Reasons for kissing…
When you think about it – kissing is pretty gross, in fact sex is pretty foul to. When you actually think about what goes on… all the bacteria filled saliva and juices rolling around and weird smells etc. It’s fun because it makes us feel good but that’s because our survival and reproduction is at stake.
What we are talking about today is why we kiss in the first place. It doesn’t seem to serve any real logical purpose… But perhaps there really is a reason behind salivating over each others mouths…
Don’t you think the act of kissing kind of defies explanation?
Is a kiss more than just a kiss?
Well it turns out that scientists who study kissing have come up with several reasons why and how kissing evolved over time into what it is now. They suggest that sharing food between ape mother and baby (mouth to mouth) was beneficial to there survival. This benefit would have been accompanied by a parallel endorphin release to allow positive feedback.
Social bonding between bonobos is thought to be a strong evolutionary driver – Establishing social bonds between groups and between families is important to ape survival. Because of this certain behaviours that promote and establish this trust and connection are selected for. As a result “kissing” was passed on as a beneficial social bonding behaviour.
Other hypothesis are that certain pheromonal (not a real word) information is passed between two people when their faces are close together.
Pheromones are chemical signals and are used extensively in animal communication (food sources, danger)… Even though it’s clear that animals communicate with pheromones it’s not 100% clear whether humans use pheromones to communicate. The vomeronasal gland is thought to be inactive in humans.
Women were given shirts of men which they were to smell and pick which one they like the best. They then compared the DNA of each match and found out that there was a correlation between the selections and the difference in DNA. The selections were based on increasing the difference in immune systems.
The greater the MHC(major histocompatibility complex) overlap the greater the chance of a women NOT picking that t shirt. So it had little to do with desirable smell and everything to do with the potential of increasing the immunity of offspring produced. This is of course all done subconsciously.
So rather than it being a subtle kiss…it may actually be a cunning plan of women to test your immunity compatibility!
Other studies have found that women are very unlikely to have sex without kissing first whereas men are happy to kiss or not kiss before sex.
One of the big reasons we kiss is because it makes us feel good – cortisol is a stress hormone which is found to decrease during and after kissing. Couples tend to have less cortisol in their blood than singles which is another reason to work on finding that true love your after.
Oxytocin is a feel-good chemical which is release during kissing making it a pleasurable experience.
So kissing aids all three forms of love:
sex drive, which is ruled by testosterone;
romantic love, which is ruled by dopamine and other feel-good hormones;
and attachment, which involves bonding chemicals like oxytocin.