Sexual politics in twenty-first century America has taken a rather surprising turn. Given the realities of the stigma still strongly associated with sexually transmitted diseases, the politics of HIV/AIDS is an unusual case study of acceptance in an age of sexual conservatism. This acceptance is contrasted through a close reading of a “young readers” novel about STDs with the ongoing stigma associated with other STDs. The politics of “abstinence only” becomes part of a discourse of the politics of human sexuality. In contrast the literature on herpes and ethnicity can be shown to engage with the problematics of identity politics missing from the STD texts. How the cultural and the medical literature parallel and differentiate themselves is a central aspect of this contrast.
What Is the Color of the Gonorrhea Ribbon?: Stigma, Sexual Diseases, and Popular Culture in George Bush’s World
SANDER L. GILMAN IS DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF THE LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES AT EMORY UNIVERSITY AS OF 2005. A CULTURAL AND LITERARY HISTORIAN, HE IS THE AUTHOR OR EDITOR OF OVER SEVENTY BOOKS. HIS BIOGRAPHY OF FRANZ KAFKA APPEARED IN 2005; HIS MOST RECENT EDITED VOLUME, A SPECIAL ISSUE OF HISTORY OF PSYCHIATRY ON “MIND AND BODY IN THE HISTORY OF PSYCHIATRY,” APPEARED IN 2006. HE IS THE AUTHOR OF THE BASIC STUDY OF THE VISUAL STEREOTYPING OF THE MENTALLY ILL, SEEING THE INSANE, PUBLISHED BY JOHN WILEY AND SONS IN 1982 (REPRINTED: 1996) AS WELL AS THE STANDARD STUDY OF JEWISH SELF-HATRED, THE TITLE OF HIS JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS MONOGRAPH OF 1986.