It seems you really do have to kiss a lot of frogs if you want to find your prince.
Embracing plays a vital role in sifting through potential partners, a study shows.
It also keeps couples together once they are in a relationship, the researchers add.
Women are more picky than men in terms of smooching because of the importance of physical contact in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Researchers looked at three theories about kisses: they help assess the genetic quality of potential mates; they increase arousal; and they help keep couples together.
‘Initial attraction may include facial, body and social cues,’ said anthropologist Prof Robin Dunbar, who oversaw the study.
‘Then assessments become more intimate as we go deeper into the courtship stages – and this is where kissing comes in.’
Smooches can also help solve the ‘Jane Austen problem’ of knowing how long to wait for a Mr Darcy, he added.
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Behavioural psychologist Dr Rafael Wodarski, who led the Oxford university study published in Human Nature, said: ‘Kissing in human sexual relationships is incredibly prevalent across just about every society and culture.’
Adapted from The Metro