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Guys Prefer Non-Drinking Ladies


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By Margarita Nahapetyan

Very often young ladies in college may be drinking in excess to impress or charm the counterparts of the opposite sex. However, the new study suggests that college guys actually are not quite impressed when women become their drinking buddies.

The new study discovered that despite of the fact that traditionally, men tend to consume alcohol more than women, an overwhelming majority of women overestimated the amount of alcohol a typical guy would appreciate his female friend to drink. According to a lead author of the study, Joseph LaBrie, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University, women have steadily been drinking more and more over the past 20-30 years.

There is also a great misperception in women when they think that men find excessive drinking sexually attractive and appealing, according to the scientist. Some women also believe that a guy would most likely want to be friends with a woman who consumes as many alcohol beverages as he does. This idea also plays role when ladies engage themselves into excessive drinking.

For their study, the researchers invited 3,616 college students from two U.S. Universities - Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and The University of Washington, to complete an online survey during the 2007 fall semester. All the participants were between the ages of 18 and 25, sixty-two per cent of them being women. The women were asked several questions such as how many drinks they believed a typical young man would like his female friends to drink during some event, as well as the maximum number of alcohol beverages they thought the men would like their lady to drink. Then they had to assume, on average, how many shots or glasses they thought a woman would have to drink in order to make a guy consider being friends with her, wanting dating her or finding her sexually attractive. The researchers also asked the women to give approximates on how much they drank on a weekly or monthly basis, and how much alcohol they thought the average female student at their institution consumed in any given week. The men, in turn, were asked their actual preferences.

When the results were calculated, it turned out that 71 per cent of young ladies overestimated the men's actual preferences of drinks in any given case. On average, they overestimated by one-and-a-half drinks. In addition, 26 per cent of women said that guys would most likely prefer to be buddies with women who drank 5 or more drinks, and 16 per cent said that men would be most sexually attracted to them if they consumed that much alcoholic drinks. But most importantly, the researchers found that in reality, men actually prefer half that amount. They also realized that the women who overestimated the preferences of the opposite sex, were more likely to engage themselves in excessive drinking.

"There is a great, and risky, disconnect here between the sexes," said Dr. LaBrie, and added that although not all young ladies are consuming alcohol just to get the attention from the guy they are attracted to, this survey may provide some explanation as to why more and more women start drinking at dangerous levels. The scientist hopes that the information based on the survey will be useful for universities and public health organizations in order to curb binge drinking among college women. The researchers are continuing their investigation on this matter and are now involved in a follow-up study that would analyze men's ideas about how much they think women want them to drink. The scientists believe they will figure out if this perception has a similar effect on increased risky drinking.

The results of the sudy can be found in the March issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviours journal, published by the American Psychological Association.

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