I tripped over a journal article while going through a legal database and came across this:
In another experiment testing the correlation between a tendency to feel disgust and moral judgments, the researchers noted that disgust sensitivity tends to predict more conservative responses to moral issues, particularly “purity” issues like homosexuality and abortion. Thus, a person who feels disgust at the thought of drinking from a stranger’s glass is more likely to view homosexuality or abortion as morally wrongful.
Disgust is a marked feeling of revulsion or profound disapproval aroused by something unpleasant, distasteful, or offensive. The things that consistently arouse disgust are also things that make us sick, such as excrement and corpses, which are sources of life-threatening bacteria and viruses. So it is believed that the disgust response helps us avoid contaminated items that could give us a disease and, in evolutionary terms, reduce our chances of survival and reproduction. Because of its role in survival as well as the particularly old region of the brain (anterior insula) that is most active when people experience disgust, it is often described as one of the original emotions and thought of as a building block for other emotions.
So what’s the political connection? Evidence suggests that harm avoidance and the need for fairness underlie people’s moral judgments in a number of cultures. While liberals rely primarily on these two values, conservatives also rely on desires for group loyalty, authoritative structure, and, most importantly here, purity. Following this logic, Kevin and other researchers became interested in the potential for a relation between disgust and political orientations. They speculated that conservatives are more disgust sensitive than liberals as a result of their concern with purity-related norms and that this difference would manifest itself on issues that some may associate with sexual purity (e.g., homosexual sex and, therefore, gay rights). […]
I believe Kevin and I share an important and vastly underappreciated perspective on political behavior: some political attitudes are biologically influenced. People do not fully control their responses to disgust, just like they do not fully control their responses to evolutionary predispositions … A broader understanding of this may take some of the nastiness out of our current political rhetoric as people comprehend how their political opponents can sometimes come to what seem like incomprehensible positions.
Again, I don’t have time to look into the study’s methodology, but at face value, what do you think of their findings? Is being pro-life simply a nature versus nurture outcome? (I don’t.)
I’ve been pro-life since I was about 19 years old. Did my “nature” suddenly change 11 years ago?by