Getting married too early can have a lot of consequences that are negative. Of a young age, women might not be able to hold the responsibility of an entire home, be able to fulfill their parts as wives, or have the power to be a student, worker, and a housewife. Yet, it is very common to see women in the Arab-Islamic world getting married at a very young age.
Perhaps it is because their religious beliefs prevent them from allowing any physical contact, and I mean “any”, before being legally and religiously married. Fathers want to get their daughters married so that the honor is preserved, and the girl is ensured not to have any physical contact or lose her virginity before she is with her legal husband. This is mostly seen in Saudi Arabia. Lebanon does have early marriages as well, but not always for the same reasons.
In the United States, it is very uncommon to see a young couple married. Perhaps the only time you do see such, is when the couple went mad and decided to get married, in a moment of rush. They even find it very unwelcomed for a young woman to be married. The thought of her having a baby is even scarier. The reason is that they believe marriage limits the freedom of a woman, and there is no absolute reason that would leave no way but marriage for a young person.
Sexual contact is perhaps more accepted in the United States, and it is very common for a girl to lose her virginity before marriage. That is because there are no religious attachments that are strong enough for such a subject to be stopped. This differs in Lebanon since people are more religiously consumed, and a woman’s “honor” is determined by if she can save herself for the big night.
It is very different between the two countries. Lebanon is a liberal and open-minded country, but it still carries among its people more conservative thoughts, and that is what makes the difference.
Going back to the marriage idea, it’s not always for religious reasons. A lot of young women feel they are responsible enough, and feel they can take the load of getting married and having a home. In the US, when a woman feels she has reached a well level of responsibility, and is willing to move on to a more serious step, marriage is not what comes to mind. Moving in together maybe, getting a puppy, but not getting married.
People think differently of this specific subject, as they consider it to be a very drastic change in their lives, and that is why each person handles it differently. Even in the same country, a lot of people might accept the early marriage as a good step towards taking things to the next level, while others consider it a very unconscious move that is not worth the try.