Why Kissing Matters

Study suggests it helps us find the right mate
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2013 8:30 AM CDT
Kissing Helps Us Find a Mate

(Newser) – A new scientific study delves into that most important of questions: Why do humans kiss? It's a practice carried out by almost no other animals, especially not with the same level of intensity, Time notes. But researchers found locking lips may actually serve an evolutionary purpose: It helps us assess potential mates and weed out the lesser options, LiveScience reports. That explains why women (who are pickier than men when it comes to mating) and people who rate themselves as attractive (who are also pickier) said they found kissing more enjoyable and important than their male and/or less attractive counterparts, Science Daily reports.

story continues below

It also explains why women find kissing especially important when they're at their most fertile. One theory: Kissing might transmit pheromones or chemical information—some of which can be transmitted through smell—about a partner's health, fertility, or genetic and immune compatibility. As one researcher says, "It's just an excuse to get two people who are interested in each other close enough to have a sniff." Says another, "Mate choice and courtship in humans ... involves a series of periods of assessments where people ask themselves, 'Shall I carry on deeper into this relationship?'" Kissing can help answer that question. (And once a partner is found, one writer suggests applying the principles of software code to the relationship.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.