In the struggle for self-government which occupied the Mormon population of Utah between their entry into the Great Basin in 1847 and statehood in 1896, the issue of polygamy dominated public discussion. The non-Mormon population of the United States generally objected to the practice of polygamy, in large part because of Victorian attitudes towards sexual activity and the presumed physical and mental results of violating Victorian sexual norms. It was assumed by most Americans that polygamy, by violating those norms, caused real physical damage to the Latter-day Saints in Utah; damage that disqualified them from holding full and equal political rights with their fellow citizens.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Grover-Swank, E. Victoria, "Sex, Sickness and Statehood: The Influence of Victorian Medical Opinion on Self-Government in Utah" (1980). Theses and Dissertations. 4730.
Polygamy, Utah, Politics, government