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Alex Bäcker's Wiki / Why-We-Kiss
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Page history last edited by Alex Backer, Ph.D. 15 years, 3 months ago

Kissing as Vaccination


The prevailing theory for why we kiss is that it helps us sniff out our mates to get pheromonal information about immunological compatibility. Indeed, many men and women report ending a relationship because of a "bad kiss".


Most other animals do not neck and still manage to produce plenty of offspring. Not even all humans kiss. At the turn of the 20th century Danish scientist Kristoffer Nyrop described Finnish tribes whose members bathed together but considered kissing indecent. In 1897 French anthropologist Paul d’Enjoy reported that the Chinese regard mouth-to-mouth kissing to be as horrifying as many people deem cannibalism to be. In Mongolia some fathers do not kiss their sons. (They smell their heads instead.) (Sci Am, 2008)


Is it possible that we lock lips as a way of vaccination, so that we get to develop immunity to any germs in our partner with plenty of advance for a baby to be born immunized to them? 

Comments (1)

Abhijit Borah said

at 6:30 pm on Jun 16, 2010

Most of our actions are survival directed. Getting exposed to germs is indeed a way of building immunity which is commonly "felt" as a desire to accept our mate as he/she is.

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