Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why Do Humans Kiss

This is the scenario. You are staring into her eyes while she stares into yours. Instinctively, you embrace her and pull her close. She touches your face while you lean in and your lips connect. The sensation leaves you breathless and you can’t even begin to wonder, “Why are we kissing anyway?” The question has been on the minds of countless individuals in the past and present. But only a select few dared to question why it occurs.

The simplest information for this phenomenon is the humans kiss because it feels good. However, is this explanation sufficient? Some scientists have studied the history of kissing by looking at the human anatomy and history. So far, these scientists haven’t been able to explain where and why kissing occurs though there are certainly a lot of theories.

Is kissing an instinct or is it learned? Many believe that it is a learned behavior dating back to ancient times. Back then, mothers had to chew food and then pass it on the mouths of their children. Supporting this theory is the fact that there are tribes that don’t kiss at all. On the other side of the spectrum are those who support the theory that kissing is an instinctive behavior.

Why instinctive, you would ask. Well, some scientists believe that animal behavior is proof. Most animals rub themselves as a sign of affection but there are animals that do pucker their lips like people. Look at the bonobos, for example, they make up after a big fight, they kiss to comfort each other, and they develop bonds just like humans. Similarly, they sometimes kiss each other for no apparent reason.

Right now though, there is a more interesting theory. It seems as if some people believe humans kiss to sniff a potential mate. Kissing is said to be a way to find a quality partner because kissing allows pheromones to “communicate” biological information about whether or not the offspring will be strong and healthy. It has been studied that women unconsciously prefer a male scent with an immune system different from their own. This will make their offspring stronger.

No matter the kind of theory and explanation that people might think of though, those who enjoy kissing are content. They live for the tingly sensation of lip locking, the pulse of the nerve endings, and the dizzying sensation that comes with intimacy and falling in love.

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