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He compares it to a "behavioral immune system" that is the 'first line of defense' against potentially deadly agents such as dead bodies, rotting food, and vomit.Sexual disgust arises from a desire to avoid "biologically costly mates" and a consideration of the consequences of certain reproductive choices.The two primary considerations are intrinsic quality (e.g., body symmetry, facial attractiveness, etc.) and genetic compatibility (e.g., avoidance of inbreeding such as the incest taboo).Moral disgust "pertains to social transgressions" and may include behaviors such as lying, theft, murder, and rape.This may be explained by assuming that people begin to associate outsiders and foreigners with disease and danger while simultaneously associating health, freedom from disease, and safety with people similar to themselves.

In The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, Charles Darwin wrote that disgust is a sensation that refers to something revolting.

To protect the mother, this lowered immune system is then compensated by a heightened sense of disgust.

Because disgust is an emotion with physical responses to undesirable or dirty situations, studies have proven there are cardiovascular and respiratory changes while experiencing the emotion of disgust.

The above-mentioned main disgust stimuli are similar to one another in the sense that they can all potentially transmit infections, and are the most common referenced elicitors of disgust cross-culturally.

Because of this, disgust is believed to have evolved as a component of a behavioral immune system in which the body attempts to avoid disease-carrying pathogens in preference to fighting them after they have entered the body.

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