There are some people out there who liken sex to other disgusting inhibitors of infectious disease, like bad hygiene, rotten food and skin lesions. And these people are called “women.”
A new study found that there are six common categories of disgust, including: atypical appearance, lesions, poor hygiene, animal contamination, spoiled foods, and risky sex.
According to the study, conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, researchers have long noted that many of the multiple elicitors of disgust have some relation to infectious disease.
There is an emerging consensus that disgust evolved in Animalia to direct the behaviours that reduce risk of infection, so-called ‘parasite avoidance theory’. If this is correct, then the disgust motive should be structured in a manner that reflects the ways in which infectious disease can be avoided.
The study involved more than 2,500 people who rated 75 scenarios on a scale from most disgusting to least disgusting. Women were way more disgusted by sex than men, equating it to diseased animals.
Lead author Val Curtis told The Independent that “Disgust is a system in the brain that causes us to reject and avoid the things that would have made our ancestors sick,” adding:
So we tend to avoid things like off food, skin lesions, sex with promiscuous people, people with odd appearances, poor hygiene. In the past these might have signified infection. Of course, they may not today.
Of the six common categories, pus-releasing wounds was deemed the most disgusting, with lack of hygiene following closely behind, according to The Independent.
As for why women are so grossed out by sex, Curtis explains that it’s biological, that women want to naturally protect their children from disease.