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Is a Kiss Just a Kiss?: Predicting Variations in Motives for Romantic Kissing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 February 2017

Elle A. Moore*
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
Danica Kulibert
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
Ashley E. Thompson
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Elle A. Moore, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Department of Psychology, 800 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, WI, 54901, USA. Email:
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Romantic kissing is vastly understudied in scientific research, with only one study systematically examining romantic kissing motives and associated gender differences. The current study explored motives for romantic kissing in greater detail by examining whether gender, age, relationship status, sexual attitudes, and personality predicted variations in adults’ romantic kissing motives. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses (N = 461) revealed that those with more permissive sexual attitudes, higher levels of extraversion, those currently in committed relationships and those younger in age were most likely to endorse relational/sexual motives for romantic kissing. Goal attainment/insecurity motives were most frequently endorsed by men and those with more permissive sexual attitudes, higher levels of extraversion, lower levels of agreeableness, and lower levels of conscientiousness. Results emphasise the importance of a variety of variables in understanding motives for romantic kissing.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s) 2017 

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