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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  • Manda 2012/06/09 01:51:38
    No. We all have to take responsibility for our own sexual health. If someone even passively refused to wear a condom, I would surmise that he is not who I should be sleeping with. The man should be punished for not disclosing his condition, if that is true. His punishment should be criminal, not civil.
  • sundance 2012/06/09 01:32:28
  • toobored54 sundance 2012/06/09 02:35:41
    Surprise root canal, LMAO. Been laughing about that line for 10 min, thanks!!
  • sundance toobored54 2012/06/09 08:14:48 (edited)
    Actually, I was laughing while typing it. I am always amazed at the sheer stupidity of my fellow primates. It was the best comparison I could think of at the time. Anyhow, glad I could lighten your day...Just a thought....
  • john n sundance 2012/06/09 15:49:12
    john n
  • sundance john n 2012/06/09 18:52:44
    Oh?... Good, I like surprises...
  • john n sundance 2012/06/09 19:13:13
    john n
  • Torchy 2012/06/09 01:22:37 (edited)
    Yes, it takes two. But if you knowingly infect someone with a disease and take advantage of their trust (or stupidity), you deserve to be sued. It's not like the flu; sometimes it's a life of misery or a death sentence.
  • sundance Torchy 2012/06/09 01:51:26
  • Torchy sundance 2012/06/09 18:05:59 (edited)
    Oh, grow up.

    Speaking of personal responsibility, if you have a highly contagious, possibly lethal disease, it is YOUR responsibility to disclose this information to anyone who could get it from you. It is also YOUR responsibility to take precautions to not infect anyone else. In fact, it is mostly YOUR responsibility as the infected one because not all of these diseases present noticeable symptoms that would be visible to someone else. You are the one in a position to know what's going on and therefore are actually much more responsible for what happens than the other person. Unfortunately, in this country, you can't take advantage of other people's stupidity -- if you do, it's called a scam. Maybe you think it's okay to just go around and give people painful things and then go "That's what you get for not checking!" Hey, if some scam artist robs you of your life savings because you responded to an email, that's your responsibility, right? The guy who robbed you is completely innocent 'cause you didn't check on it, right? BS. In a civilized society, lying by omission is rather frowned upon.

    Not to mention, if you read other articles, this woman waited 4 dates before sleeping with this man. That's more than enough time for him to say "Look, if we ever get intimate, I have to tell you something."
  • sundance Torchy 2012/06/09 19:12:30
  • Torchy sundance 2012/06/09 21:01:12 (edited)
  • sundance Torchy 2012/06/09 21:17:44 (edited)
  • Torchy sundance 2012/06/09 21:26:54 (edited)
  • sundance Torchy 2012/06/10 00:29:50
  • Torchy sundance 2012/06/10 01:18:57 (edited)
  • sundance Torchy 2012/06/10 08:36:21 (edited)
    One, are you always this narcissistic ( and if you have a degree in psychology, then you will understand the term)?
    So, lets recap. She is only 25% guilty? OK, I give. You are really just too stupid to talk to....later

    PS. I know fine, upstanding degree holders, just like yourself, and they are flippin burgers at McDonald's, So......
  • Torchy sundance 2012/06/10 17:43:57
    Arrogant would be the better term. And I'm not flipping burgers.
  • sundance Torchy 2012/06/12 19:26:50 (edited)
    I do owe you an apology. Not for anything I said, but for being misinformed. At the time, I was not aware that he knew his status. I will, however, state that it in no way changes my position on guilt and responsibility. They share in that equally.....
  • ruru 2012/06/09 01:19:30
    Sue their pants off. Men don't seem to understand the seriousness of some STD to women such as cancer.
  • sundance ruru 2012/06/09 01:53:39
    Men don't understand? That is an encompassing, baseless, rhetorical bit of nonsense, if ever I heard it.....
  • ruru sundance 2012/06/09 03:08:56
    Are you saying that most men are aware of the dangers of STD's as it relates to causing cancer in women?
  • sundance ruru 2012/06/09 07:50:10
    Well, I am not saying all men. However, I am not saying all woman do either. I would further that, in either case, either partner can be the most effective deterrent to contracting this and other STD s. This can be done, simply by practicing either abstinence or safe sex practices. Oh by the way. HPV doesn't, by any means, just kill woman. And one foot note. Woman can carry this virus, as easily as men, and can be the harbinger of bad tidings, with every unprotected sexual encounter she has. Further, she may never know she has it, as the outward signs are less prevalent with woman.
    I am reminded of a joke that is very apply prophetic in this case. I will provide you with the punch line, simply to prove my point. "The little girl points at "hers", and says to the little boy, "with one of these, I can have all of those I want"....Just a thought...
  • toobored54 ruru 2012/06/09 02:40:47
    Might as well, since they're already down, and she's already halfway infected! Suing because you're too stupid to protect yourself from STD's oughta fill the courts up in a big hurry!!!
  • ruru toobored54 2012/06/09 03:10:34
    There is no fool proof protection against STD's.
  • toobored54 ruru 2012/06/09 03:42:31 (edited)
    There's no foolproof protection from getting hurt in a car accident either, but I'll bet you wear a seat belt. Try your argument on an airplane next time when they tell you to buckle up, love to see that!!
  • ruru toobored54 2012/06/09 04:11:12
    Condoms come off and sometimes they get holes in them.
  • toobored54 ruru 2012/06/09 04:13:35 (edited)
    So does underwear, but people keep wearing em. Sadly, there's no fool proof protection against you procreating.
  • sundance ruru 2012/06/09 07:56:07
    I beg to differ. There is, in fact, only one. Abstanence....Period. But, I would have to ask. What is life without passion?....Just a thought....
  • john n ruru 2012/06/09 15:53:07
    john n
    Just say NO...
  • Z ruru 2012/06/09 03:54:52
    Wow, pretty sexist of you. Congrats. You worst than the shallow, women hating pigs I've met on here. That is an accomplishment. That makes you:
    number 1
  • sundance Z 2012/06/09 08:02:48
    If I might ask, without being to much of an obvious pig. What is sexist about the truth? People get laid. people get laid all the time. That, my friend, is why there are seven point eight billion of us. So, the truth of the matter is, that there is no fool proof way (minus the morbid) to make sure we stop getting laid. Now, if that made me sexist, I humbly apologize for the affront....Just a thought....
  • Z sundance 2012/06/09 15:49:43
    "Sue their pants off. Men don't seem to understand the seriousness of some STD to women such as cancer."

    That has nothing to do with getting laid.
  • sundance Z 2012/06/09 19:15:48 (edited)
    Nothing to do with getting laid? OK....You have a nice day. When your done with lunch at Alice's house, stop on by reality, and lets continue the talk, K.....Just a thought...
  • D D 2012/06/09 01:17:52
    D D
    Getting a judgement is one thing. Seeing any of the money is another.

    You are responsible for your choices. What he did was wrong, not doubt. Always demand a condom be used. You have to keep your safety in mind. The guy was a real dick for doing that.
  • TasselLady D D 2012/06/09 14:32:28
    Somebody should castrate that bastard before he gives somebody else the same disease. Many of these guys and yes, some women have no consideration for others when it comes to this kind of stuff. It seems that nobody wins.
  • Apache 2012/06/09 00:11:01
  • barby k... Apache 2012/06/09 03:43:39
    barby karring
    Its his fault for not telling her, but her fault for letting the guy insert his probe into her mystery canal.
  • TasselLady Apache 2012/06/09 14:33:07
    A stiff one has no conscience, and neither do most guys attached to them. Good luck on that one.
  • Apache TasselLady 2012/06/09 20:44:59

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