Jump to content
  • ENA

    Men Can Guess A Woman's Age Even When Drunk

    By Margarita Nahapetyan

    Drunk men find the opposite sex less attractive and have no problem when it comes to guessing a woman's age, according to a new study by British researchers. This means that drunkenness should not be considered an excuse for a man mistaking an underage girl for an adult, says a report.

    The study, led by Professor Vince Egan from the University of Leicester School of Psychology and Giray Cordan of the University of Exeter, focused on how men perceived a woman's age, looking at factors such as the amount of alcohol they have consumed and how much make-up the woman was wearing. The research involved 240 heterosexual people, which included 120 sober men and women, and 120 of those who had been drinking in bars and pubs and were in the age group between 18 and 70 years. All of the participants were asked to look at series of photos of women, and then rate attractiveness of underage and mature females with and without makeup.

    The participants were presented the photographs of 10 young girls, aged 17. Some of the photos had been digitally enhanced to add makeup, or make the young ladies look older or even younger. The researchers also measured the blood alcohol levels of drinkers. One third of all evaluators had consumed alcoholic beverages before performing the task and ranged from feeling "relaxed and benign" to "unambiguously drunk and probably mentally impaired."

    The results revealed that:

    • Drinking alcohol and the use of make-up had a minimal effect on the participants' perception of the ages.

    • Both men and women found ladies with immature appearance more attractive than with relatively mature faces.

    • Alcohol had a 'significant' impact on making women with older faces and with lots of make-up appear more attractive.

    • Make-up influenced attractiveness levels when the evaluators had consumed alcohol - especially if the faces were sexually mature.

    • Alcohol slightly impaired the ability of women to see past the digital manipulations.

    • Men, no matter how drunk they were, remained keen judges of women's age.

    Dr. Egan said that the most interesting finding was that overall, individuals who had been under the influence of alcohol, actually perceived all the ladies in the photographs as less attractive, compared to the participants who had not consumed any strong drinks. This seemingly flies in the face of the commonly held notion of 'beer goggles,'" Egan said. "Beer goggles" is a popular slang term of the English language which describes a common theory that the more alcohol is being consumed by a person, the higher he/she rates the attractiveness of the observed face of the opposite sex.

    The scientists concluded that alcohol consumption and make-up use do not interfere with a perception of age, nor they affect subsequent age estimates. The study also came to the conclusion that given the number of other indications as to a person's age, such as, for instance, build and voice, there are many other cues to point that a person is actually older than it may seem. Therefore, men who are meeting women socially, are potentially quite capable to distinguish if someone is under age, though some may not want to do so.

    The research is due to be published in the British Journal of Psychology in June 2009.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Create New...