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Book Review: Sex, Fear, and Public Health Policy

John G. Culhane

Widener University - Delaware Campus


Yale Journal of Health Policy and Ethics, Vol. 5, p. 327, 2005

Looking into the AIDS abyss in the mid-1980s, public health officials sometimes succumbed to the same impulses – notably, panic and scapegoating – that activated politicians, judges, and the public itself. Among the best-known results of these impulses were city-by-city efforts to shut down gay bathhouses. No one disputed that sexual activity took place in the bathhouses, but it was – and remains – unclear whether closing them would help stop the transmission of HIV, hinder that effort, or have no net effect. This article reviews Gay Bathhouses and Public Policy (edited by William J. Woods and Diane Binson), a collection of essays on this topic written two decades after the hardest-fought bathhouse closure battles.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: AIDS, HIV, bathhouses, public health, public policy

JEL Classification: K32

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Date posted: February 10, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Culhane, John G., Book Review: Sex, Fear, and Public Health Policy (2005). Yale Journal of Health Policy and Ethics, Vol. 5, p. 327, 2005. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1758059

Contact Information

John G. Culhane (Contact Author)
Widener University - Delaware Campus ( email )
PO Box 7474
Wilmington, DE 19803
United States
(302) 477-2107 (Phone)
(302) 477-2255 (Fax)
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