Let's Not Judge Colombian Tribe for 10-Year-Old Child Mother

  1. A 10-year-old girl from Manaure, Colombia, has given birth to a baby, making her one of the youngest ever mothers, ABC New Blogs reports The age of the father isn't known and authorities can't press charges even if it was. The girl is a member of the indigenous Wayuu tribe, an independent group. Health officials are concerned, especially because the girl isn't the first young girl to get pregnant from the Wayuu tribe. But I think we need to be careful about judging this tribe by our own standards.

    Wow! Just wow. I can't imagine a 10 year old going through the pain of child labor.
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    I read about this the other day. Tough one. It's really difficult to not look at this as exploitive, not only to children but females in general because I wonder how much sayso she had in the matter. I'll withhold judgement though because anyone female of child bearing age (at 10?? sheesh) by some tribes/ancient civilizations was deemed o.k. to bear children.
  4. by   VickyRN
    call me old fashioned or a prude, but the pediatric nurse in me is speaking out. it is totally unacceptable under any circumstances for a child who is only 9 or 10 years of age to be sexually active and giving birth to another child. (i recently heard of similar tragic circumstances here in the us - a 10-year old gave birth; the father of the baby is just 12 years of age. god, please help us.) i don't care what the "cultural circumstances" are. children having sex and /or sexual exploitation of a child are wrong regardless of the cultural setting.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Apr 9, '12
  5. by   Tweety
    Obviously through my cultural eyes, I think having sex with a child is wrong under any circumstance in any culture because I define what is right on wrong based on what I learn. (Even in my own culture much of what some think is "wrong", I think is "right").

    Is a mature female capable of giving birth a "child" through the eyes of her culture..no she isn't because in some cultures "womanhood" is defined by sexual physical maturity, not age and thus it's not wrong to demonstrate womanhood through giving birth. Is she exploited as a female? Probably, because in a lot of cultures females don't have rights and I daresay this girls father and the other family made the decision that she would become sexually active, not her.
  6. by   JDZ344
    My heart is breaking for this poor child.
    Last edit by JDZ344 on May 16, '14
  7. by   TopazLover
    I'm not advocating girls should give birth young, but I think we need to reserve judgments on people we know nothing about. The Wayuu are self-governing and they must be left to handle these things as they see fit. From the original article.

    I know for some girls and cultures puberty hits earlier but I cannot imagine physiologically it is a good thing to give birth before your growth spurt has been completed. Is she ready to be a mother? Can she care for this child? In that culture are children raised by parents or the community? I have lived where the first child is given to the grand parents to raise.

    It is hard to put aside our cultural taboos. Personally I have a difficult time accepting this as their norm. I try but my knowledge about female growth and maturation stop me from being able to think of it without prejudice. If they are indeed a closed society and care for their own issues, let's stay out of it. We do so well in dealing with our own societal issues.
  8. by   azhiker96
    I would not want to see the US trying to force any values on this tribe. However, there are other cultures that have practices which I also feel are exploitive or disgusting. Female castration, public beheadings, stoning people to death, and the general treatment of women as chattel come to mind. I think it's okay for me to judge these things as being proper or not. I suspect if we had a chance to question the author of the article we'd find things they judge.

    I think 10 is too young but wonder what mitigating factors might come into play. What is the average lifespan of the tribe? What is the infant mortality rate? Do they have any knowledge of birth control or would they even care to have that knowledge?
  9. by   skylark
    Quote from Blanca R

    Wow! Just wow. I can't imagine a 10 year old going through the pain of child labor.

    What sort of childhood is this 10 year old going to have now?
  10. by   tntrn
    I read just this morning about an 11 year old Bulgarian girl who got pregnant 2 weeks after her 11th birthday and has just given birth. The father is a 19 year old who, according to the story, rescued her from being bullied on the playground. She got pregnant by him in a week or so. Oh, she delivered on the day they were to be married, she was in her gown and veil.

    He will probably go to jail. She says she now has no need for toys because she has a living doll to take care of.

    Are there words for this?