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.
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.