Disease vs. Sin

Essay by lam13College, UndergraduateB-, April 2008

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In Charles Rosenberg’s essay “Framing Disease,” he argues that, “the process of framing inevitably includes an component; how and why did a man or woman come to suffer from a particular ailment? Physicians since classical antiquity have always found intellectual materials at hand with which to explain phenomena they have been asked to treat, imposing some speculative mechanism or another on an otherwise opaque body. They study of an entity or symptom cluster over time indicates the truth of this particular truism” (xvii). Based upon Peter Lewis Allen’s “The Wages of Sin,” the truth resides with sex. He claims most diseases originate from sex in some way and the diseased need to have it, through this many moral and gender issues have been raised. In the course of history, masturbation, syphilis, and AIDS have been seen as social anomalies that have framed disease.

Since the appearance of AIDS in the late seventies and early eighties, the disease has been attached to a significant social stigma.

This stigma has manifested itself in the form of discrimination, avoidance and fear of people living with AIDS (PLWAs). As a result, the social implications of the disease have been extended from those of other life threatening conditions to the point at which PLWAs are not only faced with a terminal illness, but also social isolation and constant discrimination throughout society. Various explanations have been suggested as to the underlying causes of this stigmatization. Many studies point to the relationship the disease has with deviant behavior. The disease has had and still does have a strong association for many to homosexuality, IV drug use, sexual promiscuity and other sorts of sexual practice (Allen). This is largely due to the fact that, in the early years of the disease, it was far more...