Main content

Don't Touch

Episode 2 of 5

BBC Touch Test results from nearly 40,000 people show how people feel about touch from strangers and in the work place. Is it OK for your boss to greet you with a kiss?

Campaigner and activist Amy Kavanagh is partially sighted and on her daily trip to work receives much unwanted touch. Some touch from strangers is well meaning but without her consent, while she is also subject to abusive and violent touch. Claudia Hammond talks to Dr Natalie Bowling from Greenwich University and co-creator of the BBC Touch Test about what the results tell us about touch between strangers. Where do people find it acceptable for strangers to touch them, what are the differences between men and women, how would most people like to be greeted by their boss and is it OK for your boss to kiss you at a party?

The study looked at attitudes around consent and Joanna Bourke Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, looks at issues of consent and entitlement. And while it might seem that social distancing would prevent unwanted touch, evidence suggests that there is a transfer of the abuse online. Meanwhile for Amy she isn’t travelling to work anymore because the pandemic means she can’t see who is around her and the risk of catching Covid is too high. But she does have a campaign ready for when she can travel again which is #JustAskDon’tGrab.

Available now

14 minutes

Last on

Tue 6 Oct 2020 13:45


  • Tue 6 Oct 2020 13:45

Nine things we learned about touch

Nine things we learned about touch

Claudia Hammond reveals what The Touch Test taught us about this crucial sense.

The Touch Test: The Results

The Touch Test: The Results

Claudia Hammond reveals the results of the world’s largest study of attitudes to touch.