A new kissing study conducted by Rafael Wlodarski, a student at the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and Professor Robin Dunbar, has revealed that locking lips with people is crucial to helping us find the right partner and hold on to them.
The study, first reported by Science Daily, presented an online questionnaire in which over 900 adults answered questions about the importance of kissing in both short-term and long-term relationships.
Wlodarski explains: ‘There are three main theories about the role that kissing plays in sexual relationships: that it somehow helps assess the genetic quality of potential mates; that it is used to increase arousal (to initiate sex for example); and that it is useful in keeping relationships together. We wanted to see which of these theories held up under closer scrutiny.’
Survey answers demonstrated that women rated kissing as more vital to relationships than men. Additionally, men and women who were more prone to short-term relationships rated kissing as important.
The kissing study team also found the romantic behavior’s importance changed for people according to whether it was being done in long-term or short-term relationships. Particularly, it was rated by women as more important in long-term relationships. Sex was not found to be an adequate reason for why people kiss either.
In short relationships, survey participants said kissing was most important before sex, less so during sex, was less important again after sex and was least important at other times. In committed relationships, where forming and maintaining a lasting bond is an important goal, kissing was equally important before sex and at times not related to sex.
More frequent kissing in a relationship was linked to the quality of a relationship, while this wasn’t the case for having more sex. However, people’s satisfaction with the amount of both kissing and sex did tally with the quality of that relationship.
In a companion paper in the journal Human Nature, the researchers report that women’s attitudes to romantic kissing also depend on where in their menstrual cycle and their relationship they are. Women valued kissing most at initial stages of a relationship when they were in the part of their cycle when they are most likely to conceive.
Check out the full story at Science Daily.
In other recent relationship studies, it was recently reported that 75 percent of people settled instead of marrying their true love. Also, a survey in August speculated that sleeping in separate beds can actually help a relationship.
What do you think about the kissing study — how important was locking lips in helping you find and maintain your current relationship?
[Image via ShutterStock]