Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Producing Respectable Women: Analysis of HIV/AIDS Coverage in Ebony and Essence


Women and Gender Studies


Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies


Arts and Humanities


This analysis of Essence and Ebony magazines' coverage of the HIV/AIDS epidemic illustrates that the magazine emphasized a politics of respectability, encouraging women to behave as model women and citizens, refraining from promiscuity and non-normative behaviors that may put them at risk. The author calls for an attention to the ways these politics, which are used to "protect" women are also used to police black women's behavior. Examining discourses about the HIV/AIDS epidemic provides an important example of how these politics of respectability can be even more harmful when topics require open discussions of sexuality.

Conference Name

National Women's Studies Association

Conference Location

Oakland, CA

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