Kissing isn't as common as you might think

New research shows that many cultures do not kiss romantically and some even find it unpleasant

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The Independent Online

You may think all lovers kiss, but according to new reseach for many cultures kissing just doesn't happen.

A study of the kissing habits of 168 cultures around the world shows that in only 46 per cent of them do couples lock lips in a romantic sense, challenging previous work that claimed kissing was near universal.

Out of 10 cultures studied in Europe, kissing was observed in only seven.

In North America kissing was only present in 18 cultures out of 33, and in Latin America kissing was only present in four of the 33 cultures studied.

In the Middle East, on the other hand, romantic kissing was present in all 10 of the cultures studied.

The new research, published in an article in the American Anthropologist journal, contradicts beliefs that romantic kissing is universal among humans.

Some cultures consider kissing unpleasent ... others don't (Getty)

The researchers suggest the perception that everyone is at it comes from "Western ethnocentrism ... driving the common misconception that romantic-sexual kissing is a (near) universal".

In some cultures kissing is considred unpleasent, the research shows, and with little evidence of kissing in hunter-gather groups - the researchers found only "weak evidence that foragers kiss in this potentially romantic–sexual manner" - it is possible our ancestors did not go in for romantic kissing at all.

Instead kissing may serve other evolutionary functions.

According to Dutch experts as many as 80 million bacteria are transfered during a ten-second kiss, and it may be that kissing developed a way for partners to share germs and boost their immune systems.

Evolution may have just killed the passion.