Is Kissing That Big Of A Deal?

Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
What if we lived in a world where kissing didn't matter? For one thing, high school dances would immediately lose that special, palpable kind of awkwardness. Well, maybe. According to a recent study, kissing actually isn't that big of a deal in some areas of the world. In fact, not many cultures practice "romantic kissing" — the kind meant to express deep affectionate feelings (probably not the kind of kissing you'd experience at a high school dance).

Related: 5 Scientifically-Proven Ways Kissing Makes You Healthy

The study examined 168 cultures from different regions of the world and found that only 46% of them (77 cultures) kiss romantically, while the remaining 91 cultures did not — at all. In fact, the practice was found in absolutely zero of the analyzed cultures from Central America, while 100% of Middle Eastern cultures kissed as a way of expressing intimacy.

Related: Your Brain On: A First Kiss

Of course, the way you show affection comes down to your personal preference in addition to cultural norms. As our friends at Shape point out, you can live anywhere and still find kissing just...kind of gross. One major takeaway from this study is that kissing, contrary to what Sixpence None The Richer might have taught you, isn't the epitome of romance for everyone.

Click through to Shape for more on the intricacies of kissing across cultures. (Shape)

Related: 8 Relationship Checks All Couples Should Have For A Healthy Love Life

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