There are extremely young girls in this country, child brides arranged marriage who are forced into marriage and given no choice of when or whom to marry. This is true, particularly among the religious polygamous sects in Utah, Ariona and surrounding states. The largest of such groups is the one ruled by Warren Jeffs, with it’s headquarters on the Utah Arizona border commonly referred to as Short Creek or Colorado City. Warren is presently seving a prison term for marrying young underage girls and for giving young girls in marriage to others, child brides arranged marriage usually to older men who are known for serving Warren faithfully without complaints. The Warren Jeffs group is known as the FLDS or Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints Church, a breakoff group from the Mormon Church. When the Mormon Church abandonned the Practice of Polygamy in the 1890s, those who would not accept the new ruling left the Church or were eventually excommunicated and later formed new groups such as the FLDS. Another such group is the Apostolic Brethren Group in Bluffdale, Utah a suburb of Salt Lake City. The FLDS group is more known for marrying off young girls. Should you want to know more about these groups and their beliefs I would suggest the authors award winning and Pulitzer nominated book, THE POWER OF POLYGAMY, at Amazon. CLICK BOOK COVER BELOW
CHILD BRIDES ARRANGED MARRIAGE – THE PROBLEM
The control of sex and sexuality are at the heart of marriage and thus early and child marriage. Underlying the practice of CEFM (child, early and forced marriage) is the control of women and girl’s lives by families and communities, particularly the control of their sexual and reproductive lives.
Poverty has long been said to be the foremost reason for CEFM. But if this is the case then why are not boys getting married earlier same as girls? Sexuality and gender are central concerns of early and child marriage. Yet these issues are not explored.
The social and cultural construction of sexuality and its emphasis on subordination, determines when and whom girls marry, as well as many conditions of marital life for girls and women.
Decisions about sexuality, relationships and reproduction are some of the most important an individual can make. CEFM prevents millions of girls from making these decisions for themselves. In fact , marrying a girl simply transfers the control of her sexuality to others. Fathers and other family members are replaced by husbands and in-laws, who assess a girl in terms of the physical and reproductive labor she brings to the new family. They believe that a girl does not have the right to make sexual decisions.
Why are families so into the close management of a girl’s sexuality. More than any other group, girls identity and lifes choices are defined by expectations regarding their sexual roles and behavior. The proper management of these roles can often determine a girl’s success in life.
Parents often cite fear of premarital sex, pregnancy out of wedlock and sexual violence as reasons for marrying girls as children, as any of these reasons could bring shame upon a girl and her family.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CHILD BRIDES ARRANGED MARRIAGE AND POLYGAMY