Does the culture we grow up in dictate how we feel about touch? Or are there more subtle influences at work? Claudia Hammond looks at the results of the Touch Test.
At the Pink Diamond Martial Arts Club Hasina teaches Luton women from all cultures to defend themselves physically. This form of touch helped Hasina overcome the bullying of her childhood. But how do early experiences and cultural influences shape how you feel about touch? Stereotypes abound for different nationalities, for example, the reserved British person complete with a stiff upper lip or the ebullient Italian. Michael Banissy from Goldsmiths University of London, writer of the Touchstone Tales, Sudha Bhuchar and Juulia Suvilehto from Linkoping University in Sweden look at the results of the Touch Test and ask if attitudes to touch are more nuanced than outdated stereotypes.