Why Do We Kiss?

Why Do We Kiss?

Here's a brief video about the origins of kissing and it's biological framework.

Cognitive Kisses Home

To figure out how kissing works, it's important to first consider its origin. There is no true knowledge of when the first kiss took place. Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The Science of Kissing, states that many anthropologists believe that kissing comes from when mothers would chew up their offspring's food, and then pass it from their mouth, into the baby’s mouth. Some people believe that kissing is an instinct while others believe it is learned.

Neurological ViewEdit

The somatosensory cortex is a region of the brain that is seen on both hemispheres of the brain, located in the parietal cortex. It is responsible for identifying signals from the lips, tongue, and teeth, the main tools used in kissing. It has been expressed through research that kissing effects the chemical levels in the brain. This includes hormones such as dopamine, cortisol and oxytoxcin. Dopamine is a hormone known for controlling pleasure and reward in the brain. Certain kinds of dopamine receptors are related with sensation-seeking in the body. The rise of dopamine levels while kissing can be defined as a result of heighten pleasure. Cortisol is known by scientists as the stress hormone. High levels of cortisol can result in increased weight gain and heart disease. Unlike dopamine, kissing actually lowers cortisol levels. Oxytoxcin is known as the bonding hormone. High levels of this hormone can lead to romantic attachment and is used to decrease anxiety from partners that have been separated for so long.

Biological View Edit

It has been perceived in current literature that kissing is more biological then many people may think. Kissing involves the passing of germs and possibly hormones. Many biologists have strong evidence which suggests that many people kiss to determine mating partners. This is not determined by how bad or good this person kisses. Rather it is determined from the ability to subconsciously detect if the immune system of the potential mate is different than your own through a kiss. This is detected through the pheromones of the potential mate. It is widely known that women produce this ability more so than men to check if this potential mate's opposing immune system can help produce a healthy and strong offspring.

Historical ViewEdit

The earliest recorded form of kissing took place around 1500 B.C. in India. Now, we consider these form of kisses as Eskimo kisses. It was noted in Vedic Sanskirt that rubbing of the noses occurred in the text. Due to the rise of the Roman Empire, Alexander the Great and his generals then learned and spread the idea of kissing from India throughout the Middle East, which dated back to 326 B.C. The Romans became infatuated with the idea of kissing and started to derive different forms of kissing for different occasions. These forms included pecks on the cheek shared between friends, lip-to-lip kissing, and finally savisum, or what we now know as the French kiss, shared between lovers. It is the most intimate of kisses. Starting from the middle ages in Europe, everyone began to kiss each other on the lips regardless of gender. However, this form of kissing was only noted as socially acceptable by people in higher classes. People of lower classes at that time had to kiss a person of higher class indirectly, such as on the hand, feet or even ground in front of them. Later in England, kissing was replaced by bowing or curtsies to stop the spread of diseases, this later evolved into the handshake.

Now that we have a background on kissing, let's see how it currently works in society .