Male Homosexual Behavior and the Effects of AIDS Education: A Study of Behavior and Safer Sex in New Zealand and South Australia

By B. R. Simon Rosser | Go to book overview

17
The Effects of a National Fear Campaign About AIDS on the Behavior of Homosexually Active Men

So it is not the epidemiology of microbes but rather the phenomenology of human reaction to plagues and pestilence about which I have become curious, and worried. . . . In the Middle Ages they built walls in an effort to keep out the plague; but the walls could not do that, for they did not keep out the rats and the fleas they only isolated the people and impeded effective communal responses. We must be cognizant of that human tendency to build walls, and strive instead to optimize the community response which has been our strength thus far in this young epidemic.1

Historically, western culture has placed a strong association between sex and fear, which has in turn influenced sex education and sexually-transmitted-disease prevention. Two examples clearly show this approach to sex education, the first, by Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, examining adolescent sex education -- and the second adult education in venereology to World War I soldiers.

"The result of self-abuse is always -- mind you, always -- that the boy after a time becomes weak and nervous and shy, he gets headaches and probably palpitations of the heart, and if he carries it on too far he very often goes out of his mind and becomes an idiot. A very large number of the lunatics in our asylums have made themselves mad by indulging in this

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