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How young is too young to get married?

We all have heard about young couples getting married straight out of high school, 18-year-olds who just KNOW that the person they’re marrying is The One for them.

And then there’s the Doug Hutchinsonand Courtney Stodden wedding, where the then 16-year-old Courtney married the 51-year-old actor.   And while there is a significant age difference between Doug and Courtney, we can say that their love has outlasted at least one Kardashian marriage.  So they do have that going for them.

But you should recall that when Courtney and Doug got hitched, there was a huge public outcry over not just their age difference, but also how Courtney’s mother gave permission for her 16-year-old daughter to go through with the marriage in the first place.

Look, if it was true love, Courtney and Doug could have waited two more years until she turned 18.  Then, while still having a little bit of the creepy factor, it would at least be a legal union between adults rather than an arrangement with a minor (albeit one with parental approval).

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

If you’re looking for what the MARRIAGE AGE OF CONSENT is across America, you can find it on the Cornell Law School website.  Generally speaking, the average age of consent ranges from 16 to 18.  Hawaii allows 15-year-olds to be married, as does Missouri.  New Hampshire says that a 14-year-old male and 13-year-old female could marry, according to the chart (with parental permission and approval of a judge).

But even New Hampshire pales in comparison to what SAUDI ARABIA and IRAN HAVE DECLARED in terms of how young a child can be to be married.

Saudi Arabia has said that girls as young as 10-years-old could be married.

And Iran did that one better, by saying that 9-year-old girls could be married.  Their reasoning was that nine is “the appropriate age for a girl to have reached puberty and qualified to get married”.

Young brides are not completely unusual around the world.  10 million girls are married before the age of 18, worldwide.

So what do you think?  In today’s world, should we be concerned about pre-teens getting married?  Is your state’s marriage consent laws too lenient, and should require couples to be of a certain age before getting married?  Tell us what you think in the comments below: