People Find Sex Almost As Disgusting As Infectious Wounds

And women are more disgusted by it than men, according to a new study.
IMAGE LucasFilm

If you find yourself at all disgusted by the act of sex, congratulations. Consider yourself evolved!

A new study found that there are six common categories that cause humans great disgust: atypical appearance, lesions, sex, hygiene, food, and animals. For example, people are generally revolted by B.O., expired food, and most of all, according to the study, pus-filled wounds. This all checks out.

As for the sexual disgust, that is triggered by situations of risky sex, like bad genital hygiene and having sex with someone shortly after meeting them.

All this disgust developed as a means to keep us safe from infectious diseases, like syphilis from unsafe sex and cholera from contaminated water, according to the study.

“Disgust is a system in the brain that causes us to reject and avoid the things that would have made our ancestors sick,” lead author Val Curtis told the Independent. “So we tend to avoid things like off food, skin lesions, sex with promiscuous people, people with odd appearances, poor hygiene."

The study, from researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, asked more than 2,500 people to rate 75 scenarios from "no disgust" to "extreme disgust."

The kicker is that women alone were more disgusted by sex (and all the other categories) than men. In fact, women rated risky sex and animals carrying diseases as the most disgusting scenarios; where men takes more risks, women act protectively to safeguard their children and reproductive health.

All said, if your body odor is under control and you aren't taking stupid sexual risks, then you aren't disgusting the people you love. But you do have some solid fun facts to kick off the romance in the bedroom (not).


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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