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A kiss can mean many things. It can be a symbol of passion, a symbol of gratitude or a symbol of love. But can a kiss also help us pick a mate?
In a study conducted by Oxford University, researchers found how important kissing is to someone may have a lot to do with what type relationship they are seeking.
The report, which appears in the journals Archives of Sexual Behavior and Human Nature, shows women who are looking for a long-term commitment rank kissing as especially important, more so than those interested in less serious relations.
Women also were more likely to associate kissing with maintaining an established relationship than their male counterparts.
However, men and women who rated themselves as “attractive” and who indicated having larger numbers of casual relationships were also found to view kissing as very important.
“Women looking for long-term
commitment rank kissing as very important.”
Biologically, scientists believe kissing may also communicate signals of a potential partner’s general health and genetic fitness.
The researchers point out that although kissing is associated with increasing levels of arousal, that does not appear to be the driving force behind canoodling in romantic relationships.
“Kissing in human sexual relationships is incredibly prevalent in various forms across just about every society and culture,” said Rafael Wlodarski, the DPhil student who carried out the research. “Kissing is seen in our closest primate relatives, chimps and bonobos, but it is much less intense and less commonly used.”
“So here’s a human courtship behaviour which is incredibly widespread and common and, in extent, is quite unique. And we are still not exactly sure why it is so widespread or what purpose it serves,” he said.