A modest discussion starter: How do you know how to greet someone? What cues does a person use to choose the appropriate greeting? Relevant to this is a little snapshot in USAToday (January 8, 2009) on kissing as a form of greeting. Men and women differ considerably. Thirty-two percent of men will kiss only the immediate family while 41% of women kiss only the immediate family. Twenty-six percent of the men would kiss very close friends (which seems very high to this greeting watcher) while 36% of the women would. As to the percentage of men and women who would kiss only a member of the opposite sex: 33% of men and only 5% of women. And, of course, the inevitable question: Why these sex differences?

1 comment:

maestra said...

Some points one might want to consider in such a discussion:

1. how does “greeting kissing” differ from other types of kissing? Is it limited to lip-to- cheek kissing? What other kinds of kissing might be used to greet another person? Are there regional differences throughout the U.S. concerning greeting kissing?

2. In the U.S., do men and women behave differently with respect to greeting kisses because of potential health risks?

3. In the U.S., do women worry more than men that greeting kisses will be misconstrued by the opposite sex as sexual advances?

4. Are the very close friends of the male population surveyed necessarily male, or is it possible that the statistic is high because men actually have more women as close friends than they have men as close friends?

5. Do men in our culture fear that they will be viewed as homosexuals, if they engage in male-to-male kissing? Has this always been the attitude in our country?

6. Are the statistics from this survey gathered solely from a heterosexual population?

7. Would knowing the age range of the respondents affect the numbers reported in this blog entry?

8. Is “greeting kissing” appropriate for either of the sexes in the workplace?

9. How does the greeting behavior of men and women in other cultures differ from those of men and women in the United States?