Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
After the Wrath of GodAIDS, Sexuality, and American Religion$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Anthony M. Petro

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391288

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391288.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 March 2021

Governing Authority

Governing Authority

The Surgeon General and the Moral Politics of Public Health

(p.53) Chapter Two Governing Authority
After the Wrath of God

Anthony M. Petro

Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates the religious and moral languages employed in the first major national AIDS education campaign. It narrates the leading role of America’s celebrity surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, an evangelical pro-life activist appointed by President Ronald Reagan. This chapter demonstrates how government actors debated moral, and even religious, approaches to public health and sex education. Surgeon General Koop’s statements and published works about the best way to handle the AIDS crisis, and the reaction those publications received from religious and political parties, set the tone for future government approaches. Indeed, through Koop’s national AIDS campaign, they advanced a specific moral politics of public health and sexuality privileging abstinence and monogamy, an approach that reached nearly every American household and laid the groundwork for later sex education programs.

Keywords:   public health, Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, Ronald Reagan, culture wars

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .