Let us form some basic assertions, and see what leads from them.
- A woman should bear children during her peak childbearing years; this is basically 18-32.
- A woman should be married before getting pregnant.
- A woman should not have sex before getting married.
- This is difficult, since a woman naturally has a high sex/coupling drive during her years of peak fertility.
- A woman should be married when her attractiveness is at its peak, as this is the time when she would presumably get the highest-value husband. This also corresponds to her years of peak fertility, ages 18-25.
- Having born children, the woman ideally becomes a dedicated housewife.
From this, we conclude that a woman should be married at a young age, ideally around 18-20 and practically between 16-25. By age 25, the woman would be both “on the market,” and also horny as all heck, for ten long years of celibacy, which is already more of a “season of singleness” than should be asked of anyone’s daughters.
A woman today might be expected to bear three children. In the past, it was more: Catherine of Aragon married Henry VIII of England at age 23. (Her first marriage, at age sixteen, ended five months later with her husband’s death.) She was pregnant seven times with Henry, but bore him no male heirs. One daughter lived. Six other children were either stillborn or died soon after birth. Her last birth was at age 32. Times were hard then: this was a woman given every possible advantage and comfort. If we say that a woman might bear three children before age 35, age 25 at marriage is not so early to get started, with the first child born at age 26. If a woman is married at age 18, she could have three children by age 25. Thus, marriage in the 18-25 window leads naturally to a full complement of children within the woman’s window of peak fertility, which is really up to about age 32 although you might get some children even to age 40.
There is another aspect to this: a woman’s peak childbearing years also correspond to a woman’s natural inclination toward infant care. It is often said that the care of young children is best done when the parent is themselves young. The manner of a typical four-year-old can be very trying to a person in their forties, who is naturally inclined, at that time of life, toward the education of adolescents in preparation for adulthood.
If we are marrying our girls at (ideally) age 18, they would likely be paired with men older than them, probably in the 23-35 range. A man must be both interested in and able to start a family. It is possible that an 18-year-old girl could marry an 18-year-old boy, but this is most sensible when the young man’s future is more-or-less assured: perhaps he is the heir of a wealthy family, and expects to inherit the family farm, business or estate. He is perhaps attending a prestigious university, or is able to get a secure and well-paid union job, or there is open land available from which a productive farmstead can be hewn.
We can also see that there is little need for a woman’s career here, as she is plenty busy caring for a household with (perhaps) three children. From this, there is little need for a woman to go to college, from where she is going to emerge, at age 22, already at the tail end of her peak 18-25 marriage years, something different than what a sensible man wants in a wife, which at a bare minimum may be described as: a debt-free virgin without tattoos.
This is not to say that a woman should not be educated. She can also wear shoes. There is not much “education” happening in universities these days anyway. The daughters of the wealthy were educated at their fathers’ house, where they lived until their marriage. This often involved private tutors — a major plot device in, for example, Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Catherine of Aragon didn’t go to the University at Salamanca, but she was certainly educated. At age 21, she held the position of Ambassador of Spain to England, the first female ambassador in European history; a job she (naturally) quit after marrying Henry two years later. At age 27, while her husband was away at war, she served for six months as Regent (that is, temporary king) of England. During this time, she made an emotional speech about English courage, which is said to have served an important role in Henry’s victory at the Battle of Flodden.