Opinions Regarding Polygamy among LDS Church Members: Demographic Predictors

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Archive for the Psychology of Religion




People's opinions toward polygamy were examined in a study of 1369 adults who were current or former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Questions addressed several areas: polygamy and the law, respondents' perceptions of polygamous women, the potential link between legalizing gay marriage and legalizing polygamy, polygamists' reliance on social welfare programs, and the ability of teens raised in polygamy to leave that lifestyle. Consistent with the contact hypothesis, multiple regression analyses showed that people who knew a polygamist held more favorable opinions of polygamy. Polygamists, men, infrequent church attenders, and older people also tended to hold more favorable opinions of polygamy. Educational attainment showed weak associations with opinions, while marital status failed to predict opinions toward polygamy.