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Kissing chemistry

Unlocking the secrets of the lip-lock

4:54pm, February 13, 2009

CHICAGO – With all due respect to the old song, a kiss is not just a kiss.

Scientists say romantic kissing affects hormones involved in stress and attachment, and may help people determine whether they’ve found “the one.” Researchers discussed the science of smooching at a press conference February 13 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

More than 90 percent of human societies practice kissing, says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. Chimpanzees kiss too. And even those who don’t kiss still have a lot of facial contact with others. This leads Fisher to believe that kissing probably offers some evolutionary advantage.

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