Hormonal correlates of pathogen disgust: testing the compensatory prophylaxis hypothesis

Jones, B. C. , Hahn, A. C. , Fisher, C. I., Wang, H., Kandrik, M. , Lee, A. J. , Tybur, J. M. and DeBruine, L. M. (2018) Hormonal correlates of pathogen disgust: testing the compensatory prophylaxis hypothesis. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39(2), pp. 166-169. (doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.12.004)

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Abstract

Raised progesterone during the menstrual cycle is associated with suppressed physiological immune responses, reducing the probability that the immune system will compromise the blastocyst's development. The Compensatory Prophylaxis Hypothesis proposes that this progesterone-linked immunosuppression triggers increased disgust responses to pathogen cues, compensating for the reduction in physiological immune responses by minimizing contact with pathogens. Although a popular and influential hypothesis, there is no direct, within-woman evidence for correlated changes in progesterone and pathogen disgust. To address this issue, we used a longitudinal design to test for correlated changes in salivary progesterone and pathogen disgust (measured using the pathogen disgust subscale of the Three Domain Disgust Scale) in a large sample of women (N = 375). Our analyses showed no evidence that pathogen disgust tracked changes in progesterone, estradiol, testosterone, or cortisol. Thus, our results provide no support for the Compensatory Prophylaxis Hypothesis of variation in pathogen disgust.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wang, Dr Hongyi and Hahn, Dr Amanda and Debruine, Professor Lisa and Kandrik, Dr Michal and Lee, Dr Anthony and Jones, Professor Benedict and Fisher, Dr Claire
Authors: Jones, B. C., Hahn, A. C., Fisher, C. I., Wang, H., Kandrik, M., Lee, A. J., Tybur, J. M., and DeBruine, L. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Evolution and Human Behavior
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1090-5138
ISSN (Online):1879-0607
Published Online:19 December 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Crown Copyright
First Published:First published in Evolution and Human Behavior 39(2): 166-169
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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