This article is in the Official Press and thus mainly propaganda. However, truth is all one thing and propagandists are stupid; by keeping their eye on the ball they lose track of the field, accidentally letting things slip. They use up their mental RAM keeping track of the logical links of their target belief, and their inferential horizon is elsewhere quite diminished.
What I learn is that American marriage is perverted in the pornographic sense. The "marriage night" thing means: "Hey we all know you're about to have sex." Voyeuristic. They often even know where the couple is about to have sex. Further, you're having sex because it's expected. What if you're not in the mood? Too bad; it's the marriage night. I believe there's a term used by moderns for compulsory sex...
When the government is not meddling with your marriages, consummation doesn't have a fixed date. As long as the kid has both a mother and a father nobody much cares.
On the other hand, I am curious about how peasant families handled sex given the whole family would own one (1) bed. (The piece's author isn't interested, because woman vs. low status. Non-celebrity gossip; bleh.) Maybe Americans are double perverted, acting like it's a big deal for children to witness sex. After all, farmers' kids see sex all the time. After seeing the donkeys going at it every year, they don't exactly need an education to work out that tab A goes in slot B. Nobody can tell who grew up on a farm without having to ask, so it's clearly not significant.
Maybe peasants went far out of their way to keep it private. Did they keep their voices down? Regularly ban kids from the house? Were content with rare sessions? Of course now it seems I'm being voyeuristic... However, the issue is American sex habits are clearly unhealthy. You don't have to check, you can just assume. Null hypothesis: fuckin' crazy. This means I need to know what healthy sex habits look like, for comparison. What's actually a big deal and what's pathologically twisted social signalling?
E.g. aristocratic families would clearly try to prevent their kids from witnessing sex, but this was mainly to show off that they had big enough houses to accomplish this. "Look how innocent I can afford my children to be. Isn't that cute?" It's not a moral thing, it's literally applying coercion for personal benefit. "You're not a poor who can't afford separate thick-walled bedrooms, are you?" Naturally Americans now consider it immoral to act the way normal non-upper-class folk behave. Naturally.
It's clear children shouldn't see their parents naked after the childhood amnesia period, but beyond that I don't know how it's supposed to work. Maybe that's why sex under covers is traditional: because it was assumed the kids would be wandering around and would otherwise visually witness something everyone would prefer they didn't. In modern times it's just women having a woman moment.
Another thing we learn is that "holy matrimony" was a power grab.
In Reality, marriage occurs between exactly two people: man and woman. If they sign an oath saying they're married, then they are, because lies are bad mmmkay. Yes, marriage is sacred, but of course Christianity is profane and thus has nothing to do with marriage. Because it is profane, it tried to manically seize marriage for itself. It is not a coincidence that the end result of Christianity seizing marriage was a divorce-positive regime. Know them fruits etc. Later the hyper-Christian Fascist State seized marriage from the Church. The problem is regular folk letting anyone meddle in the first place.
"It could be hard to tell, in other words, whether one was engaging in legal married sex or illicit and illegal fornication."
It is not fornication if a) you don't have sex with any woman you don't at some point have kids with and b) you marry and stay married to every woman you have kids with, in the sense of the kid living with both a mother and a father. Anyone claiming you need to do more or less is a liar and a Satanist. The exact timing doesn't matter as long as you don't try to rules-lawyer it.
It's fornication because Gnon will have words with anyone who fornicates. E.g. women hate casual sex. Of course Americans hate themselves so Americoid women like Tinder exactly because it is obligatory self-harm.
P.S. The idea that most people are unattractive is a modern notion. It's because they're malnuourished. Overstressed, overworked, sick, and fed scraps even the pigs won't touch. Deodorant and sometimes birth control makes you stinky and shampoo makes you greasy. Folk who eat sleep until rested, real food, exercise, and don't pollute their skin look perfectly acceptable unless they have a bone deformity.
Don't be a dumb prat: Catholic families don't have 13 kids out of a sense of duty.