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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