The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Social Experiment Shows How Americans React to Child Marriage

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I was surprised to see so many people actively engage the man, calling him a sick pervert, demanding to see the girl’s parents, and even forcibly taking the girl away from him while threatening to call police. New Yorkers are known for their nonchalance in most situations, as the city teaches you quickly to mind your own business and steer clear of the craziness of others.

Yet the plight of this child bride was too much for many to bear. Watch for yourself!

I know what you’re thinking. Interesting video, but you don’t think child marriage is a problem in the United States. Surely it has to be illegal here. That’s what I thought, too, before I did a little research.

Turns out child marriage happens in the US all the time, and millions of teenage girls today are child brides and mothers. Here’s what you need to know:

Child Marriage in America

child marriage angry man and crowd


According to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics published in 2010, 7.6% of girls ages 15-19 in the United States were married, with the exact numbers drastically changing between ethnic groups, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Across the country, children as young as 16 can marry with parental consent, but special cases of children even younger than that getting married happen fairly often given approval from local judges. This procedure doesn’t even have a defined minimum age.

Only 8 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands have criminal statutes regarding child or “forced” marriage. Data retrieved from New Jersey between 1995 and 2012 show that over 3,400 child marriages took place, 163 of them involving a minor aged 13-15. 90% of the children wed were girls.

Are you surprised to learn that there aren’t more laws protecting the integrity of children in our country? SHARE this and spread the word!