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Oxford University Study Tests The Boundaries Of Touching

You don't have to be antisocial or stand-offish to feel creeped out by a stranger's touch, especially when their hands land on specific spots that trigger our "stranger danger" reflex.

Oxford University conducted the largest ever study on physical contact and comfort zones by asking 1,500 men and women from Finland, Britain, Russia, Italy and France to color in body maps showing where they felt comfortable being touched.

Darker areas indicate where the subjects felt least comfortable being touched, and unsurprisingly the subjects generally felt better about being touched by people they knew well.

However, the study showed that men felt comfortable letting a female stranger touch any part of their body, including their "taboo zone", while women were only comfortable letting male strangers touch their hands.

Read more about this study here

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Complete misrepresentation by SFGate and duplicated here. It’s true that there is no taboo zone reported by male subjects for female strangers; but look how dark the area is – certainly not indicated as ‘comfortable’. The graphics also show that woman were more comfortable being touched on arms, shoulders, and lower backs by both genders of strangers than men were. Although again, quite dark, so not particularly comfortable. Not necessarily the fault of Neatorama, but seems like confirmation bias from the original author.
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