What’s in a kiss (table)

Kissing is something that comes natural to people. Science has given us some insight on what matters in the smooching ‘process’. Studies have revealed that kissing helps us select the right mate, other research has found that kissing helps us live longer; 146 muscles are used to perform the act; while we exchange 80 million bacteria when we lock lips.

But there are also cultural matters when it comes to kissing, according to a new study published by American Anthropologist. Nevada University found that fewer than half the world’s cultures kiss romantically. In 168 cultures studied over the past year 76 societies associate kissing with romance while 91 do not.

Romantic kissing is commonplace in the Middle East; 73 per cent  enjoyed romantic kissing in Asia; 70 per cent in Europe and 56 per cent in North America. In Sub-Saharan Africa, New Guinea, of the Amazon area there were no instances where scientists noticed kissing was used for romance. An interesting finding the scientists found was that sexual-romantic kissing was related to the complexity of societies.

The more this type of kissing was prevalent, the more complex that society was. Across Europe kissing on cheeks is a common cultural greeting, while in India, Bangladesh and Thailand this is a private issue.

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