Browse Exhibits (2 total)
This exhibit illustrates the substantive lack of change in discourse regarding sexually transmitted infections (STIs), public health, and sex work, which shows a larger pattern of sex work stigmatization that has stayed mostly the same. Public health is a discipline that has evolved over centuries of scientific advances and the development of new health scares, but many of these changes are reflections of the past. Though there are certainly inherent differences, HIV/AIDS in modern sex work communities is very much a reflection of syphilis in 19th century Parisian sex work communities.
19th century Paris and the contemporary United States extered similar mechanisms of social control over prostitutes’ health and bodies. This control simultaneously reflects and reproduces stereotypes of the prostitute as a diseased body that the customer needs protection from.