Recently, Sheril Kirshenbaum, a noted social scientist and author of The Science of Kissing, gave an interview to Redbook magazine (see references below) where she suggested that kissing, at least the intimate kind between men and women may have more to do with a man’s desire to “swap spit” as a means of delivering a load of testosterone to his female partner, thereby upping her libido over time, than as a means of simple wooing. Kirshenbaum goes on to suggest that it appears that kissing is also likely a means for couples to bond as well, something that we all probably could have deduced on our own.
Also, Katherine Hobson, (see reference below) a contributing science and health writer for US News, suggests there is far more to it than that. She cites several scientists in the field who believe that kissing has as much to do with establishing emotional connections as it does physical. She goes on to give many examples of studies done on both men and women that confirm the widespread belief that kissing is more important to women than it is for men; where women see kissing as a means for bonding and growing close, while men more often than not see it as a prelude to something more.
Hobson goes on to say that ongoing research is beginning to indicate that there is more than just saliva and testosterone being passed back and forth between kissing partners though, and that some of those chemicals might be unconscious indicators for women that help them decide if the person they are kissing would be a suitable person for mating purposes.
Others suggest however, that women use kissing as a sort of litmus test whereby women judge the quality of the man, by the quality of his kiss, which of course anyone who’s ever listened to Motown would know from the song, “It’s In His Kiss.”
On the other hand, while many biochemical and social scientists debate the chemical effects on women, very little has been done to study the effects of kissing on men; as it is apparently assumed that kissing for men does little but excite the senses, causing them to become ready for copulation should the woman decide he’s worthy of fathering her children. The few that have looked a little closer suggest that some men may use kissing as a means of manipulating women, or to cause them to lose themselves so as to be more open to taking things further.
In any event, it’s clear that far more research needs to be done before anyone can really claim to fully understand why it is people kiss one another.