Class or diet
Posted by Ann on October 18, 1997 at 13:56:25:
In response to RE: , written by Cassia on October 17, 1997 at 15:18:55
] I'm reading Anotia Fraser's The Weaker Vessel now and it focuses on the 17C. One of the factors she mentions is class: if a girl's family is rich and well enough connected they may have her out as early as fourteen, despite her not being able to bear a child yet. Even the lower classes had a sort of coming out (being able to walk alone to church with a boy and going to dances, for example) but theirs was between 16-18 (they also saved for their dowry before coming out).
Concidering that the diets of the gentry and the common folk would have been very different (woudn't they?), wouldn't this have had an affect on the physical maturation of girls? Would the lower classes have matured more slowly, and therefore married later?
Isn't there a reverse theory today, that young women in dangerous, poor, gang-infested neighborhoods are actually maturing more quickly than usual. One explaination is that they are under such stress and threat that they are compelled to procreate before they are killed. Frightening thought.
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