The Renaissance Battle of the Sexes Online!
From birth, children entered a very rigid and ordered society. At the princely courts, the newborn child was, as a rule, fed and cared for by a nurse. Among the lower classes, the mother herself nursed the child. Children whose family died or left them would be sent to a "wet nurse" who would raise them, similar to an adopted parent would today. These orphans (along with widows) were the only groups that Christian charities had obligations to assist.
In Florence, before clubs and institutions were created, children would be outside creating havoc in the streets. Said one observer, "…[children] would be in the street, beating balls against nunnery walls, burning mannequins of old women, stoning passerby, and mocking visitors." Soon after this, various "boys clubs" began a rise to political power in Florence. Soon, people realized that through boys (since female children had no "value") they had the ability to make their own lives better, and prepare a better future. They began to notice, by 1470, that children expertly imitated their parents in every way. Child psychology had begun.
The typical child during puberty was most likely ignorant to the reasoning behind their developing body. The church attempted explanations, as did parents, but most were folk lore or mere practical information on dealing with this new issue. No ritual to bring children to adulthood, besides the ones that were affiliated with religions or marriage itself, existed at this time period.
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Note: This page has been created as a result of research done by students at Plymouth-Salem High School as part of a Humanities class. All data presented, unless otherwise noted, derives from these research materials. Any inaccuracy of information is accidental. Thank you for visiting our site!