Romantic or Disgusting: Kissing Is Not Universal

For generations, passionate kisses immortalized in movies, songs and the arts have served as a thermometer of romantic affection, but current research has found that not only is romantic kissing not the norm in most cultures, some find it uncomfortable and even flat-out repulsive. In a recent study, romantic kissing was defined as lip-to-lip contact that may or may not be prolonged. Romantic kissing was most prevalent in the Middle East, where all 10 of the cultures studied engaged in it. In North America, 55% of cultures engaged in romantic kissing, along with 70% in Europe and 73% in Asia. However, there was no evidence of romantic kissing in Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa and New Guinea. Overall, the research showed found that the perception of romantic kissing in non-kissing societies ranges from simple disinterest to total disgust. Research also confirms that life without kissing is far from boring. The Inuit people of Perry Island, Alaska, for example, don't engage in kissing, but they do rub noses to show their affection for their partner. The Oceanic Kiss involves the passing of open mouths past each other, but with no actual contact. Still, scientists and researchers agree that "kissing feels good."