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Defining Girlhood in India – A Transnational History of Sexual Maturity Laws - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Defining Girlhood in India: A Transnational History of Sexual Maturity Laws

Ashwini Tambe


At what age do girls gain the maturity to make sexual choices? This question provokes especially vexed debates in India, where early marriage is a widespread practice. India has served as a focal problem site in NGO campaigns and intergovernmental conferences setting age standards for sexual maturity. Over the last century, the country shifted the legal age of marriage from twelve, among the lowest in the world, to eighteen, at the high end of the global spectrum. Ashwini Tambe illuminates the ideas that shaped such shifts: how the concept of adolescence as a sheltered phase led to delaying bo ... More

Keywords: girlhood, sexual maturity, India, law, transnational feminism, childhood

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780252042720
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042720.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ashwini Tambe, author
University of Maryland