When you meet a stranger for the first time, how close do you allow them to get into your space? Do you allow them to touch you, or do you touch them?
In an article in The Independence, researchers from Oxford University in England and Aalto University in Finland sent out a survey asking more than 1,300 British, Finnish, French, Italian, and Russian participants about being touched.
The men and women colored in which parts of their body they were comfortable or uncomfortable letting certain people touch. Researchers compiled the results in this "body map index," published by the PNAS.
It turns out that men are more comfortable being touched by women they don't know, including their genitals. But when it comes to male friends and relatives, they aren't as comfortable.
Meanwhile, women aren't as comfortable being touched by men they don't know; hands are the exception. However, women were also fine with being touched in most parts of their body by friends, both male and female.
Julia Suvilehto, a researcher from Aalto University, says that the results showed the importance of touch in many social relationships.
"The greater the pleasure caused by touching a specific area of the body, the more selectively we allow others to touch it," she said.
Check out the body map below. Judging on your own social interactions, how would you color it in?
Source: The Independent