The Sciences

Kiss and tell

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitOct 11, 2010 11:04 AM


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My fellow Hive Overmind blogger Sheril Kirshenbaum has written a book called The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us which will be out in January. I'm looking forward to reading it! I find kissing fascinating. Well, duh. But not just for prurient reasons. I've always wondered about the role it's played in evolution and biology. Why would kissing have anything to do with either showing affection or promoting sexual activity? Sheril has written about this before, but promises to go into more detail in the book. Over at The Intersection, she has a short video interview she did talking about the book, and some of the experiments done about kissing. It's a good interview, and made me want to read the book even more. It may seem silly at first, studying kissing. But it clearly plays a huge role in human sexuality, as well as in the societies of other primates. Any time we study our behavior we learn about ourselves. And our behavior -- like science itself -- is a rich tapestry, interwoven with many interlocking threads. Every piece relates with every other, and we need to follow all those threads without fear or embarrassment if we want to understand ourselves.

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