Political Science Publications
Slimy Worms or Sticky Kids: How Caregiving Tasks and Gender Identity Attenuate Disgust Response
Politics and the Life Sciences
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Disgust is derived from evolutionary processes to avoid pathogen contamination. Theories of gender differences in pathogen disgust utilize both evolutionary psychological and sociocultural perspectives. Drawing on research that suggests that masculine and feminine gender identities are somewhat orthogonal, we examine how gender identity intersects with pathogen disgust. In addition, building on evolutionary psychological and socio- cultural accounts of how caregiving and parental investment affect pathogen disgust, we present a new measure of caregiving disgust and compare its properties across gender, parental status, and political ideology with those of a conventional pathogen disgust measure. This registered report finds that how masculinity and femininity affect disgust varies by gender, disgust domain, and their intersection; that parental status effects vary by disgust domain but not gender; that reframing disgust in terms of caregiving eliminates the gender gap in disgust; and that the caregiving frame unexpectedly strengthens the relationship between disgust and political ideology.
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