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8:35 AM
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A: Is this Swedish government pamphlet a guide for men who have "married" underage girls?

MichaelKThe pamphlet is/was real; the claim "a guide to welfare" is false The pamphlet is/was real and caused a stir in the Swedish news, for example: Aftonbladet (in Swedish) The pamphlet was published on Socialstyrelsens website on this link (in Swedish), but was quickly retracted (in Swedish) when t...

 
For those reading a Google Translate translated version of the Aftonbladet article, CSN refers to the "Centrala studiestödsnämnden", the National Board of Student Aid in Sweden.
 
It's probably worth saying that it is legal to marry in the UK at the age of 16 (with the permission of parents), there are states in the USA where the minimum age is even lower. I think the pamphlet is aimed at such couples.
 
@MartinBonner As the tweet shows, the front page has a picture of 3 persons: one dark-skinned female in a hijab, one non-Caucasian female or androgynous person with black hair, and one wide-eyed black haired female that can be interpreted as east Asian or possibly slightly dark Caucasian. If this is meant to represent the target audience, they seem to have left out Caucasian Europeans and Americans.
 
Good answer. Can you briefly explain why the pamphlet has caused a stir and has been quickly retracted ? Is it because it seems to be addressed to specific minorities ? Or because it acknowledges that there are married children in Sweden ? For any other reason ? AFAIU, just reminding that the law is protecting children from sex abuse is hardly polemical ?
 
@Evargalo Well in brief: people were upset that the language was not harsher or much more condemning than it was. One politician (Tobias Billström, Moderate Party) asked "Why is there no mention of jail?". They were upset that the text held a rather dry and matter-of-fact tone and was not spiced up with strong condemnation. It was retracted with comments like "[T]here has been points made about the image, but also the content". "We probably need to sit down with this and figure out if there is anything we can do differently".
The claim that is was directed at minorities... well the number of people married to children in Sweden was 132 reported individuals in March 2016 (the actual number is probably higher). I would call that a minority in comparison to the 10 000 000 people that presently live in Sweden. In Sweden you cannot marry children, Swedish marriage officiators will refuse that (since it is illegal, d'uh), meaning that those that are or could be married to children are people that are not of Swedish ethnicity, which also — automatically — makes them part of an ethnic minority in Sweden.
 
8:35 AM
Has there EVER been a "scary immigrants" question on Skeptics that turned out to be true? Ever?
 
@WakeDemons3 Probably not because - as it turns out - humans in general tend to be quite decent, even if they are not of one's own country. Whar a surprise...
 
This answer fails to actually demonstrate that the claim in question is false; for that we'd need to see the content of the entire pamphlet. It's plainly possible - perhaps even likely, and reasonable! - for the same pamphlet to contain both information about the rights of children under Swedish law and also information about navigating the benefits system that is specific to people entering Sweden while already married to an underage spouse. I don't know why @AndrewGrimm accepted this answer when it provides no evidence at all that the claim is false.
 
@MarkAmery The evidence is in the sources that none of the sources even mentions welfare. The entire condemnation revolves around the tone of the language. If there had been any claim of the sort "Of you are married to a child, this is how you get welfare for it", the fallout would be infinitely bigger. Also there is no such thing as welfare for being married in Sweden. And in order to get welfare for having a child you must be the legal guardian of the child. You cannot be both married and the legal guardian of a child under Swedish law.
 
"those that are or could be married to children are people that are not of Swedish ethnicity" - actually not true. They are people who are or who could get married abroad - which doesn't exclude Swedish ethnicity. (I accept that most are not, but they could be.)
 
Where specifically does the word "welfare" in the claim comes from? Is that word in the pamphlet or not? And what does " National Board of Student Aid" have to do with the topic?
 
8:35 AM
@user5341 The claim comes from the tweet, linked at the top of the question.
 
@MichaelK -the answer can be drastically improved by showing Google search results of the document, showing zero hits on plausible terms in Swedish for welfare. As it is, it's just original research, with you reading the document and asserting (making everyone trust both your goodwill and your Swedish translation prowess) that the rest of the non-quoted document doesn't say what the tweet says.
 
@user5341 the translation is pretty good.
 
I don't understand this bit: "It is illegal to have sex with someone under 15, even if you already have children together." wtf?
 
@user5341I have linked to a blog that contains the pamphlet and provided a short summary of the pages.
 
JAB
@theonlygusti Seems obvious, even if you had a kid with someone under 15 elsewhere you can't do it again in Sweden.
 
8:35 AM
@theonlygusti This refers to the — quite horrible — situation where the adult spouse and the child had a child before they arrived in Sweden. The pamphlet points out that this does not change the fact that child rape is still just that in Sweden.
 
@JAB - this absolutely requires quoting "Dogma". "The nature of God and the Virgin birth, those are leaps of faith. But to believe a married couple never got down? Well, that's just plain gullibility."
 
@user5341 As much as I love Dogma, that statement requires modification in this context, to avoid the squick it implies: "To believe that an adult, loving married couple never got down? Well that's just...". Does not flow quite as well though.... wrecks the joke.
 
@MichaelK: This situation isn't necessarily that horrible. E.g., it covers the hypothetical case of two 14-year old Andorrans expecting a child together and then marrying in Andorra. If they move to Sweden, apparently their marriage is considered void there. Also, if they want to have sex again (in Sweden), they will have to wait until both are at least 15. --- In general, in morally backwards countries child marriages can be a natural result of Rome/Juliet type situations. (Juliet is 13 in Shakespeare's play; Romeo's age is unstated.) IMO, married+pregnant is better than dead.
 
@HansAdler "Not that horrible"? Not as horrible as what? Also you realise — of course — that if two 14 years old's show up in Sweden with kids of their own, they are both on the receiving end of 1) the pamphlet and 2) trusteeship from social services. Yeah, the language is gender neutral about everything in there (except to state that a pregnant female can always have an abortion, but biology sort of necessitates non-neutral language there). :D
 
@MichaelK I thought it was obvious that Hans was saying that "quite horrible" is not an appropriate description for a hypothetical situation where two 14-year-olds who actually had a love/attraction for each other, were comfortable enough with each other to want to experiment sexually, and who happened to get pregnant and married as a consequence. You could easily argue that it's suboptimal, that the young couple weren't as ready as they ought to be for such a situation, etc, etc. But that's definitely not as horrible as an adult raping a kid who was basically sold into the marriage.
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@MichaelK Also, it sounds like the aforementioned hypothetical pair of 14-year-old Andorrans, even if they know each other well and genuinely believe themselves to be happy together, if they need to take refuge in Sweden, will both indeed be on the receiving end: Strangers who barely know them will be more able to speak for them and their needs than they or their spouse, and the decision to live with their spouse and their kids will not be theirs. I am sure that's for the best for many, but I would not trust the average adult to make the right calls for the kind of mind I was at 14.
 
8:35 AM
@HansAdler - "In general, in morally backwards countries child marriages can be a natural result of Rome/Juliet type situations". Ahem. In the state of New Hampshire (USA), the legal marriage age is 13, but in needs parental consent AND a judge's approval. This has happened, apparently, once in the last 30 years. She was pregnant and the couple were religious fundamentalists. The judge apparently ruled with great reluctance, taking the position that it was the least bad of the alternatives. The couple filed for divorce in 4 months.
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@user5341 student aid was mentioned in the aftonbladet article, as sarcastic humour.
 
Leo
You can get married if you're younger than 18 in Sweden, it just requires approval from the state and the parents. Approval requires very strong justification and proof that the couple is mature enough to handle the legal and economic consequences of getting married though.
 

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