Texas Polygamy Case: Don’t the Boys Count?

467 Children Removed–But What About the Ones Previously Exiled?

Eldorado, Texas–Recent news reports about a Texas polygamist compound highlight the abuse of underage girls by compelling them to marry men two or three times their age under threat of excommunication.

But very little attention has been paid to the abuse and neglect of the boys. Even those as young as 13 are frequently expelled from the compound and forced to fend for themselves without education, friends, or adult guidance. The order is usually given by the spiritual leader of the compound, and the parents of the boys are too fearful of excommunication to object.

In the family court reform movement, we see the media ignore injustices against men over and over. Likewise, in reporting on the Texas compound, they are ignoring serious injustices against boys, even when they are in plain sight. In fairness to the media, the New York Times did run one article about the plight of such boys last September, but there has been no follow-up and current reporting from Texas almost ignores this aspect of the problem.

According to one exiled boy, now in his twenties, 70 percent of the boys in his school class were expelled. The New York Times article estimated that 500 to 1,000 boys had been expelled from one Utah compound alone over the past six years, out of a total compound population of about 10,000 — meaning that a large percentage of the boys had been expelled.

The claim is that they are expelled for offenses against the communal religion, but in most cases the offenses are trivial — watching movies or showing interest in a girl their own age.

In a polygamist society in which some men have many wives, simple math tells us that many men will have no wives at all. One way to deal with this inevitable imbalance is to expel the extra men, even if they are still boys. So the reasons offered smack of convenient excuses for getting rid of the boys. To learn more, click here.

These issues have been largely ignored. The excommunication of boys has been occurring for years and nothing has been done. Are state officials ignoring this problem? Why? — this is child neglect. Will charges be brought against the members of the sect for neglecting their male children, or only for the sexual exploitation of the girls?

Post a comment or view what others have posted below.

Background: Law enforcement officers and child welfare investigators raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Eldorado, Texas on April 4th after a 16 year old girl called a domestic violence shelter and stated she was beaten and raped by her 50 year old husband. Once at the Ranch, officials removed about 50 girls from the compound and a few days later received temporary custody of the 417 other children who reside on the Ranch. To read more, click here.

So far only two arrests have been made, neither of which address the core issues involved. Leroy Johnson Steed and Levi Barlow Jeffs were charged with tampering with evidence and interfering with the duties of a public servant. Presently, state troopers are holding an unspecified number of men until the investigation is complete. Why only the men, since the women are complicit with the crimes?

Our society needs to protect our boys as well as our girls. And needs to hold both mothers and fathers accountable for crimes against children.

Post a comment or view what others have posted below. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *