Minnesota Law Review

Sex Torts

America has a serious sexual problem. The sexual practices of a small percentage of Americans have created an unprecedented disease rate that is costing the American public about $20 billion per year. Lawsuits seeking damages for sexual disease transmission are on the rise, yet current sex tort law is mired with anti-heartbalm sentiment, is unpredictable, and is failing as a tool of deterrence, compensation, and education.

This Article discusses the gravity of the sexual disease crisis, part of which is rooted in the public’s incredible ignorance about the rate of sexual disease and tort law’s failure to do its part to help educate the public and deter irresponsible sexual behavior. This Article concludes that, based on the high degree of risk involved in irresponsible sex and the problems created by the current negligence-based analytical paradigm, strict liability for sexual disease transmission should be adopted. Strict liability would deter sexual disease transmission and educate the public about the sexual disease epidemic more effectively than the negligence paradigm.

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