Skip to comments.Two men for every three women? [Utah social ratios enough to re-institute polygamy?]
Posted on 01/01/2012 4:51:53 PM PST by Colofornian
n Utah, the issue of polygamy is a very sensitive topic. Should the topic of one man marrying more than one wife somehow come up in a conversation, watch the eyes roll and folks run away from the conversation. So, needless to say, this is not an issue generally dealt with over the picket fence.
However, when a Mormon is willing to discuss the issue, its amazing how many folktales are used. For one, it is commonly asserted that polygamy was necessary back in the pioneer days of Brigham Young because there were not enough men for the women. (Note: According to all statistics I have seen, there NEVER was a time when Mormon men outnumbered Mormon women at any time in the Utah Territory.) Thus, having a man take two or more wives is somehow touted as actually being helpful to the women, as otherwise they would have ended up as Old Maids. (In case youre wondering, being single for many years is NOT a good thing in Mormonism.) The men who sacrificed themselves in this way are almost made out to be heroes, as if they were taking one for the team so that women would have a chance at the celestial kingdom. I once had one Latter-day Saint tell me that the male/female ratios actually became close to 50/50 in the 1890s when the Manifesto abolishing polygamy was given, so the practice had somehow served its purpose and was no longer needed. Really.
Hence, imagine my surprise when I discovered that, according to a recent survey from Trinity College called Mormons in the United States, 1990-2008 (Salt Lake Tribune, 12/15, p. A1), there appear to be many more Mormon women than Mormon men in the state of Utah. Consider these statistics: In 1990, a total of 53 percent of the Mormons in Utah were females (55% in the rest of the country). Eighteen years later, though, in 2008, there were 60% LDS females in Utah compared to 40% males (52% in the rest of the country).
In other words, if youre female in Utah, theres a good possibility you will be sitting home on Saturday night. Imagine, this equals three women for every two men in Utah. Go to a Saturday night dance and there are 60 girls to only 40 boys. Some are getting left out. For returning 21-year-old male missionaries, these are some pretty good odds when coming home. I can only wonder if there will soon be an influx of Mormon males moving to SLC from other parts in the country as well? Even with Vegas so close, these odds have to look pretty good.
Since Utah Mormons have a problem of too many females and not enough males, the question needs to be asked: Should the Mormon Church propose making polygamy legal once more? After all, there are possibly some women who wont be able to attend the temple as married women unless willing men can lend a hand. There must be some willing married Mormon males out there who might be willing to do their duty and get married to two, maybe even three women. After all, if God intended polygamy back in the old days to provide assistance to the women, it seems like this practice ought to be reconsidered once more.
Of course, this is not going to happen. But the next time a Mormon uses the too many women, not enough men argument for support of 19th century polygamy, ask if they believe Mormonisms prophet will soon be told by God to reinstitute this practice because many LDS women dont have worthy husbands. Odds are, theyll say no.
For other articles on this subject, see:
* New study confirms many LDS stereotypes [Lds church bloats stats; men defecting @ high rates]
* Mormon men waiting longer to marry, worrying church officials
Slim pickings in the Vail Valley. Send the extras over here!
According to the Changing World of Mormonism, pp. 224-225: [LDS} "Apostle John A. Widtsoe, who was born during the polygamy years (early 1870s) stated:
We do not understand why the Lord commanded the practice of plural marriage. (Evidences and Reconciliations, 1960, p.393). One of the most popular explanations is that the church practiced polygamy because there was a surplus of women. The truth is, however, that there were less women than men. Apostle Widtsoe admitted that there was no surplus of women: 'The implied assumption in this theory, that there have been more female than male members in the Church, is not supported by existing evidence. On the contrary, there seems always to have been more males than females in the Church... The United States census records from 1850 to 1940, and all available Church records, uniformly show a preponderance of males in Utah, and in the Church. Indeed, the excess in Utah has usually been larger than for the whole United States, ... there was no surplus of women' (Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 1960, pp.390-92," as cited in Changing World, pp. 224-225).
The fact that I've had to cite this quote NUMEROUS times on FR -- to both Mormons and their non-Mormon allies -- in response to this 19th century social myth shows how much Mormons and their allies wanted to believe that myth was true.
So with all those extra men, can I have more than one husband?
My guess within five years, polygamy will be legal in a number of states and the SCOTUS will rule that there is no Constitutional prohibition of ANY person or group of persons being married.
The government sanctioned marriage license will fade away and it will be a religious ceremony and that’s it.
