Kissing is often portrayed as a universal expression of love, crossing nationalities and languages in media from around the world. However, one study suggests that romantic kissing is not nearly as prevalent as these stories would have you believe. Some cultures don't accept locking lips as a show of romantic affection, going so far as to deem it unpleasant or just plain strange. Research suggests that romantic kissing is more common in cultures with a high degree of social complexity and distinct social classes.
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One study found that women were attracted to the smell of sweat from men whose immune-related proteins were complementary to their own. 00:56
One study of 168 cultures found that romantic kissing was not an accepted social practice in more than half of them. 02:23
Research indicates that more socially complex cultures are more likely to exhibit romantic kissing. 03:17