Risk

Recent posts

The Must-Read Article On Herpes

Yes, yes, I know you’re probably thinking: “I don’t have herpes, why should I read an article on it?” Actually, you might. By some estimates, anywhere from 60% of adult Americans to 90% of adult Americans have herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1), which most commonly manifests as cold sores. There is not much stigma in having a cold sore, whereas the genital sores associated with herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) can cause not only physical pain but also emotional stress around disclosure. According to the CDC, around 16% of Americans have HSV-2, but around 80% of them are unaware that they have it. Continue Reading →

Informed Consent: Risk Assessment vs. Stigma

As part of my informed consent post series, I’d like to talk about the issue of risk assessment regarding STIs when deciding whether to have sex with someone, and how to grapple with the problem of stigma. I wrote about stigma in my post on the adjacency effect, but the brief recap is that stigma is a sense of judgment or pollution attached to people who deviate from the norm. They’re seen to be dirty, unworthy, and so on. People who have been diagnosed with STIs certainly fall into this category; many face judgments such as slut-shaming, intolerance, and even human rights violations. In the context of informed consent, it is incredibly important for people to disclose their STI status to potential sexual partners. Continue Reading →

Interview With Folklorist Andrea Kitta: Vaccines, Public Health, Risk Perception

Being a folklorist means that whenever I chat with my colleagues, I find that they are researching really fascinating things. Take, for instance, Andrea Kitta, assistant professor of English at East Carolina University. She specializes in in medicine, belief, and the supernatural (and she’s a dancer, like me!). I knew that her book on vaccine rumors had just come out, so I asked if I could interview her for MySexProfessor, and fortunately, she agreed! Jeana: How would you summarize the main ideas in your book for the general public? Continue Reading →