Re: origin of the kiss
12 Nov 1996 17:21:21 GMT

>Richard Ottolini wrote
>Are there human cultures that don't kiss, either because they aren't
>aware of it, or have cultural sanctions against it?

The answer is yes. Native American populations seem not to have kissed,
and in fact it seems that kissing had relativly limited distribution
(mostly Europe and the Middle East) before the last several centuries. If
I'm not mistaken, there are still cultures which don't kiss.

Most of the explanations I've read on this thread for the origins of
kissing seem to postulate some functional reason for initial contact and a
persistence because it felt good. I have no way of disproving this, but I
would rule out any universalizing hormone-driven explanation simply
because the practice is so far from being universal. I see no reason for
a functional explanation at all -- what is the functional explanation for
the numerous sexual positions in the Kama Sutra? Human beings like to
play, and they especially like to play with touch and sex. What becomes
encoded as prefered in any given society is influenced by too many factors
to mention.