It’s how we say hello, goodbye, I like you, you’re so beautiful, I can’t get enough of you, and countless other things.
We kiss on the lips, the cheeks, the forehead, the neck…
We kiss our lovers, our friends, our parents, our children, our pets.
Ever stop to think why on earth we would communicate by pressing our lips against another person?
Doesn’t it just seem a little… weird?
One of my favorite subjects to read up on is psychology. If I had a better mind for science, I probably would have majored in it. But alas, I am more right-brained, so psychology remains a hobby.
I stumbled about this great article at Scientific American entitled Affairs of the Lips: Why We Kiss. For those of you too lazy to read the whole article, here are the tasty bits:
A kiss triggers a cascade of neural messages and chemicals that transmit tactile sensations, sexual excitement, feelings of closeness, motivation and even euphoria.
Silent chemical messengers called pheromones could have sped the evolution of the intimate kiss. Many animals and plants use pheromones to communicate with other members of the same species. Insects, in particular, are known to emit pheromones to signal alarm, for example, the presence of a food trail, or sexual attraction.
Can a kiss be that powerful? Some research indicates it can be. In a recent survey Gallup and his colleagues found that 59 percent of 58 men and 66 percent of 122 women admitted there had been times when they were attracted to someone only to find that their interest evaporated after their first kiss. The “bad” kisses had no particular flaws; they simply did not feel right—and they ended the romantic relationship then and there—a kiss of death for that coupling.
Kissing may have evolved from primate mothers’ practice of chewing food for their young and then feeding them mouth-to-mouth. Some scientists theorize that kissing is crucial to the evolutionary process of mate selection.
Nurture may also influence our tendency to tilt to the right. Studies show that as many as 80 percent of mothers, whether right-handed or left-handed, cradle their infants on their left side. Infants cradled, face up, on the left must turn to the right to nurse or nuzzle. As a result, most of us may have learned to associate warmth and security with turning to the right.
Totally OMG cool. This makes me excited. You have no idea! I hope that I’ve made your geek senses tingly with all this neat information. If you want the whole scoop, check out the full article at Scientific American.