yuck factor
n. Revulsion or discomfort that influences a person‘s attitude toward a thing or idea. Also: yuk factor.

Example Citations:
Despite the obvious benefits, some people are strongly opposed to cloning technology. Most opponents worry acceptance of cloning animals will inevitably lead to cloning humans.

"We know that when people first hear about these issues they experience the "yuck factor" — they react with horror," said Margaret Somerville, director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics & Law at McGill University in Montreal.
—John Greenwood, "Of Men and Mice: Human re-engineering is just over the horizon," The Financial Post, July 25, 1998

The children in the shopping centers always ask,
"What's wrong with her?"
"What's wrong with her legs?"
. . . Tell them I'm a mermaid.

These are lines from a poem by Nancy Becker Kennedy. The last line is the title of what its creators call a musical-theater documentary that focuses on seven women with physical disabilities who talk about their lives. One of the first things she confronted in making the documentary, says Victoria Hochberg, the director, was ''the yuck factor,'' the reaction that could cause viewers to say: ''Yuck, I don't want to look at several cripple women.'' Miss Hochberg adds: ''Our whole approach was to deal with that discomfort by immediately speaking about it.''
—C. Gerald Fraser, "China's Many Faces," The New York Times, December 4, 1983

Earliest Citation:
The yuk-factor from last week’s World Series was even more emetic.
The Observer, September 4, 1983

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