The Age of Marriage
" The normal age of marriage has change dramatically over the years "The graph for the age of marriage has been a bell curve with the age starting as young as fourteen in the middle ages up to mid-twenty a couple of generations back. As far as one generation back, the marriage age went even further up the curve to reach thirty-something and now has come back down to the mid-twenties.
Although at first glance it seems rather odd, there is a scientific reason behind it all. The main reason for people to get married in the old ages has been - progeny. People did not often marry for love; they did so to make sure the bloodline and the family name were kept alive. The marriage age was in the ballpark of fourteen, for both men and women. The middle ages continued this tradition until around the 1370s, when the marriageable age of men rose to twenty-four, whereas for the women it was only sixteen. Then, around 1417, the age at which men married rose to thirty, and they still preferred younger brides.
The World Wars turned that phase around a little and men started marrying younger. Love came into the picture, as the debutante balls took a back seat when the industrial revolution swept the world. It was no longer necessary to marry into old money, as everyone who had an idea, talent, or bit of luck could make money. Then came the baby boom phase, when the soldiers came back and gave procreation another spin. People married in their early twenties. After a decade, in the early 1950s, the curve began climbing and the upswing continued until the late 1990s. Of the many reasons that attributed to this, emancipation of women was the major one. When women stepped out of the house and began contributing to the economy, they were not dependant on men to care or provide for them. With their independence came the dizzy heights of success and the shattering of the proverbial glass ceiling. Marriage was not on a woman's agenda until a career was firmly established. This phenomenon was not restricted only to women. With the economy booming, it was also the time for men to make money. Thus, marriage became less of a priority.
That is until recently, when the age for marriage spiralled downwards into the mid-twenties again. The children of the baby-boom era saw the consequences of starting a family later in life when older parents were not as involved in the lives of their children. This generation has its head planted firmly on their shoulders and has a healthy knowledge of multi-tasking. Falling in love and finding a partner has never been so easy. The internet has opened its doors to the shy, overworked, and sometimes even the overlooked. It has allowed us to operate from within our comfort zones before we decide to go out on a date. Women have broken the shackles and begun taking charge by asking out men and the surprise of all surprises is that men have actually begun to accept that. There is no shame attached to it-all hail the age of the metrosexual man.