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Women binge drinking ‘unattractive’ to men

Women who drink the same amount as men may not be found as attractive as they think, a recent psychology study says.

A March 9 report by the American Psychology Association said an increasing amount of women think they should drink excessively to impress men.

Surveys conducted showed 71 percent of college women think men find it attractive when they drink more. However, the majority of men surveyed said they find it unattractive for a woman to attempt to drink the same as a man. The difference between college women’s estimation of a man’s preference and what the surveyed men reported as attractive averaged about 1.5 drinks.

Adam Goodie, University professor of psychology, said that misperceptions about socially acceptable actions could be negative. Goodie said that historically it has been more socially acceptable for men to drink, and equal rights could have changed that.

“It’s clear that historically differences between the sexes have followed social norms,” Goodie said.

The APA study showed women who overestimated the amount to consume were more likely to engage in high risk drinking.

Erin English, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention coordinator at the Health Center, said such misperceptions often fueled heavy drinking.

“There have been many studies that show that college students overestimate how much and how often their peers drink,” English said. “That’s because the higher risk drinking behavior is visible … the misperception then leads to more high-risk drinking.”

A Core Alcohol and Other Drugs survey conducted in 2007 said 45 percent of surveyed students at the University engaged in high risk drinking two or more times a week. English said the reported percentages are consistent with national statistics and statistics on other campuses. “[High-risk drinking] is a problem because of the physiological effects of alcohol on a woman’s body. The same amount of alcohol [consumed by a man] will hit a woman’s body harder,” English said. “A woman will become impaired faster and will stay impaired longer if she drinks as much as a man.”

Goodie said the effect alcohol has on perceptions could be what is leading to the drinking trends among college women.

“As a person drinks more and more, they begin to lose their inhibitions, and they start to think, ‘Wow, I’m really funny. I’m really smart.’ And so a woman drinking might think that, and a man observing her might think, ‘Wow, this person is slurring their words and isn’t as funny as they think they are,'” Goodie said.

“But this could happen with a man and a man drinking, a woman and a woman drinking … just any case where the person drinking overestimates themselves and the person observing them says ