Ever wondered why kissing is such a big deal for us humans or that why we are the only animals of the animal kingdom that make kissing a whole process of getting to know your partner. Well new research suggests that we engage in such an activity so as to do a taste test.
According to two researchers, Rafael Wlodarski and Robin Dunbar, from Oxford's experimental psychology department say a kiss isn't just a kiss, but a mating audition and men and women who think they are good-looking enjoy it the most. Kissing as an activity is practiced in almost all societies in some form or the other and is mystery to those studying mating behavior. Although chimps and bonobos but not with the same kind of intensity, dreaminess and passion as humans.
According to the reasearchers there are three working theories about why we like to lock lips: kissing can arouse, it cement's relationships together or it can be a trial run for a potential mate and there is evidence to suggest the case of the latter theory.
An online survey conducted with more than 900 adults (about two-thirds of who were women) as participants answered questions about how kissing was important to them in both short and long term relationships. The results were that women value kissing more than men but men who rated themselves as being more attractive or those who had lots of girlfriends placed more emphasis on the power of the smooch.
It makes sense say the researchers since such type of men and women tend to be more picky about their mating partners because for women finding the right co-parent is very important since bearing and raising children is a huge investment of life and health. According to the anthropologist Helen Fisher, "When you get a highly intelligent, pair-bonding species that requires years to raise a baby, you evolve more and more brain mechanisms to weed out the losers." The hotties are picky because they have a lot of choices and kissing is a mechanism that helps to winnow down to getting the right partner. According to Dunbar, "Mate choice and courtship in humans is complex. It involves a series of periods of assessments where people ask themselves, 'Shall I carry on deeper into this relationship?'. The early judgment calls are all based on facial, body and social cues. Then assessments become more and more intimate as we go deeper into the courtship stages, and this is where kissing comes in."
But how does a kiss decide mate-worthiness? Well according to philematologists (the guys and gals who study kissing) believe that it has to do with smell. Sheril Kirshenbaum on citing the work of Swiss biological researcher Claus Wedekind says that women are most attracted to the scent of men who have a very different genetic code for their immune system in a region of DNA known as the major histocompatibility complex (or MHS). Your chance of bearing healthier offspring increases when you mate with an individual with a different DNA and that happens kissing heightens that possibility. So basically instead of getting a tedious and expensive genetic test to select your partner, kissing is a better and funner option to select your mate.