Based on Cohen (1987) and Hunter and Struve's, (1998) work, following are short descriptions of these cultural, mostly unspoken, taboos.
• "Don't touch the opposite gender!" This taboo is based on the belief or worldview that sexualizes all or most forms of touch.
• "Don't touch same gender friends!" This boundary is primarily based in the homophobic fears prevalent in our culture.
• "Don't touch yourself!" This injunction stems, in part, from some religious and puritanical doctrines and phobias around self-pleasure and masturbation.
• "Don't touch strangers!" This command is based on a cultural fear of "the other," a paranoid attitude towards unfamiliar persons and those who are outsiders of one's own group.
• "Do not touch the elderly, the sick and the dying!" This reflects a negative attitude in American culture towards the elderly, the sick, and the dying that manifests itself by segregating them from the rest of the population. The sick and the elderly are often housed away in specialized board and care facilities, where much of time hospital staff do not value touch as an essential part of care.
• "Do not touch those who are of higher status!" This unspoken rule is prevalent in our culture, where it has been documented that people of higher status or power touch those of lesser status significantly more frequently than the converse.