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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  • sundance deadlya... 2012/06/13 09:12:43
    Good point...
  • cm 2012/06/09 16:06:15
    Practice safe sex and it would not be a problem
  • Angry Amber 2012/06/09 15:56:26
    Angry Amber
    No. If you're willing to have sex without using protection then that's your fault for not thinking it through properly and you're willing to take the risk if you do end up with something. If the guy was aggressive as much as this lady claims then she could have said no and left, but she didn't... It's all just an excuse to make a quick buck and I find it disgusting that she's getting paid for being irresponsible.
  • cents-less 2012/06/09 15:51:33
    Unless it was rape, she should have insisted no cover, no lover.
  • beachbum 2012/06/09 15:50:54
    WHAT???? Is there no personal responsibility at all anymore??? Why didn't the judge throw this out? She had a choice - she did not have to have sex with the guy if he wasn't willing to protect her or himself. This is absolute lunacy...........I have not one bit of sympathy for this woman who appears to not be able to think for herself.
  • jas wats beachbum 2012/06/10 13:09:09
    jas wats
    WHAT???? Is there no personal responsibility at all anymore???

    No there isn't. Thank your state nanny culture for that. But oh, we're so enlightened now, aren't we?
  • taitaFalcon23 2012/06/09 15:40:50
    She is entitled to be restituted to the permanent 'damage' done. It goes to intent vs event. He KNEW he was not safe for sex and he knowingly chose to conceal that fact from her. The victim did not.

    If he does not have to face consequences for that, then we should bust loose every convict out of jail and prison for murdering their victims. They KNEW they intended to do them harm, even if their victim did not. Law is the hammer/screwdriver/saw - the 'tools' to restore rights and/or loss and violation of. That restoration often includes the emotions that go with those losses. How else effect the restoration? Allow her to take his life..? That would only effect another 'loss'. Its up to her not to sink to his level of deception.
  • D D taitaFa... 2012/06/10 01:28:04
    D D
    Someone gave that guy herpes. The person who have him herpes got is from someone else. That person got herpes from someone else. On and on. So what, all of them should go sue? It's crazy. It is part of the human condition. Humans can get STD's. They get spread. Every time you sleep with someone it is a gamble and you might get a gift that keeps on giving.
  • taitaFa... D D 2012/06/10 02:00:37
    that describes the cycle but does not describe a perpetrator's responsibility for EACH incident THEY'RE responsible for. The 'gamble' can be reduced by making each party responsible for what THEY do. For example, if a guy robs a 7/11 convenience store, he is prosecutable for that store he robbed, not every one that's EVER been robbed
  • D D taitaFa... 2012/06/10 05:55:10
    D D
    You misunderstood what I said. I was not saying go and sue everyone in the chain that led up to your std, like you said "he is prosecutable for that store he robbed, not every one that's EVER been robbed". And "that describes the cycle but does not describe a perpetrator's responsibility for EACH incident THEY'RE responsible for. "

