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lizabright's avatar

Why do some people gag at the sight of blood, get queasy about dissecting worms and others don't?

Asked by lizabright (16points) June 21st, 2007

curious why some people can be doctors, nurses, fascinated about eyeballs, etc and others can't even think about it without feeling grossed out. seems liked a evolutionary thing or something.

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3 Answers

nomtastic's avatar

i gotta believe this is learned behavior. like why we think some foods are gross that are totally normal in other cultures. probably associated w/childhood trauma or something.

sergeantedward's avatar

It may be the case of both nature and nurture, as so many things are.

Some kids love playing in the dirt and mud, others like being clean and only feeling non-slimey textures.

That's certainly not learned as kids do this straight from when they crawl. Some desires are implanted within us since before birth, others are learned through example and association. From experience, I would say that being queasy about blood is in the genes, but I don't know for sure.

girlfriday's avatar

some people think that reflexes like these are significant for social communication and species survival. people who gag or pass out may recognize something like dissecting a worm as a threat. (gagging may be a way to rid one's stomach of anything bad, the disgust it evokes may be a warning to others to stay away, and passing out may be a way of 'playing dead' to fool predators.) those who don%u2019t gag or pass out may have different response mechanisms, either in their perception of what constitutes a %u2018threat%u2019 or in their threat-response.

the gag reflex involves the vagal nerve which runs from your brain to your stomach. how we recognize and respond to events in our environment is thought to involve the brain stem and the thalamus.

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