CNN reports that people – women especially – are unlikely to date bad kissers. (Hat tip: Althouse.) In other news that isn’t really news, organic food is nutritious. The evolutionary psychologists (for the kissing study, not the organic broccoli study) based their findings upon surveys given to college students. Now, studying college-age males for hints of our evolutionary behaviour is a bit like studying mud huts to learn about the internal structure of skyscrapers, but onwards through the study.
One speculative possibility is that men may unwittingly use kissing to introduce substances such as hormones or proteins into women’s mouths, thereby manipulating their mating psychology, and perhaps making them more likely to have sex. It is also possible that males may perceive a greater wetness or salivary exchange during kissing as an index of the female’s sexual arousal/ receptivity, similar to the act of sexual intercourse.
Dry mouth is a symptom of nervousness and dental disease, neither one of which is particularly sexy. The concentration of hormones in saliva is in the picogram/mL range, which makes it unlikely that a woman’s body would respond to the salivary exchange in any meaningful manner; furthermore, most of the hormones present in the male body are also in the female body, which makes the researchers’ conclusions untenable. Wow – a whole tenth of a nanogram of male hormonal goodness! Let’s do it, big boy!
Um, no. The authors hypothesise that women use kissing to detect mate fitness (such as health). Actually, it’s a “fuckwit assessment:”the men who are unpleasant about kissing are often unpleasant as people. (The opposite is not necessarily true). Our intrepid authors don’t bother with those pesky emotions, though:
Kissing could provide information about a person’s health and hormonal status…. Our first hypothesis was also supported by the fact that fewer females than males were willing to have sexual intercourse without kissing their partners first. Females also felt that a male who is a bad kisser is less attractive/desirable. Together these findings suggest that females place more importance on kissing, and are more reliant on kissing as a mate assessment technique.
From an evolutionary standpoint, men, not women, should care more about the health of a potential partner. A woman who is in bad health will likely produce a child who is in bad health. In addition to the fact that said child may be weeded out of the gene pool (an undesirable Darwinistic and emotional situation), a sickly child will be a drain on the community; therefore imperiling everyone’s survival.
Just another day in the wacky world of evolutionary psychosis.