Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-10-2017

Major Department or Program



Alissa Cordner


Between October 2015 and May 2017, Zika virus has become a prominent epidemic that is affecting countries across the world. Zika virus provides the opportunity to understand who is responsible for disease management within the United States’ society. Furthermore, because of the relationship between Zika and birth defects, Zika provides the unique opportunity to examine whether information regarding disease prevention and reproduction is more often targeted at women than men. Utilizing neoliberalist and feminist theories, I proposed that Zika prevention messages would be targeted at the individual more often than group levels of society, and that there would be more messages solely targeted at women than at men. I analyzed content for 155 documents obtained from the websites of 20 state Departments of Health, as well as from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The results indicate that Zika virus prevention strategies take a neoliberalist approach, emphasizing the role of the individual in preventing disease. Furthermore, results also indicate that women are seen as responsible for protecting their pregnancies from the dangers of Zika virus.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Zika virus -- Prevention and control, Birth injuries -- Birth defects, Disease management -- Women, Untied States -- Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease and Prevention (U.S.), Mosquitoes as carries of disease, Infectious Pregnancy Complications, Neoliberalism, Feminist theory, Audiences -- Health -- Women, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2017 -- Sociology Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Whitman Community Accessible Thesis



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