News Stories

Kissing: Why Do We Do It?

Why do lovers kiss? One reason may be that the exchange of saliva increases our sex drive, which may be why men seem to prefer FRENCH kissing!

In LiveScience.com, Robin Lloyd quotes anthropologist Helen Fisher as saying, "There is evidence that saliva has testosterone in it. And there is evidence that men like sloppier kisses with more open mouth. That suggests they are unconsciously trying to transfer testosterone to stimulate sex drive in women."

More than 90% of human societies kiss, and so do pygmy chimpanzees and bonobos. Foxes lick each others' faces, birds tap their bills together, elephants put their trunks into each another's mouths.

In a 2007 study, psychologist Wendy Hill tested the hormone levels of college couples who had just kissed and held hands. They found changes in their levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and oxytocin, a hormone involved in social recognition, male and female orgasm, and childbirth?all the things that go along with love! Cortisol levels decreased in both sexes after kissing, but only men?s oxytocin levels increased, while women?s decreased (maybe because women are the ones who pay the price for all those things, like childbirth, that go along with love).

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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