The Dirtiest Sex Talk You’ll Ever Hear: The Psychology of Lust, Disgust, and Moral Reasoning
November 19, 2012
Academic Building A G008, 5:00 PM
The evolutionary key for both sexes was to become sexually disgusted to the right degree and by the right stimuli. Whereas women’s enhanced disgust during ovulation helped them to reject biologically “suboptimal” partners, the ancestral male who was too choosy, too often, and simply too easily grossed out would have lost valuable chances to leave offspring. This relationship between disgust and sexual arousal is calibrated by gender in ways that have clinical significance. For men, pronounced sexual arousal can lead to moral reasoning failures, whereas the stronger sexual disgust response in women is associated with intimacy problems. In this presentation, I will show how human sexuality is a composite of adaptive social responses that push and pull us toward and away from orgasm, revealing how this whole operation centers on the moderating influences of the disgust response
Jesse Bering, Ph.D., is a regular contributor to Scientific American, Slate, and Das Magazin (Switzerland). His writing has also been featured in many other sources, including New York Magazine, The Guardian, Discover, The New Republic, NPR, and the BBC. Bering is the former director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen’s University, Belfast and began his career as a psychology professor at the University of Arkansas. He lives in Ithaca, New York with his partner, Juan Quiles, two hyperactive border terriers (Gulliver andUma), and a cat named Tommy who has struggled with weight issues all of his life. (Photo credit Mitch Bach of www.mitchellbach.com).
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