If you don’t consider yourself a touchy, feely person, you will love this new study that researched where people are most comfortable and uncomfortable being touched.
WHERE WOMEN ARE COMFORTABLE BEING TOUCHED VERSUS WHERE MEN ARE COMFORTABLE BEING TOUCHED.
Female participants reported being comfortable with male strangers touching their hands, but they were not comfortable with male strangers touching any other part of the body. In fact, women said that their upper legs, mid-section, and torso were considered taboo zones that should never be touched. On the other hand, men had no taboo zones for female strangers, and they reported being comfortable with a female stranger touching their arms and shoulders.
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The findings, which come from, Oxford University and Aalto University, also reveal that men are more comfortable being touched overall compared to women. The only exception, however, is when men come into physical contact with male friends.
The researchers surveyed more than 1,300 people from Finland, England, Italy, France, and Russia about where they were OK being touched and by whom. The academics then placed their findings in a “body map index,” which was recently published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in America (PNAS).
Aalto University researcher Julia Suvilehto wrote in the study that these findings indicate the obvious: touching is “an important means of maintaining social relationships.”
“The greater the pleasure caused by touching a specific area of the body, the more selectively we allow others to touch it,” she said.
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Oxford University psychologist Robin Dunbar added that touch is important to maintaining relationships because it releases endorphins.
“Touch is universal,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “While culture does modulate how we experience it, generally we all respond to touching in the same way. Even in an era of mobile communications and social media, touch is still important for establishing and maintaining bonds between people.”
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