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History of Motherhood: 1000 to 1500

  • By: Marcella Bush Trevino
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The period from 1000–1500 saw the emergence of a transition period between the ancient and modern worlds, as evidenced in the treatment of women in general and mothers in particular. Superstition and religious beliefs continued to play a dominant role in daily life and motherhood as religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity spread. Life spans were still short and most girls married at a young age, often to men much older than themselves as had been traditional in the past. Society remained male dominated and defined by proscribed gender roles. Most women were expected to marry, manage the household, and rear children in order to produce heirs, carry on the family name, and produce productive future members of society.

Life was becoming more ...

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