New research reveals that a ‘fear’ of immigrants just might be a subconcious response of the body’s immune system. The study finds that the preconsicious processing about safety, security or any other ‘conscious’ reactions to immigration is our bodies way of trying to protect us from infection.
Political scientists from Denmark’s Aarhus University and Temple University collaborated on the study, published in the latest American Political Science Review.
“The research results provide new understanding of why society does not absorb the new arrivals and why integration fails. Those who are very concerned about the risk of infection are those who are most reluctant to seek out social contact with immigrants—something that we otherwise know fosters tolerance,” says Associate Professor Lene Aarøe.
The researchers say that over the centuries humans have developed a “behavioral immune system,” motivating us to avoid substances that could lead us to become infected by pathogens, such as excrement, blood and rot.
The behavioral immune system cannot be controlled. It works on a subconscious level and is particularly sensitive in some people. According to the research team, such people’s immune systems overreact and subconsciously misinterpret everything that is different as potential sources of infection.
“People with birthmarks, physical disabilities, abnormalities and something as innocent as a different skin color are subconsciously considered disease carriers by the hypersensitive,” says researcher Michael Bang Petersen.
The researchers did point out that immigrants in general are not really an infection risk. However, Breitbart pointed out that diseases like Tuburculosis, Scarlet Feaver and the Bubonic Plage, diseases that were near eradication are making a comeback in the United States as immigration and refugee resettlement is on the rise.