This introduction opens with a discussion of why age is a worthwhile category of analysis, why sexual age standards are complex matters, and why sexual maturity laws for girls are politically freighted. It then introduces the central question of sexual maturity laws in India, explaining the importance of India as a context, along with a review of how childhood and girlhood have been studied in South Asian history. The introduction also explains the transnational feminist approach adopted and engages current scholarship in girlhood studies to situate the contributions of the book.
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