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Where can someone touch you? Most of us would say it depends on who’s doing the touching but for the first time researchers at the University of Oxford and Finland’s Aalto University have mapped where we allow family, friends and strangers to touch us.

Their results are published in journal PNAS this week.

More than 1300 men and women from five countries were asked to colour in areas of the human body that they would allow particular people to touch, from their partner to a stranger and to say for which purposes they would allow touch. The answers were combined to create maps that show how touchable areas of the body are for particular relationships (eg partner, uncle, acquaintance) and also which areas are taboo.

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