"According to Their Wills and Pleasures": The Sexual Stereotyping of Mormon Men in American Film and Television

"According to Their Wills and Pleasures": The Sexual Stereotyping of Mormon Men in American Film and Television

Date: May 2009
Creator: Sutton, Travis
Description: This thesis examines the representation of Mormon men in American film and television, with particular regard for sexual identity and the cultural association of Mormonism with sexuality. The history of Mormonism's unique marital practices and doctrinal approaches to gender and sexuality have developed three common stereotypes for Mormon male characters: the purposeful heterosexual, the monstrous polygamist, and the self-destructive homosexual. Depending upon the sexual stereotype in the narrative, the Mormon Church can function as a proponent for nineteenth-century views of sexuality, a symbol for society's repressed sexuality, or a metaphor for the oppressive effects of performing gender and sexuality according to ideological constraints. These ideas are presented in Mormon films such as Saturday's Warrior (1989) as well as mainstream films such as A Mormon Maid (1917) and Advise and Consent (1962).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries