Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Date Information

May 2015

Department

History

First Advisor

Dane Morrison

Abstract

People today act like scandalous women are an invention of the twentieth century. For some reason it is widely believed that women were not promiscuous prior to the hippie days of the sixties or if they are being generous- the twenties. This idea could not be further from the truth because scandalous women have been part of American society since before it was even an “American” society. In fact, the Puritans who settled most of Massachusetts in the seventeenth century were incredibly scandalous people, even by today’s standards. This paper examines scandalous Puritan women in Massachusetts from 1635 to 1700 by looking at social, sexual, and religious crimes and sins. Puritan women have been ignored for most of our history, and it was the goal of this paper to share their stories and dispel the myths and stereotypes surrounding them, while establishing a beginning of female scandal in Massachusetts and the United States.

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