I wanted to start to say something about the first kiss, but then the dark side embraced me (A kiss can kill, you heard this, no, it is not the ninja art of Kunoichi kiss of death, in 10 seconds of kissing we exchange about 80 millions bacteria, so literally a kiss can, potentially, kill you. And i will not even start about the Zika virus). I will try an anthropological approach, as one study of 168 cultures discovered that the romantic-sexual kissing (lip to lip contact that may or may be not prolonged) is only present at 46% of them. The more socially complex is a culture, the higher is the frequency of kissing.
Why? We have multiple reasons. First of all, kissing is critical when we talk about a modern woman choice of a sexual partner. Yes, kissing is more important for women than men. Higher frequency of kissing is linked to how much freedom a woman has.
But really, why we kiss? According to recent discoveries, when lips touch, the brain activity spikes and harmonizes. If you are sensitive enough you can even read the degree of synchronization between you two (much probably this will happen if you are a woman). This synchronization produce the conditions for a better emotional connection.
Another theory presumes that women are covertly picking up genetic information or/and pheromones during a kiss. Claus Wedekind (in his research done in 2000 at University of Lausanne) discovered that women prefer men whose MHC ( major hystocompatibility complex) genes are different from their own, an adaptive trait to produce offspring with stronger immune systems. So kissing is in fact a "sniffing" in disguise. Even in societies where kissing is not a norm, they will have an alternative to it, like licking, biting, rubbing or sniffing. There is some evolutionary function behind it? Or it isn't?
About 80% of the hunter-gatherers cultures do not kiss, and they see it as something similar with dogs sniffing each other butts. Kissing is a learned behaviour. Before 1960, some of the scientists presumed that kissing is an attempt to recreate the mother chewing food for the infant gesture, or the baby's mouth on motherly breast. But more recent researches, as the one made by Wlodarsky/Dunbar in 2013 showed that kissing serves as a mate assessment function (and women indeed can "read" more than men through the first kiss). In a further study done in 2014, Wlodarsky and Dunbar discovered even more. Kissing for women serves as a mate assessment device in early stages of an relation, but can be used to monitor and maintain the pair bonds in later stages. When kissing, women find cues regarding genetic quality, attraction, emotional maturity and fitness level. Their sensitivity vary across the menstrual cycle, being most sensitive in the high conception risk phases. For men only: in the light of those studies, you can be a very good kisser for one person, and a bad kisser for another. Do not be offended, it is only genetics. A good first kiss will increase your chances to going on a date or casual sex, making you more attractive for that specific woman. Some of this information will almost make me reconsider my soulmate theory. What I will say next it's not a joke, but similar studies showed that a man can reach same kind of conclusions just looking at a picture of a woman.
At last, kissing was discovered to be a behavioral adaptation to stimulate desire and loyalty in a socially powerful male. Kissing for pleasure? You wish. Or you are a man. The conclusions are that women are not only hopeless romantic souls, they also kiss for freedom, control and to gather information.
Posted with STEMGeeks