Rafael Wlodarski and Professor Robin Dunbar from the University of Oxford presented two papers in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior and in the journal Human Nature on Oct. 10, 2013, that explore the benefits of kissing to both men and women.
Kissing to the extent that humans engage in it is a uniquely human activity that allows people to evaluate a potential partner, increases arousal, and helps keep a partner in a relationship.
Women receive more information from kissing because they are biologically more invested in children than men.
The researchers evaluated kissing on the basis of the responses of 900 adults to a questionnaire about the importance of kissing in both short-term and long-term relationships.
Women rated kissing and the frequency of kissing as more important to a relationship than men.
People who viewed themselves as being attractive placed more importance on kissing. Kissing was more important to people who had more short-term and casual relationships.
Women used kissing as a means to evaluate a partner as a potential long-term relationship partner preferentially for producing children.
Women used kissing to evaluate a potential long-term partner through taste or smell, and picking up on biological cues for compatibility, genetic fitness, or general health.
In both men and women kissing was not a driving factor for having sex despite the arousal value of kissing. Kissing and the frequency of sex were not directly related.