The introduction argues that the marriage of minors has always been relatively common in the United States, though explanations for its prevalence vary over time. In earlier eras children married because childhood was not strictly demarcated from adulthood; in later eras, Americans’ discomfort with adolescent sexuality has allowed many to countenance youthful marriage. While there are real instances of exploitation to be found in minors’ marriages, paradoxically many youth also found marriage one of the few ways to achieve adulthood prematurely, emancipating themselves from their parents and legally protecting sex with older spouses. The introduction also explains terminology, methods, and sources.
North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.