, activists, non-governmental agencies, and other interested parties to assist challenge and overturn traditional and prejudiced perceptions on inequitable access to education (Santelli et al., 2019). Therefore, campaigns and sensitization should be intensified to increase awareness in rural areas, particularly in underdeveloped and developing countries. Such practices will enlighten not only parents who have adolescent children but also the next generation hence eliminating the perception that early marriages may be beneficial in any way. Moreover, apart from increased awareness of the evils of early marriages, there is a need to educate parents on possible income-generating endeavors that can assist them to take care of their families effectively.

The prevention of early marriages will ensure that adolescents attain the highest possible level of education, become healthy and wealthy, reinvest part of their proceeds into their families, and contribute to the economic development of their countries. One additional year of high school education for adolescents improves their possible future earnings by about 14%, and this increases with the educational level achieved (Tai et al., 2019). Parents who encourage early marriages should be enlightened to understand that in countries where the education of adolescents, including girls, is treasured, they become productive members of society, and there are low or no instances of early marriages. Another way to simultaneously tackle early marriages and enhance economic advancement is the provision of monetary incentives to poor families to support the educational needs of children and keep them in school. Moreover, there is a need to teach the adolescents who have become victims of early marriages the necessary skills that will help them to become financially literate, for instance, entrepreneurial proficiencies, budget making, and saving practices.

Sufficient awareness and support should be given to adolescents and families at a high risk of early marriages while the young victims could be assisted through enrollment in youth workforce development programs when returning them to formal education is impossible or futile. Over time, parents have come to appreciate the fact that early marriages are detrimental to the future success of their children (Santelli et al., 2019). Many interested groups and activists have called for the enforcement of laws that will make the legal age of marriage to be at least eighteen years as a means of saving adolescents’ future and creating a world full of opportunities devoid of gender discrimination.

Conclusion

In many developing nations around the world, there is an inclination of many adolescent girls being married, mainly forcefully, to older men. In such communities, young girls are usually treated as the property of earning resources by their parents in terms of dowry. In early marriages, adolescents experience immense difficulties aggravated by their lack of education, psychological problems, and inadequate social skills to mention a few. Ensuring that adolescents remain in school is the best approach to avoiding early marriages and increasing the possibility of future success. The eradication of early marriage will attract vast welfare benefits through the prevention of overpopulation and breaking the sequence of poverty.

References

Delprato, M., Akyeampong, K., & Dunne, M. (2017). Intergenerational education effects of early marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Development, 91, 173-192. Web.

Herliana, B. R., Utami, N. W. A., & Kurniati, D. P. Y. (2018). Early marriage practices and the health impacts on female adolescent health in Central Lombok: A qualitative study. Public Health and Preventive Medicine Archive, 6(1), 61-67. Web.

Rukhadze, M. (2018). Early marriage as a barrier to the career and educational opportunity for the youth in Georgia. Journal of Advanced Research in Social Sciences, 1(1), 28-32. Web.

Santelli, J. S., Spindler, E., Moore, E., & McGovern, T. (2019). Criminalizing sexuality or preventing child marriage: legal interventions and girls’ empowerment. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 3(4), 206-208. Web.

Tai, T. O., Yi, C. C., & Liu, C. H. (2019). Early marriage in Taiwan: Evidence from panel data. Journal of Family Issues, 40(14), 1989-2014. Web.

Velotti, P., Balzarotti, S., Tagliabue, S., English, T., Zavattini, G. C., & Gross, J. J. (2016). Emotional suppression in early marriage: Actor, partner, and similarity effects on marital quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 33(3), 277-302. Web.

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StudyKraken. (2022, August 25). The Effects of Early Marriage. Retrieved from https://studykraken.com/the-effects-of-early-marriage/

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StudyKraken. (2022, August 25). The Effects of Early Marriage. https://studykraken.com/the-effects-of-early-marriage/

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"The Effects of Early Marriage." StudyKraken, 25 Aug. 2022, studykraken.com/the-effects-of-early-marriage/.

1. StudyKraken. "The Effects of Early Marriage." August 25, 2022. https://studykraken.com/the-effects-of-early-marriage/.


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StudyKraken. "The Effects of Early Marriage." August 25, 2022. https://studykraken.com/the-effects-of-early-marriage/.

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StudyKraken. 2022. "The Effects of Early Marriage." August 25, 2022. https://studykraken.com/the-effects-of-early-marriage/.

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StudyKraken. (2022) 'The Effects of Early Marriage'. 25 August.

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