Kissing between sexual and/or romantic partners occurs in over 90 percent of human cultures (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1970; Fisher, 1992). Even in cultures where kissing is nonexistent or condemned, sex partners may blow in each otherâ€™s faces, lick, suck, or rub their partnerâ€™s face prior to intercourse (Ford and Beach, 1951).
Some non-human animals appear to engage in kissing-like behaviors, as well (Geer, Heiman, and Leitenberg, 1984). For instance, de Waal (2000) claims that bonobos regularly engage in bouts of deep tongue kissing.
Although kissing is a widespread practice among humans, few investigators have attempted to assess the adaptive significance of kissing behavior.
Source : Sex Differences in Romantic Kissing Among College Students: An Evolutionary Perspective Evolutionary Psychology, 5(3): 612-631
There are various plausible explanations as to how and why it could have originated. - e.g. food swapping, immunity balancing, the mammalian suckle reflex, mate suitability evaluating (chemical cues) etc. But no one theory covers all its manifestations*, and none has been accepted by evolutionary scientists as a general overall explanation.
Given that kissing is a fairly obvious disease vector, it presumably must have (or have had) strong evolutionary advantages. See The ancient history of kissing: Science, Vol. 380, No. 6646
^Wikipedia lists no less than eight different varieties.
Note: Some fish also 'kiss', see :Kissing Gouramis
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