While we love the way movies romanticise passionate kisses, it turns out not all cultures in the world have romantic kissing as a norm, while some even find it "repulsive."
While we love the way movies romanticise passionate kisses, it turns out not all cultures in the world have romantic kissing as a norm, while some even find it ‘repulsive’.
Research scientist Justin Garcia at Kinsey Institute at Indiana University looked at 168 cultures throughout the world to better understand where kissing does and doesn’t occur.
Garcia said that they were surprised to find that majority of cultures that fell into the category of “not engage in romantic/sexual kissing, or find it to be a strange display of intimacy.” This was a real reminder of how Western ethnocentrism could bias the way people think about human behavior.
Romantic kissing was most prevalent in the Middle East, where all 10 of the cultures studied engaged in it. In North America, 55 percent of cultures engaged in romantic kissing, along with 70 percent in Europe and 73 percent in Asia.
But there was no evidence of romantic kissing in Central America, and no ethnographer working with Sub-Saharan African, New Guinean or Amazonian foragers or horticulturalists reported any evidence of romantic kissing in the populations they studied, according to the research.
The research conducted by Garcia and colleagues also found a relationship between social complexity and kissing: The more socially complex and stratified a society is, the higher the frequency of romantic kissing.
The study is published in the journal American Anthropologist.