StarBlaster5: Among the Irish Travelers, it is common for an adult man to take a 12-year-old girl’s hand in marriage. Then again, it has been reported that the average lifespan for a male Irish Traveler is 39 years of age.
Therefore, it would explain why adult men in that culture gravitate towards pubescent and adolescent girls in their search for a wife. That is, they have to breed faster than most other cultures to keep their people from dying out, and underage boys simply cannot take care of these young brides. In other words, there would be no advantage for them to encourage 12-year-old girls to marry boys their own age.
Thank you! I have information that 300 years ago, California Indian women in my area died at ages 27-35. That’s not very old. You better believe you need to start fucking early in a culture like that! A culture like that that had some crazy age taboo like no sex before 18 as we do would go extinct real quick. If we assume that this was typical of hunter-gatherer cultures, perhaps these early age preferences make sense.
Keep in mind that only a minority of men have these preferences (3-8%). However, a very large number of men, up to 26%, are as attracted to girls under 15 as they are to grown women! So it looks like a strong attraction to girls under 15 has been coded into our genome and shows up in a strong minority of men.
However, your average man is not maximally attracted to girls that young. The average man has a fairly strong attraction to 12-14 year old girls, but it is only 54% of maximum, so they are half as attracted to them as they are to grown women. This makes sense as girls that age are still rather undeveloped, and it appears that most men have a preference for fully developed adult women, though they do like them on the young side, 18-24 years old. But those girls look enough like women to generate significant though not maximal sexual response.
I know that among the Yanonamo, girls are captured and sequestered away from other men at about age 12. They’re not supposed to start having sex with them so early, but a lot of them do anyway. They’re supposed to wait til they’re ~15. An anthropologist lived with them for 20 years and became part of their culture. He sequestered a girl at age 12 and kept her in his house. He did not consummate the marriage until age 15. He had to fight off other men with a spear who raided him and tried to steal him away from her.