New Study Finds Disgusting Odors Make People Less Supportive of Gay Marriage


A team of political scientists and psychologists from the University of Arkansas has found an interesting link between stinky environments and less tolerant views on gay marriage. 

The New Republic reports:

For a study whose results were published this month in the journal PLOS ONE, political science professor Patrick Stewart and his colleagues recruited 57 participants and assigned them to take questionnaires on their social and political views in either an odorless room or a disgusting-smelling one. For the unlucky volunteers assigned to the “disgusting odor” group, the researchers added drops of butyric acid—the chemical best known for giving human vomit its smell—on cotton pads and hid them around the room.

Participants in the disgusting condition were far less tolerant of gay marriage and even gay relationships.

Odor study

In fact, the study showed that exposure to a disgusting odor increased endorsement of socially conservative attitudes across the board, including views on premarital sex, pornography, and abortion. The authors of the study hypothesized on the possibility that “exposure to a disgusting odorant caused increased feelings of disgust, which in turn activated the harm avoidance system and motivated a desire for purity (cleanliness).” 

Check out the study here


  1. Mags says

    We always knew the deep stinking South is hot bed for bigotry and homophobia.

    Now any suggestions on how to clean/air that narrow-minded sh!t up?

  2. Kit says

    I am unclear about the direction of causation here: is it that bad smells make people more homophobic or is it that homophobes are full of sh!t?

  3. Rick says

    Just imagine what their reactions would have been if they had been exposed to the smell in the room after two men just had anal intercourse. That repels even me sometimes, especially if there has been an “accident” involving “gravy”. LOL.

  4. woodroad34 says

    There was a woman I worked with, who (though a touch prettier) resembled Maggie Gallagher in dumpling-tude. When she was under pressure she emitted such an acrid odor you just couldn’t help but dislike her (well, she was also sociopathic, but that’s a different tale). I don’t think “stink” and “anti-gay” are exclusive. “Stink” and anything will make you dislike whatever. Smell is a very strong enhancer of emotion; that’s why you’ll smell vanilla or cookies going into some stores-that smell enhances a sense of security. I suppose if you tried to spray Maggie with a cookie smell, people would like her better.

  5. Rick says

    I’ve never had sex with a man, but I used to stick tampons up my behind for years to soak up the perpetual leakage I’ve always had. No doubt my horrid odor is the reason every single member of my family hates gay people, myself included. Because I always smell like poo poo

  6. Derrick from Philly says

    I needed a good laugh this afternoon and these comments provided it. Thank you.

    @ “The morning after dump can lose the phone number.”

    JOSH, for the last ten minutes I’ve been trying to figure what the hell you’re saying. But it sounded funny and so I laughed anyway.

    Did somebody eat the slip of paper with a telephone number written on it??????

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