PUBLIC OPINION > Victims of 'Surprise STDs' Should Not Get Compensation

News 2012/06/08 13:00:00
The media recently reported on a 49-year-old woman who received genital herpes from a 69-year-old man she met on eHarmony. The woman won $900,000 in court after convincing the judge that the man did not tell her about his disease, and aggressively refused to put on a condom. We wanted to know what the public thought about "surprise STDs."

The overall vote was enough to make a judgement call, but it was close and controversial. One reason it was so controversial is because the situation is inherently vague. Even in the case cited above, it's very unclear what the actual circumstances were. If the defendant was aggressive enough to refuse a condom, why wasn't it called "rape"? Should that even matter? What if a victim lies about being informed, just to make a profit? There are a lot of variables.

Conservatives Dismiss the Court

The only demographic to play a major role in this issue was politics, and you can probably guess the outcome: Liberals were keen on punishment, while conservatives were quick to dismiss the court. The primary argument against punishing people who spread STDs without warning is that the victim had a certain level of responsibility, as well -- assuming, of course, it wasn't rape.

Teens Know to Use Protection

The age breakdown was interesting. Teens were the most likely to deny compensation, probably because they're still going through sex ed and know just how important protection is. However, support for compensation formed a sort of bell curve, peaking at the 25-34 range, probably about the age skimping on protection becomes the most tempting.

Men Are More Likely to Punish

We were curious to see if gender affected the results -- maybe women would be more likely to sympathize with the victim in this particular case. But there was hardly any difference at all, and the difference that did exist was the exact opposite. Women were a little bit more likely to let the defendant off the hook.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about surprise STDs. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Amelia 2012/06/08 16:16:02
    No. sorry you slept with him, you dealt with the STD. If he said no condom, you best get out of that bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Red_Horse 2012/06/11 16:48:48
  • Deborah... Red_Horse 2012/06/11 19:01:31
    Deborah Donnison
    Oh, that's a good one
  • CODE 11 2012/06/11 16:27:58
    CODE 11
    If your going to play..your going to pay
  • sundance CODE 11 2012/06/12 22:19:27
  • rugrat1411 2012/06/11 14:27:29
    No! That is a chance you take when sleeping with someone you don't really know. Hell for that matter you could get it from your own spouse!
  • Deborah... rugrat1411 2012/06/11 19:02:33
    Deborah Donnison
    Yeah, then you take Hubby to court.
  • Saye Saye 2012/06/11 14:18:50
    Saye Saye
    If safe sex & disclaimer prior to sex then no...if she was unaware then yes.
  • PapaBC Saye Saye 2012/06/11 17:03:02
    It was still her reponsibility to put on the rubber for he own protection it the guy does not. If he refuses to use one the get dress and leave.

    She needs to take responsibility for her failures.
  • Deborah... PapaBC 2012/06/11 19:07:15
    Deborah Donnison
    did you say "for her to put on the rubber" ?? SO you want her to forciblly put the rubber on him? How does that work exactly?
  • GINGERBREAD 2012/06/11 14:02:45
    What I'm not seeing here is "PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY". Yep the man had a "PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY" to tell his partner, but the woman also had the "PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY" to know everything about her male partner. This is what happens when people refuse to accept the fact that everyone is reponsible for their own actions. ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES or has everybody forgotten that.
  • Deborah... GINGERB... 2012/06/11 19:10:16
    Deborah Donnison
    How are one supposed to KNOW EVERYTHING about one's partner??? Every heard of LYING?
    And yes, actions have consequences and those for lying to a woman and giving her an STD is a lawsuit.
  • GINGERB... Deborah... 2012/06/11 19:29:59
    What about when a prostitute gives her "CLIENT" the "CLAP". Who do you blame? The hooker or the John? Same thing.
  • rugrat1411 GINGERB... 2012/06/12 13:29:50
    AMEN, Gingerbread!!!! That is whats wrong with this world no one wants to take responsibility for their actions. Its always someones else fault. Thank you for proving to me I'm not alone.
  • Moonbeams 2012/06/11 05:02:28
    He 'aggressively' refused. She submissively obliged. Survey says: She's an idiot.
  • Deb Moonbeams 2012/06/11 15:26:42
    Apparently she was "desperate." A 49 year old woman with a 69 year old man? Was she looking for father or a gold digger looking for a sugar Daddy?
  • Deborah... Deb 2012/06/11 19:14:20
    Deborah Donnison
    And this response coming from a woman. Disgusting.
  • Deb Deborah... 2012/06/11 19:57:57
    Yep, you are disgusting. A 49 year old woman is 20 years younger than a 69 year old man. That's desperate. That's someone looking for a sugar daddy to take care of her. Let's do the math. A 49 year old woman has sex with a 69 year old man; he refuses to wear a condom (his choice), it is also her choice not to have sex with him; then she gets awarded money because he has STDs and didn't tell her. Any person these days that doesn't use a condom is not using their heads. Other things besides STD's are transmitted via sexual contact. I say she is a gold digger looking for a sugar daddy to support her. That's disgusting.
  • rugrat1411 Deb 2012/06/12 13:32:24
    Sad thing is she won the lawsuit, sounds like gold digger to me.
  • ☠ Live Free Or Die ☠ 2012/06/11 04:40:03
    ☠ Live Free Or Die ☠
    I do not think that STD victims should be compensated IF the sex is consensual. However, I think that if a rapist gives his victim an STD or gets her pregnant, that should add on another 5 to 10 years to his sentence.
  • KoAm 2012/06/11 04:17:30
    How does a person "aggressively refuse" to do something?
  • Keith KoAm 2012/06/11 07:20:31
    That's a fancy court word to make it sound like he was aggressive and she was a innocent victim.
  • Sterling KoAm 2012/06/11 14:19:42
    Great question. They also followed that by asking why it wasn't considered rape, because as we all know:

    aggressively not doing something = aggressively raping someone
  • Silvershadows 2012/06/11 03:23:47
    Her attorney made a windfall! This is getting past silly! Of her own freewill she had sex with him and didn't put up much of an argument. Hey, had a good time---oops----I have an STD----I'm going to sue. IF he wouldn't put on a condom------get out of there. Should have been thrown out of court. It was her choice. OK, guys you have a case to quote. Go ahead and have fun-----if a problem develops====SUE. Just remember, your law firm will make a lot of money too-----maybe more than you. A sick time we've come to.
  • GINGERB... Silvers... 2012/06/11 15:16:08
    Is this like someone getting the "CLAP" from a hooker? Can you sue the hooker? Just wondering.
  • Silvers... GINGERB... 2012/06/13 05:11:44
    Chuckle! Good question. I suppose you could sue the hooker BUT if you win?? how are you going to collect? A judgement can be awarded but if they have nothing (except the STD) how to get your money?? Your attorney will take his cut out of you.
  • bpf 2012/06/11 03:10:56 (edited)
    As the saying goes "Let the buyer beware".....if you are dumb enough to jump in the sack on your 1st, 2nd or 10th date then you get what you deserve. The problem with women today is they want to be independent but hate to use another saying but for women .. Men will always think to themselves.. "Why buy the cow if you get the milk for free" so you jump in bed, spread your legs and get a STD you can blame yourself as well as the fool who got it himself..And if the man wants to go La Natural tell him to go out with Rosie Palm.....
  • Christopher Kirchen 2012/06/11 02:24:08
    Christopher Kirchen
    If you can't afford an std, don't get one.
  • earl.rums 2012/06/11 02:02:02
    Use protection you idiot!!! There is no way you should have gotten anything except for a slap to head for being a moron.
  • Myopinionmatters 2012/06/11 00:43:36
    Yes, they should. An std can be a very dangerous subject, and having sexual relations with someone who has a hidden std and knows it should be punished by the law.
  • Kalani 2012/06/11 00:27:19
    No, but only because the victim had to have known what they were doing. Rape STDs, though, are a whole different situation.
  • Velma~BN-0 2012/06/11 00:18:04
    Really? It's her own fault.
  • Kronan_1 2012/06/10 22:52:40
    absolutely not. It was as much her responsibility to be safe as it was his.That's what she gets for dating some fool she met on the internet. She's too cowardly to go out and meet local people like we did before the internet. We had better friends too.
  • Tom Kronan_1 2012/06/11 01:09:38
    I start an internet dating site 16 years ago, and hundreds of couples are as happily married as traditional couples. Do you still use a crank phone on the wall?
  • Nuke Kronan_1 2012/06/11 05:21:40
    This is a whole new day and age, a lot more people date online now than they did when you were younger and is pretty standard now.
    Saying that, it was still her responsibility to say "no glove, no love" if he wouldn't wear one, she could have just as easily got up and walked out if he kept refusing.
    it's much harder now to just go out and meet someone because bars aren't exactly a place you're going to meet a quality person.
    Online, you have people's interests up so you can see and at least for me, I'm honest with my profile and if a person isn't then you learn quick they lied.
    Honestly meeting someone online can be a good experience but then it's no different than people you're going to meet in public either, a lot of people put up a front when you first meet them, some lie about what they do or like to do.
    It's really not that different from meeting people in public.
  • Kronan_1 Nuke 2012/06/11 16:18:51
    I tied to rave you but, either the site or my computer wouldn't let me. Any way you make valid points without be sarcastic. Unlike Tom who seems a little bitter.
  • Nuke Kronan_1 2012/06/12 00:52:50
    Thank you, I try to provide good points, I don't know why the site won't let you rave me but thank you for the good comment, that's enough for me. lol
  • Heavy 2012/06/10 22:17:29
    Hell no. Maybe you should stop sleeping with guys you met on an internet dating site. I've had my share of unprotected, slightly questionable, sex but that was my fault and I knew what the risk was.
  • Tom Heavy 2012/06/11 01:12:43
    How does how you meet someone dictate whether or not the person is respectable? STD(s) have been transmitted for CENTURIES before the internet. You make absolutely no sense, none!
  • Heavy Tom 2012/06/11 01:16:01
    Ok so do you sleep with people you meet online. I'm just saying it's a bad idea.
  • Tom Heavy 2012/06/11 01:28:17
    16 years ago I started an internet dating site and slept with PLENTY of women, safely! Hundreds of couples are just as happy, or unhappy from that site as traditional couples meetings. I sold that site in 2005, but it's still putting people together today!
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