The self-regulation effect of fertility status on inbreeding aversion: When fertile, disgust increases more in response to descriptions of one’s own than of other’s inbreeding

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Jan Antfolk, Debra Lieberman, Anna Albrecht, Pekka Santtila
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Evolutionary Psychology
Volume number: 12
Issue number: 3
Start page: 621
End page: 631


The ovulatory shift modulates emotions related to female sexuality. Because fertility status only affects the individual’s own opportunity cost, the adaptive value of this shift is expected to stem from self-regulation. To test this assumption we asked women to contemplate various inbreeding descriptions: 1) they themselves having sex with male relatives; 2) their sister having sex with their common male relatives; and 3) an unrelated woman having sex with her male relatives (in 1, but not 2 and 3, negative fitness consequences are affected by the participant’s fertility). We dichotomized the dependent variable disgust (ceiling vs. non-ceiling) and analyzed the interaction between fertility status and description type. The ovulatory shift was stronger in descriptions where they themselves were described as engaging in inbreeding. A smaller increase was also found in reactions to others engaging in inbreeding. We explain the latter effect as due to self-reflection.


Fertility, Inbreeding, Menstrual cycle

Last updated on 2019-19-11 at 04:07