Data Journalist

We asked which displays of affection are acceptable in public: the majority draw the line at kissing with tongues

Do you cringe when you see a couple passionately kissing on a park bench, or rejoice in the public display of love?

A new YouGov Omnibus survey produced for the podcast “Britain Is A Nation Of” explores where Britons draw the line on how much is too much when in public.

Kissing in public is fine with most Brits - so long as you keep your tongue in your mouth

A huge majority of 92% of Britons say holding hands in public is acceptable, and 90% say the same for hugging.

Two thirds are also comfortable with people around them kissing without tongues (68%). But going translating your kiss into French risks disapproving looks, as just one in six (15%) are comfortable with people kissing with tongues in public.

Women are less keen on public kissing

A closer look at the data on attitudes to open-air kissing reveals some groups are considerably more likely to be comfortable than others with a public smooch.

75% of men think kissing without tongues in public is acceptable, but just 62% of women agree. Young people are significantly more likely than older groups to be comfortable with it – eight in ten (78%) 18 to 24s are fine with a public kiss, compared to six in ten (58%) of those aged 55 and above.

Kissing with tongues is where Britons draw the line – though again, age and gender makes a considerable difference to people’s views on the matter. One in five men (20%) are comfortable with it, compared to just one in eleven women (9%). 18 to 24 year olds are three times more likely than those aged 55 and above to think it’s acceptable (20% vs 6%).

Listen to the "Britain Is A Nation Of..." podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and Acast

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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