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20 things you never knew about kissing

By Larry West

Why do we kiss?

Is kissing a matter of nature or nurture, instinct or instruction? No one knows for sure. Some scientists have theorized that kissing is purely instinctual, a natural act that springs from our innate desire for intimacy. Others believe that kissing developed as an outgrowth of early human mothers’ breastfeeding their infants or chewing food and then pushing it into their young children’s mouths with a nourishing kiss. What is known for sure is that 90-some percent of all human cultures throughout history have engaged in some form of kissing behavior, but anthropologists and missionaries discovered many other cultures during the past 500 years—from Africa to South America—that either knew nothing of kissing until they were shown or rejected kissing as disgusting behavior.

By Larry West 

© Kevin Russ/Getty Images
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