Common assertions that aren't supported by facts but continue to be be commonly asserted in the Beehive State as the reason for certain current and former practices? Say it ain't so.
Mormon single women in Utah. Time for some hard choices to make in 2012.
#1: Make the decision to move out of state. (Even if you find a guy who might be deemed by others as "celestial material," the cultural trends across the board --Mormon and non-Mormon -- is that guys in their 20s are waiting to marry).
#2: You might need to simply leave the faith if you want to marry and "settle down." (Look for a Christian guy in another church...after all...more and more Lds publications reference Lds as "Christians, too"...if Lds are "Christians" and if Christians are Christians, hey, what's the difference?)
#3: If you're a Mormon single woman and you're over 30, things are even worse:
A BYU Web site, citing a Goodman and Heaton study, was rather forthright about this reality:
Furthermore, single LDS men and women are "mismatched on salient demographic characteristics. Single women over 30 have higher levels of education, occupation, and Church activity than single men. For example, never-married women over 30 are more likely to have four years of college (42 percent compared to 18 percent for never-married men) and professional occupations (70 percent compared to 38 percent)" (Goodman and Heaton, pp. 90-91). Goodman and Heaton conclude that "marriage to an active male is demographically IMPOSSIBLE for many active single females over 30. And even when there are available males, they may possess other characteristics that rule them out as potential mates. (p. 91)
(You do know what "impossible" means, right?
“My guess within five years, polygamy will be legal in a number of states and the SCOTUS will rule that there is no Constitutional prohibition of ANY person or group of persons being married.”
Much of the reason for the push for ‘gay’ marriage. And indeed, if that sterile travesty is permitted, how could one argue that polygamy or polyandry is worse? Part of the accelerating pace of social dissolution.
We or our descendants will be rebuilding a nation from scratch. Perhaps at that time all that will populate Washington D.C. will be bones, weeds, and rusting car hulks. That will certainly make the task easier.
RIP, William Jan Berry (April 3, 1941 March 26, 2004)
There are constitutional prohibitions in both the Utah and Arizona state constitutions. And because the federal government didn't trust the people of Utah, the Utah constitution's anti-polygamy provision specifically prohibits the people of Utah from changing it without the consent of the United States. That was part of the deal for Utah to gain statehood.
I went to Salt Lake City years ago to interview for a position at a hospital, and the recruiting folks took me on the obligatory “real estate tour” with an agent. I made a comment at one point about the fact that all the houses had eight or more bedrooms - the female agent said something to the effect of, “Well, you’re a doctor, and a mighty good catch to the Mormon women here looking for a man to support a big family.” When I pointed out that I was not a Mormon, she answered with a twitter, “Oh, but you will be by the time one of them gets her hooks in you!” “ End of story.
We could fix the trade imbalance figures by selling the extra women to China. About 18 million men with no available females I hear... ;-)
That's because historically, marriage has always been the province of the churches or spiritual traditions of any particular area or civilization - not that of government edict.
1 + 1 = 2
Why people won't address that fundamental issue in the US is beyond me. No one in 1776 would ever even think of allowing the government to be on control of marriage.
Well, due to the governmental safety nets (welfare) due to anti-marriage actions of way too many...including dead-beat dads...govt. has a "Vested interest" in ensuring that just any ole "configurations" become so-called "marriage."
They pay the bills for failed families. And faulty configurations only ups the total of failed marriages.
(Example: Those who cohabit before marriage greatly increase likelihood of divorce)
All paper. Forgive me for not being impressed with such safeguards.
If you would have asked 50 years ago what would happen first, state recognized “gay marriage” or polygamy, I bet not one in a hundred would have said “gay marriage.” It really is bizarre.
“The government sanctioned marriage license will fade away and it will be a religious ceremony and thats it.”
That’s pretty much what I think will happen too. It’s just a shame the state has the power to punish if one doesn’t buy into their ever devolving take on marriage.
I disagree with Eric that Polygamy isn’t on its way back to the mainstream LDS. I have been saying for a couple of years that if the practice is legalized, SLC will suddenly have another revelation allowing polygamy.
Many LDS I know believe that polygamy will be re-instituted before or during the Millennium (when Christ and LDS prophets will reign from Missouri) and are looking forward to it. The legalization of polygamy will be seen as a sign that the return of Christ is near.
a few smart, charismatic men, snake oil salesmen
many dumb, dumb, dumb, desperate, often young, dumb, dumb, dumb,dumb, dumb, dumb,dumb, dumb, dumb,dumb, dumb, dumb,dumb, dumb, dumb women.