A few Muslims have posted about this but they haven’t addressed the questions and points the rest of us have raised about it. I guess they aren’t yet ready to explain why. Maybe this will be the thread that’s different.
because their prophet married a young child. and they believe he is the greatest example for all time.
Biologically, I think there is a tendency to seek younger females, particularly in the more civilized races because the females, at this age, are notably frail (even in the western world). These young girls would not be given the same attention by their mother because due to siblings.
And young girls often cling to the largest male at about age 6 - 9. This is survival instinct. It is not impious. So, independence often just means that she will find someone else. And this is usually the case in the western world, Christian or otherwise, although the ages may be somewhat older.
I don’t think there is even a connection between the two, Islam and young girls. Other than age is the only real factor in marital selection. In marital selection aspects tend to become competitively exaggerated i.e. I can cook, I can cook many things, I have been to culinary school, etc. Organized marital selection and other imposed customs seem to have several benefits. The cessation of Anarchy being one of them.
It tends not to be an issue up until the girl is actually of age, at which point in time she becomes self aware. Not to put a Freudian spin on the matter but it is a genuine social structure and not a fetish. Perhaps not the best one but you can not simply point to it and have the world take up your cause.
In our highly evolved society sex with children is forbidden and rightly so. But in former times [in the time of Our Lord for example] it was not uncommon for girls to marry as young as 12 or 13 years.
In UK today, children do not leave high school until the age of 16-years, In my day it was 15-years, in my mothers day it was 13-years. After leaving school, it was expected that a school-leaver went to work. They were by the standards of their day: young adults working in an adult world.
So who we describe as children were less than 100-years ago, young adults.
In some parts of the world, particularly among emerging economies this is still the case. We just cannot make comparisons with the values of today. We need to make comparisons between cultural values and history.