(694 kB) Fisher C, Fincher CL, Hahn AC, DeBruine LM & Jones BC (2014). Individual differences in pathogen disgust predict men’s, but not women’s, preferences for facial cues of adiposity. European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association in Bristol, UK. April 2014.

Previous research suggests that people who score higher on measures of pathogen disgust demonstrate (1) stronger preferences for healthy individuals when assessing their facial attractiveness and (2) stronger negative attitudes about obese individuals. The relationship between pathogen disgust and attractiveness judgments of faces differing in perceived adiposity has yet to be investigated, however. Here we found that men’s, but not women’s, pathogen disgust was positively correlated with their preference for facial cues associated with lower levels of adiposity. Moreover, this effect of pathogen disgust was independent of the possible effects of moral and sexual disgust. These data implicate pathogen disgust in individual differences in preferences for facial cues of adiposity, at least among men, and suggest that the sex-specific effects of pathogen disgust on preferences for facial cues of adiposity may be different to those previously reported for general negative attitudes about obese individuals.

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