Evolution, they say, takes millions of years. We didn't get transformed from apes to homo sapiens in a couple of hundred.
But look what we homo sapiens have done in the just that timespan. Changed our lifestyle so completely that the evolutionary mechanism has been left far, far behind.
Take the human reproductive system. It was designed for a species which lived a maximum of 30-40 years. Hence we were made biologically capable of reproducing around the age of 14 - giving enough time for the offspring to grow into an adult while the parent was still alive.
But in the last 50 years, the human lifespan has increased by leaps and bounds. The average Japanese can expect to live to be 85. The average Indian, about 61 years.
Since you and me belong to a class of Indians with better access to healthcare, sanitation and nutrition that would definitely be much higher. Closer to about 75 I should think.
And yet, our bodies are functioning according to the old requirements. Girls will start 'maturing' around the age of 11 (even earlier than previous generations - thanks to better diet and other environmental factors). And so will boys.
At an age where we are expected to bury our noses in books, hormones start raging in our systems and instead, we start mooning over each other.
"Yeh padhai-likhai ki umar hai," say parents. And frown upon any 'distractions' from studies. It's like - the tap has been turned on - but there is no outlet.
My point is, in the '15-17 years of study' format of life, reaching sexual maturity at age 12 makes no sense - from an evolutionary standpoint. The idea was to enable propogation of the human race, right? In the modern context it works in quite the opposite manner. Especially for women.
The human female is born with a limited no of eggs. And the quality of these eggs declines with age. Hence doctors advise, women should consider having a baby by the time she is 30. And definitely not wait beyond 35.
This, effectively gives a woman just 5-8 years to establish herself in a career. Given that you complete an MBA or similar post graduate degree by 23-24, you now have to swiftly get ahead in your job and find a mate and have a baby in the next decade.
If you challenge nature and postpone having a baby, you may find it difficult or impossible to do so. There are modern fertility and reproductive techniques - but they cost a good deal and offer no guarantees.
Meanwhile, men can become fathers at 40 or even 50 or even 60!
So, if evolution was an efficient mechanism, women should actually become fertile closer to 18 - and stay so till their early 40s. That would still give the child born a very good chance of growing into an adult under the care of living parents.
And give women a better shot a 'equality' in high pressure careers and modern life in general.
I mean, under-age marriages still occur because dakiyanoosi thinking parents would rather have a girl who's crossed puberty safely chained to a husband. Instead of risking she complete her education and be exposed to temptations of the flesh outside. Crude but that's how a lot of people still think!
Bottomline: Like any other System, the one God created up there to manage the business of planet Earth and earthlings, just may need some re engineering...