Kissing for Stress Reduction

Kissing, it turns out, unleashes chemicals that ease stress hormones in both sexes and encourage bonding in men, though not so much in women. Women do receive a healthy dose of testosterone during kissing, but only if the are kissing a male. The flood of feel good chemicals that create the rush only happens when kissing is coupled with emotional intensity.........


Both men and women had a decline in cortisol after smooching, an indication their stress levels declined.For men, oxytocin levels increased, indicating more interest in bonding, while oxytocin levels went down in women. "This was a surprise," Hill said.In a test group that merely held hands, chemical changes were similar, but much less pronounced, she said.
The experiment was conducted in a student health center, Hill noted. She plans a repeat "in a more romantic setting." Hill spoke at the session on the Science of Kissing, along with Helen Fisher of Rutgers University and Donald Lateiner of Ohio Wesleyan University.
Fisher noted that more than 90 percent of human societies practice kissing, which she believes has three components — the sex drive, romantic love and attachment. "When you kiss an enormous part of your brain becomes active," she added. Romantic love can last a long time, "if you kiss the right person.".......more

image: Robert Doisneau
1950 Paris
The Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville

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