Think hand holding is the purest physical act this side of abstinence? ... Think again!
As if there wasn't enough confusing scientific info floating around about sex, researchers have now deemed the most PG of affectionate gestures officially "icky."
What's the offending behavior, you ask?—Holding hands. Awesome. Thanks, Science!
It seems a team of University of Colorado researchers took bacteria samples from 102 hands, and found a combined number of 4,737 unique strands of bacteria. As if that wasn't shocking enough, according to findings, women have a much "greater diversity" of bacteria on their hands than men, and a higher number of innate bacteria living under the skin that can't be washed away. (Uhm, eww.)
So, like periods, pregnancy, and cellulite—are bacteria laden hands just another annoying casualty of being a member of the fairer sex? In a word, yes ... but as with most of these studies, scientists aren't 100% sure why.
One theory is that female skin isn't as acidic as a man's and not as adept at killing off latent germs. Another theory points to all those fancy, sweet-smelling (and often overpriced and pointless) creams we insist on slathering all over our bodies daily. And lastly, when all else fails, blame it on hormones. Because, of course.
While researchers won't deny this makes holding hands with a woman a much dirtier, riskier act than previously thought, they also assure germaphobic readers (and immature boys shouting "Girls have cooties!" across playgrounds everywhere) that the "vast majority" of these strands are either harmless or even ... beneficial.
So in a nutshell, if hand-holding is your riskiest offense during your dalliances with the opposite sex, give yourself a prurient pack on the back.
And then, of course, go wash your hands. (And your back.)