Weird Laws

Marriage proposals don't always work out. Some people propose over a year before they plan to get married, and a lot can happen in that time. On occasion, people get cold feet and call the whole thing off. However, if a man promises that he's going to marry a woman in South Carolina and then backs out of it, he may be breaking the law.

Stopping Seduction

The point of this law is to stop men from using the promise of marriage as a way to seduce a woman. Back when it was passed, as part of the law defining offenses against morality and decency, there must have been a problem with men saying they would get married but never actually meaning it. This must have gotten so bad that the government decided it was time to step in. The law applies to young men who are at least 16 years old.

A Lewd Woman

If the law doesn't sound odd enough, it's worth noting that a man can't be convicted if he can prove during the trial that the woman in question was unchaste and lewd. He has to prove she acted this way at the time he was accused of seducing her. The law gives no further explanation for what constitutes a lewd woman or how to prove that the woman acted this way, but it does give the young men a tactic to get out of the charges.

Different Times

Older laws like this can really highlight the changes over time in the way that society functions. This law was likely introduced because women who had been seduced by someone who was lying could then be unable to find anyone else to marry them. In the modern day, women's rights have advanced massively so that they are not dependent on their husbands, but things were not always this way, and a woman who could not get married could essentially feel like her life had been ruined, both socially and financially.

Marriage Laws

While this law itself is clearly outdated, it is important to keep an eye on the way that marriage laws have been changing over the years. This is something that will continue as society evolves.