The kiss of death: three tests of the relationship between disease threat and ritualized physical contact within traditional cultures

Evolution and Human Behavior Vol/Iss. In Press Elsevier Published In Pages: In Press
By Murray, Damian R., Fessler, Daniel M.T., Kerry, Nicholas, White, Claire, Marin, Maya


In order to evaluate an adaptive justification for restriction of ritualized physical contact, the authors test association between three manifestations of physical interaction and prevalence of pathogens cross-culturally. Their expectation, supported by two of the three tested hypotheses, is that higher pathogen prevalence will lead to customs of restricted physical contact. Both cultural and biological evolution are suggested to be influential in selecting for physically intimate behaviors.

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:jack.dunnington