Do Costa Ricans like to kiss?
Not one of those little pecks on the cheek or a smack on a child’s forehead, but one of those body shaking, deep, romantic lip locks of the style demonstrated by Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy in the film “Wanted.”
A new study said that such deep, erotic romantic kissing is foreign in all of Central America. In fact, the Researchers find romantic kissing is not the norm in most cultures, according to a summary from the University of Indiana.
Not only is romantic kissing not the norm in most cultures, some find it uncomfortable and even flat-out repulsive, the summary said.
The university reports that Justin Garcia, research scientist at Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, is the co-author of a new study published in the journal American Anthropologist — “Is the Romantic-Sexual Kiss a Near Human Universal?” — that looked at 168 cultures throughout the world to better understand where kissing does and doesn’t occur.
Using standard cross-cultural methods, the study found that fewer than half of all cultures surveyed — 46 percent — engage in romantic/sexual kissing, said the university. Romantic kissing was defined as lip-to-lip contact that may or may not be prolonged, it added.
It is not clear where romantic/sexual kissing evolved from, Garcia said in the university report. Some animals engage in similar behaviors; chimpanzees, for example, are known to engage in open-mouth kissing, it added.
When it comes to humans kissing, Garcia said in the summary that it does serve as a way to learn more about a partner, “whether one feels there is any ‘chemistry,’ or possibly to assess health via taste and smell, and in some ways to assess compatibility with each other.”
The researchers studied data basses, academic articles by other anthropologists and emailed and talked to others in the field to reach their conclusions that such kissing is not a universal human practice.
There was no evidence of romantic kissing in Central America, the summary said.
Romantic kissing was most prevalent in the Middle East, where all 10 of the cultures studied engaged in it, said the summary, adding: In North America, 55 percent of cultures engaged in romantic kissing, along with 70 percent in Europe and 73 percent in Asia.