Early Marriage

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1. Introduction

Marriage, as a fundamental social and cultural institution and as the most common milieu for bearing and rearing children, profoundly shapes sexual behaviours and practices. It is undeniable that early marriage is a controversial yet hot topic that gets the attention of the professionals across many fields such as economy, psychology and sociology. The age at first marriage variegates across the globe. Being married before the age of 18 has been a social norm in third world countries [refer to Appendix A]. The percentage of women being married before age 18 is estimated from 20 to 50 percent in average in developing countries (Joyce, et al., 2001).

But then, developed countries are unlikely to experience the resembling pattern of matrimony. The marital union is normally delayed too long although this practise is believed to bring the most apparent reason for the breakdown in sexual ethics (Orsi, 2001). Out of its wealth and egoistic, western society chooses to marry later in life until they have built a decent maturity in age, education and financial state.

As early marriage is widely practiced in developing countries, a global issue has arisen as to whether early marriage does really hinder self development due to the consequences it brings to young girls. The practice is believed to bring several benefits to some extent. However, the adverse effects it brings can impede the self-development of young adolescences in many aspects including health consequences, character building and education as well as career opportunities.

1.2Purpose of Research

The main purpose of this research is to discover students’ opinion about early marriage. Do they agree with early marriage or not. The second goal is to know whether early marriage brings either benefits or harms to students. Even though early marriage is already becoming a social norm in the third world countries [refer to Appendix A] the society still does not fully aware of this phenomenon. Thus the third goal of this research is to increase the awareness of the society regarding early marriage.

1.3Method of Research

For the purpose of this research, relevant information was obtained from internet and books. This report is divided into several parts such as background information, factors that lead to early marriage, advantages and disadvantages of early marriage, as well as either early marriage can impede self development of young adolescence or not. A set of questionnaire will be distributed to 35 SAM student of INTI International University College. Some of the questions are using 6-point Likert scale, as it is the best measurement scale to gain people’s response without anyone sitting on the fence (Faculty Senate Advancement of Teaching (AOT) Committee, 2004). An interview also will be conducted as part of the research techniques.

2. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT EARLY MARRIAGE.

1. Terms and Terminologies

Oxford Advance Learners’ Dictionary (2006, page 481 and 941), defines early as near to the beginning of a period. Meanwhile, marriage means the legal relationship between a husband and wife. In short, early marriage means the legal relationship between a husband and wife at the beginning of their youth life. (Oyortey, N & Pobi, S 2003) They also defines early matrimony as any marriage that take place before the party involved is at least 18 years old (Oyortey, N & Pobi, S 2003).

2. Statistical Studies of Early Marriage

1. Prevalence of Young Marriage

The practice of young marriage is most common in developing countries (United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2001). As reported by Joyce (2001), the analysis made by Demographic and Healthy Survey data shows the countries which face most cases of early marriage are Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asian regions. Among the countries that have high cases of young marriage, Niger is the most...
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