Disgust Sensitivity, Political Conservatism and Voting
Yoel Inbar, David Pizarro, Ravi Iyer & Jonathan Haidt
In two large samples (combined N = 31,045), we found a positive relationship between disgust sensitivity and political conservatism. This relationship held when controlling for a number of demographic variables as well as the “Big Five” personality traits. Disgust sensitivity was also associated with more conservative voting in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. In Study 2, we replicated the disgust sensitivity–conservatism relationship in an international sample of respondents from 121 different countries. Across both samples, contamination disgust, which reflects a heightened concern with interpersonally transmitted disease and pathogens, was most strongly associated with conservatism.This finding does not surprise me. I have long thought that concepts like 'homophobia' and 'transphobia' were misconceived. Right-wing opposition to sexual freedom is based, not in fear, but in disgust.