The Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


By eliciting the overwhelming urge to withdraw from disgusting cues, disgust prevents contamination. This may explain why sexual behaviours such as watching people French kissing or thinking about people having sex typically elicit disgust, at least in pre-pubertal children. Anecdotal evidence indicates that around 8-12 years of age a striking transition from disgust to desire occurs. Thus a key question is not how people acquire disgust for sexual stimuli, but how it subsides, and why sexual disgust persist giving rise to sexual problems. In this context, heightened disgust might function as a compensatory mechanism for the increased risk to infections that is associated with becoming sexually active. Disgust may also be reduced in order to facilitate approach to (disgusting) sex-related stimuli (e.g., saliva) when individuals are ready for sexual activity. Method: In order to assess this mechanism, we used a cross-sectional study with 138 youths (males and females) age 6 to 17. Adolescents filled in a scenario-based questionnaire, and young children (
EvenementstitelThe Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference: ACAMH
LocatieGolden Bay, Malta