No, Romantic Kissing Is Not Universal Across All Cultures

No, Romantic Kissing Is Not Universal Across All Cultures

Lovers kiss, right? Not everywhere. After combing through data from 168 cultures worldwide, anthropologists from UNLV and the Kinsey Institute could only find evidence that couples engage in romantic or sexual kissing in 46 per cent of them.

Other studies have suggested that all humans kiss one another, but in some cultures kissing is limited to parents and children or other close kin. In others, kissing is a gesture of respect, not passion. Still others just think it’s gross.Here’s how romantic kissing fares among cultures in different regions of the world.

UPDATE: Like any study, this one has its limitations. The researchers couldn’t survey cultures where no one had recorded data about their romantic kissing habits, so the study isn’t comprehensive. And it’s only going to capture what people say and do in public, so it’s unlikely to record when romantic kissing is a deep dark sexual practice in a culture. Still, it’s a start. And their point: that we shouldn’t assume everyone thinks about kissing the same way, is a good one.

[Jankowiak et al. 2015]

Picture: Jon Rawlinson via Flickr