Disgust is a universal human emotion that evolved to protect individuals from ingesting harmful substances such as toxins and pathogens. Recent research suggests that disgust is a component of a “behavioral immune system” that encourages individuals to avoid people and situations that could potentially result in bodily contamination. The purpose of the current research was to explore the role of social conservatism in the link between disgust and prejudicial attitudes toward homosexuals. The results of a correlational study (Study 1) indicated that disgust sensitivity was positively correlated with socially conservative values. However, the relation was specific to conservative values regarding intergroup relations and potential contamination. In Study 2, disgust was experimentally manipulated. Inducing disgust resulted in increased prejudicial attitudes toward contact with homosexuals for conservative individuals and reduced prejudice for liberals. The results of these studies support the claim that disgust is part of a “behavioral immune system” that promotes socially conservative value systems and can lead to increased negative attitudes toward outgroups.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Disgust and homosexuality
Here's a new article from Personality and Individual Differences entitled, "Disgust: A predictor of social conservatism and prejudicial attitudes toward homosexuals" :