This study examined ethnic and gender differences and ethnicity by gender interactions in disgust propensity, spider and snake phobic distress, and their interrelationships. A main effect for ethnicity was found, with Asian Americans (n = 219) reporting more disgust propensity and phobic distress than European Americans (n = 581). Gender effects were modified by ethnicity by gender interactions, with European American males reporting the least disgust propensity and distress, and gender differences present only for European Americans. For both ethnic groups, phobic distress scores were strongly correlated with animal and non-animal disgust propensity. In hierarchical regression analyses, animal disgust propensity was uniquely related to spider and snake distress scores among both ethnic groups, although non-animal disgust propensity was only a significant individual predictor among European Americans. The results suggest that models of animal phobia and disgust propensity based on European American samples cannot be uniformly applied to Asian Americans. Ethnicity and gender, and their interaction, may influence the intensity of disgust propensity and animal phobic distress and their relationships with one another.
Vernon, Laura L. and Hirai, Michiyo, "Considering Ethnicity and Gender Effects in Disgust Propensity and Spider and Snake Phobia: Comparing Asian Americans and European Americans" (2012). Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations. 28.
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology