Science Says, Science Says…Why Are We Kissing?
Science & Tech / /
There is hardly something as swooming as a long kiss. The act of pressing your lips to someone else’s can fuel everything with lust. Despite emotions, science also has to say something about this smooch session
Apparently, science has molded its fingers in kissing and as result, there is a whole field devoted to kissing known as philematology. Over the time a lot of brainpower has been focused on figuring out what happens when human lips meet. Here are some highlights from the existing body of research on this topic.
Maybe ‘cause we are hungry
This may not be the most romantic but seems like the most prevalent theory.
In adult chimps, kiss-feeding was the most similar act to what we know as kissing, but its purpose was showing love in a friendly, yet not so romantic way. Namely, by kissing chimps were actually exchanging pre-chewed food into one another’s mouths. Soon, it was concluded that our species may have started making out because stomachs were rumbling rather than because there were some other emotions. Maybe the behavior evolved from our ancestors’ is a gross way of passing the food, but should be taken into consideration when studying this romantic act.
We might smooch to pass along sex chemicals...
Though it seems that some animal spices are kissing like we do, it turns out that humans are nearly alone in the animal world when it comes to romantic kissing. It is the result of our ability to mate. In the animal kingdom equivalent to our romantic kissing, during which humans emit chemical signals through the saliva, is probably flying upwind of a potential partner or peeing all over the place.
Saliva contains sex-related chemicals, like testosterone which make the mouth’s mucous membrane susceptible. That might be the explanation why some people prefer a deep tonguing.
It leaves a lasting impression
Medicine has also paid lots of attention to kissing. Forensics, for instance, has done some unsettling insight into what kissing does to our bodies. One research included 12 pairs engage in “intense kissing,” then their saliva was a subject of study. The paper published in 2013 in FSI Genetics, revealed that male DNA persisted up to 60 minutes after the actual kiss occurred.
The findings may seem lighthearted, but that taste of dude’s DNA can have some serious implications. The researchers believe it could be used to document sexual harassment, rape, or infidelity. Have in mind that one day, your kiss could be used against you.
Sometimes we don’t kiss at all
Science has also studied what happens if you don’t work out the lips regularly. For this purpose life habits of a group of American college students who have never been kissed were analyzed. It was discovered that they “were more neurotic, had mothers who were less facilitating of independence, and had lower self-esteem.”
Anyone who’s longing to be kissed might take as a relief the fact that, humans don’t even kiss that much, though the practice is considered to be good for bonding, mental and sexual health. In a 2015 study published in American Anthropologist, researchers found that only 46 percent of the 168 human cultures they studied intentionally touch lips.
The conclusion is that kissing is far from universal and that studying kissing from all the different points of view may be questionable. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun and sexy to try it.