People tend to have pretty strong opinions about locking lips
out in public.
Some are all about that PDA, while others would never be caught publicly smooching and
don’t understand what compels someone to do so.
Luckily, scientists are on the
In a study published in The Journal of Sex Research, researchers
set out to figure out why some people are into intense forms of PDA.
For the study, researchers recruited 155 female and 194 male
college students to fill out an online questionnaire about public displays of
In the questionnaire, participants were quizzed on what the
scientists called “performative making out”, i.e. making out and wanting other
people to see it all go down.
Read more: These are the 6 reasons women fall for
really bad men
Here’s what they found: While most people weren’t into making
out in public, 32% of women and 37% of men in the study said they’d done it.
The researchers also searched for major themes in the data and
found some pretty fascinating reasons for smooching in the open.
55% wanted to be seen with men to make other people jealous, 34% wanted to
signify a relationship
and 30% did so to enhance their image.
For men, it was much more about boosting their image: 59%
reported that was the primary reason they’d lock lips in public. Thirty-eight
percent said they did so simply to prove they could, while only 20% wanted to
show a relationship.
Read more: Should you really divulge your sexual
history to your significant other?
The researchers didn’t stop at simply sussing out motivations – they
also sought to uncover how these men and women felt PDA affected their
Men said that their reps were enhanced (57%) more often than
damaged (14%) by a public makeout sesh – but, sadly, women said the opposite.
In fact, 39% of women felt PDA affected others’ perception of them negatively.
The researchers point out how messed up this is, noting that the
findings “highlight gender differences consistent with problematic cultural
belief systems such as ‘slut shaming’, victim blaming, and sexual double
Sure, making out in public isn’t for everyone and not everyone
is thrilled to see it go down. But if you happen to get lost in the moment and
have a serious lip-lock with someone you’re into, there’s absolutely no reason
why you should be judged for it – especially not on the basis of your gender.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
Image credit: iStock