Social Question

Draconess25's avatar

Why are people so grossed out by blood?

Asked by Draconess25 (4428 points ) April 24th, 2010

It’s inside every one of us (unless you’re a zombie), it’s a very pretty shade of red, & it keeps us alive.

I happen to like it.

Why are people so squeamish about it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

deni's avatar

i think probably because if there is blood in excess amounts, something is very wrong. and probably painful. i dont know many people who would freak out over a little drop of blood, but i can definitely understand not wanting to stumble upon somebody bleeding to death. plus it can carry deadly diseases and when its out in the open you’re way more likely to come in contact with it.

poofandmook's avatar

blood also has a very distinct smell to it that can turn some peoples’ stomachs.

Symbeline's avatar

Because it symbolizes the essence of life, and to see it drawn is the end of said life.

Besides that, I think it’s in our system to generally be repulsed and grossed out by blood as motivation to stop the flow when we get hurt. I think it’s a survival thing.

I mean if you find a corpse or a skeleton in the woods, most peeps would be afraid…but why? It’s not like it’s gonna get up and kill you. And yet…

I find blood intriguing myself, it looks pretty and romantic kinda, but only when pictured on something dramatic, like some Goth poem with a picture of a rose dripping with blood on it, or seeing fresh blood make funny shapes on the floor.

But massive amounts of blood is pretty gross, especially when it comes from a dead body, and it also smells really bad, so that doesn’t help much.

casheroo's avatar

I don’t mind blood. I want to be a nurse, preferably a trauma nurse or gastro..haven’t decided.

But, show me someone I love bleeding and I go into complete panic mode. I can’t handle it.

DominicX's avatar

I’m very squeamish about it. My friend was talking about getting blood drawn (she has no qualms about it) and was describing seeing it and everything and just from her descriptions, I felt like I was going to faint. I hate getting blood drawn. I absolutely cannot look. I would probably pass out if I did. I agree with what people are saying, that it’s not something that’s supposed to be seen and when it is, that usually means something’s wrong. That might be the evolutionary explanation for it, although it might not explain the extent of my squeamishness per se.

Draconess25's avatar

@poofandmook I’ve noticed that different people’s blood smells different.

TexasDude's avatar

I suppose there is an evolutionary explanation to many people’s fear of blood.

Think about it. In the early days of humans, if someone was bleeding badly enough, they were probably going to die. That innate fear of death associated with blood was passed down to us.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

It is a wonder in itself. I agree with you. It all depends how you see it- splattered, splashed, pooled etc!

gailcalled's avatar

Who is this “People” that querents assume I am a member of/

No gross-out here.

Lightlyseared's avatar

The only time I get upset by blood these days is when someone vomits up a couple of litres of the stuff. I know then that my day is going to go down hill.

As to your question… there are a numer of diseases (nasty ones, too) that are spread by blood. Maybe on some level the aversion to other peoples blood is a defence mechanism of sorts.

poofandmook's avatar

@Draconess25: Where do you encounter the blood of different people? I used to work in a lab… maybe it smells different when it’s fresh but to me, it all smelled the same… but maybe I encountered so many different blood specimens that they all blended together. Also, maybe it had something to do with it sitting in tubes and outside the body for several hours.

thriftymaid's avatar

Because it belongs hidden behind skin.

faye's avatar

I’m a nurse. The only gross out would be that I’d have to clean it up- our housekeeping staff does not clean body fluids. And it all smells the same to me. I had a patient knock the iv line out of the bag of blood hanging on the pole over my head. It flowed nicely down my head and hair- messy. Of course, start of shift.

Draconess25's avatar

@faye I certaintly hope you have dark hair; otherwise, that would be bad!

crankywithakeyboard's avatar

I’m not particularly grossed out by blood but when I see it I recall major health problems and the physical feeling of almost bleeding to death. This makes me nauseous and clammy. It’s not really grossed out, just a reminder of frightening events. Maybe there are lots of people who associate it with a medical problem or something they saw with a dying friend or relative?

I never really had a problem with it before and I still donate. I do have that emotional and physical reaction though.

faye's avatar

@Draconess25 yes, dark hair. I’m wondering at this minute why I didn’t just wash my hair. I remember we were really busy, but I suspect it has to do with no blow drier, curling iron, hairspray, etc! We just mopped at me with a towel. I suspect some people are grossed out because of how fast it spreads.

Draconess25's avatar

@faye And it was probably cold, too….

Nullo's avatar

It’s precisely because it keeps us alive that seeing large amounts of it is distressing. It means that someone is having a very bad day.

rottenit's avatar

Survival reaction

mattbrowne's avatar

Evolution. Like pain.

gailcalled's avatar

Having raised a daughter, a son and three step-sons, I cannot imagine getting more upset about the blood than the wound (we had many over the years).

lovable's avatar

It would have to be because of periods (this is about me personally). It’s when it gushes out a LOT of blood when you get out of bed and stand up.
(I didn’t mean to gross any one out,if any one got grossed out)

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