    Yes, this guy was being held responsible for his giving her the STD. But if everyone took her route, then the guy would sue who gave it to him, and then that person would sue who gave it to them . It's crazy. People do not want to accept personal responsibility for their choices.
  • taitaFa... D D 2012/06/10 06:00:17
    I follow now; but that does not absolve her of her own responsibility to herself and family. But some people are content to blame the victim as if the problem will take care of itself
  • D D taitaFa... 2012/06/10 07:11:10
    D D
    I am not absolving her. I said she has to live with her choices. She slept with him.
  • taitaFa... D D 2012/06/10 17:18:49
    She has to live with her choice; but that does not absolve HIM either
  • Eapl 2012/06/09 15:31:20
    She could have said no, but she agreed to sex without a condom.
  • taitaFa... Eapl 2012/06/09 19:26:58
    she's guilty because she was wearing something someone might think is sexy too. She's just another stupid victim who allowed themselves to be a victim...
  • Eapl taitaFa... 2012/06/14 20:18:57
    What are you talking about, nothing implied she was wearing sexy clothing, and even if she was it makes no difference.
  • taitaFa... Eapl 2012/06/14 22:03:15
    THAT my point. That is the absurdity of blaming the victim mentality here. It may be that she did not exercise good judgement but it is still up to him to disclose his life altering medical status
  • Eapl taitaFa... 2012/06/15 02:08:52
    I don't see what wearing sexy clothing has anything to do with this.
  • taitaFa... Eapl 2012/06/15 14:32:31
    that's why it fails in court in rape cases. that's why blaming the victim usually does not hold up in court. 'I'm sorry your honor, she was cute, so I had a right expect her to put out...'
  • Eapl taitaFa... 2012/06/15 20:40:36
    Except in rape cases they were forced into sex they didn't have a choice.
  • taitaFa... Eapl 2012/06/10 00:43:54
    that makes her and 'easy' victim not the originator of the wrong that was done. If she didn't want to be an easy victim she SHOULD have exercised better judgement. That lapse should not be a lfe sentence. Murders get off sooner than she will.
  • drink 2012/06/09 15:13:45
    No way, at 49 she should know the consociences of having unprotected sex. So if I went to her house climbed on ti the roof, jumped off on to the ground, verses on the big air bag two feet away and broke my leg, do you think she would be okay with paying out a settlement to me.
  • D D drink 2012/06/10 01:29:03
    D D
    Sue happy America.
  • Soms Cougli 2012/06/09 14:59:28
    Soms Cougli
    No condom = no sex.
  • TasselLady 2012/06/09 14:27:02
    That's the problem with meeting people online, or ANYWHERE for that matter. You don't know what you're getting into. Just because they look healthy doesn't always mean they are. You play you pay. I've made my mistakes in the past, but I learned from all of them.
  • taitaFa... TasselLady 2012/06/10 00:47:43
    so a woman SHOULD be raped because she is unable to stop her attacker. I'm not saying she was raped. I'm saying that she was victimized and I quesion whether she should suffer a life sentence because her judgement was off one night. Even if she enticed him - he KNEW he should not have... his judgement is not subordinate to hers...
  • TasselLady taitaFa... 2012/06/10 13:31:11
    I'm not talking about women who are raped. There is no such thing as a "surprise STD". Anytime you screw somebody without protection you are opening yourself up to getting them, especially with somebody you barely know. This has nothing to do with rape. I'm far from stupid. People just don't get it. Not everybody on line is bad, but the majority of them are. Of course a man isn't going to tell a woman if he has a disease. If he did she never would have slept with him. It's up to women to say "I want to see your disease free card before I even attempt to go that direction". We have to protect ourselves because let's face it, some men are going to take what they can get, even if it means lying to get it, and that includes getting in your pants.
  • L1 2012/06/09 11:36:05
    Reminds me of new ol' cliche...
    "No glove, no love"......
  • Lady Aiyanna 2012/06/09 10:47:33 (edited)
    Lady Aiyanna
    Its simple, you play you pay... First of all, as a girl, I say this, refrain from spreading legs with unknown people, they are walking germ bags. She got paid $900000 for prostituting herself literally over a dating site...

    I would say charge them if they are in a relationship with you and you have been true to them but for the above, its prostitution compensated.

    I am strong on my views on conjugal unions and things like the above makes me crawl under my skin.

    Live with it and enjoy the publicity now....
  • overlord rai 2012/06/09 07:13:14
    overlord rai
    i don't understand how it's the other person's fault if they had no idea that the other person had an STD?
    get a grip.
  • Jiorgia 2012/06/09 06:07:53
    The reckless or even intentional transmission of an incurable disease (HPV, HIV and the Heps) should be (and in most western countries is) a criminal offense, if you knew that you had the disease and did not take action to protect or even inform your partner then you should face some sort of punishment (obviously depending on the severity of the disease), I am not saying that you should be able to sue someone for giving you the clap but you should definitely be able to sue someone for giving you HIV.

    She should have said no to sex after he demanded to not wear a condom, safe sex is obviously the safer option, but seeing as he knew that he had herpes and that he was currently contagious (you can tell) his refusal to wear a condom can actually make this case intentional rather then reckless.

    Yes conservatives, personal responsibility is important, but so is health.

    I agree with the courts judgement, of in this case her taking 25% responsibility for the transmission of the disease and him taking 75%.
  • TheBorg 2012/06/09 04:58:53
  • Cognito22 2012/06/09 04:45:30
    Good analysis on Liberal's not giving much creedence to the aspect of personal responsibility. It seems to be a common trait.
    Blame somenone else.
    Sound familiar?
  • Z 2012/06/09 03:51:09
    I don't know. If he refused to wear a condom, and she still decided to go ahead with it, then it is her fault. If he forced himself on her, then he should be charged for both.
  • Inquisitve Kat 2012/06/09 03:48:40
    Inquisitve Kat
    I don't take pity on those who don't make it a point to protect themselves or know their partner's sexual health history.
  • VICTORIA 2012/06/09 02:35:11
    Damn,. no wonder everyone is leaving Sodahead for Facebook. This place has become such a cesspool of rightwing demagoguery.
  • jas wats VICTORIA 2012/06/10 13:12:54
    jas wats
    And yet, here you are.
  • Sammy 2012/06/09 02:34:37
    If he wouldn't put in a condom why would she have sex with him?????
  • toobored54 2012/06/09 02:33:37
    "Well, sir, I really don't know you that well, but I really like having sex with men I don't know. Do you have a condom?"

    "No, ma'am sorry I don't wear those, I hate them!"

    "Well I don't know you that well, but I feel I can trust you not to give me any STD's. I'm a pretty smart woman."
  • john n toobored54 2012/06/09 15:46:54
    john n

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