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Lifetime Kissing Status Examined in Young Adults

Arch Sex Behav; ePub 2018 Feb 20; Lefkowitz, et al

Young adults who had never kissed were more neurotic, had mothers who were less facilitating of independence, and had lower self-esteem, according to bivariate models in a recent study. Researchers examined the prevalence and personal, contextual, and adjustment/health predictors of delayed onset of kissing in an ethnically and racially diverse sample of traditionally aged first-year university students (n=738; 50.7% female) who completed an online survey. They found:

  • Only 14.2% of young adults had never kissed a partner on the lips.
  • Compared to their peers who had kissed partners, young adults who had never kissed were more likely to be Asian-American, less likely to be in a romantic relationship, were less extraverted, were more likely to be in the honors college, and drank alcohol less frequently.
  • Substantial exploration in the areas of identity and intimacy occur during young adulthood, and kissing may fulfill both of these functions, addressing autonomy and relatedness motives for sexual behaviors.
Citation:

Lefkowitz ES, Wesche R, Leavitt CE. Never been kissed: Correlates of lifetime kissing status in U.S. university students. [Published online ahead of print February 20, 2018]. Arch Sex Behav. doi:10.1007/s10508-018-1166-y.