Pathogen-relevant variables (e.g., regional variation in pathogen prevalence, individual differences in sensitivity to pathogen disgust) have been found to be associated with judgments and preferences surrounding physical attractiveness, in line with the view that certain morphological features and configurations indicate health and/or immunocompetence. In three studies, we administered the three-domain disgust scale and obtained ratings of attractiveness of faces to examine whether associations emerged between perceivers' disgust sensitivity and their ratings of attractive and/or unattractive targets. The results across the three studies showed that for unattractive targets, perceivers higher in pathogen disgust tended to assign lower attractiveness ratings; for attractive targets, pathogen disgust was uncorrelated with attractiveness ratings. Sexual disgust and moral disgust were not associated with perceptions of unattractive or attractive target faces. These results indicate that disgust-dependent attractiveness perceptions may motivate avoidance of potentially unfit interaction partners.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Evolution and Human Behavior|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2012|