When people greet strangers, they are only comfortable in shaking hands and do not like to be touched on any other parts of the body, revealed a new study.
More than a thousand people from the United Kingdom, Finland, France, Italy and Russia participated in a study that suggested that people should err on the side of caution when it comes to greeting new acquaintances.
Lead researcher Robin Dunbar of the Oxford University said that kissing a stranger on the cheek would still make a lot of people uncomfortable. However, Dunbar said that with modern life, it had become as conventional as a handshake and no longer seemed overly-familiar.
For the study, researchers asked people to indicate on a 'body map' where they were comfortable being touched. They found that the more emotionally close you were to someone, the more access they could have to your body.
According to the researchers, people were most physically comfortable with their romantic partners, and women also generally enjoyed being touched on their arms and some parts of their head by friends and family.
The main 'taboo' area for women was their genitals, whereas, men categorized genital contact with female strangers as 'least comfortable' but not 'taboo.'