Study finds beer goggles last longer for women

December 21, 2008

Good news for men I guess.  The expression “drinking them pretty” may need to be changed to “drinking them handsome,” or at least tolerable.   Leave it to some egg-heads to do such a study in the first place but researchers found that women who drink even moderately develop a reduced ability to rate attractiveness in male faces, even after when they are sober. So while for men, “beer goggles” wear off as quickly as the alcohol, it’s not the case for women.

In the research lead by Dr Kirsten Oinonen, of Lakehead University, in Canada, 45 young women classed as typical, drinkers, (up to 40 drinks a month), were put through a number of tests, including an exercise on facial symmetry. In this test, the women were presented with 60 pairs of male faces. One in each pair was more symmetrical than they others and the women had to identify it in each of the pairs. Results show that the more alcohol the women had drunk during the previous six months, the lower her performance on the symmetry test.

Even women who had the equivalent of five drinks a month scored less in the test than those who had no drinks. Each additional drink led to a reduced score. Facial symmetry is associated with attractiveness of faces. The researchers say the results suggest alcohol has a long term effect on the brain. They believe it may effect the brain’s structure in some way, reducing its visual perception abilities. But it is not known how long term the effects are or whether they are permanent.


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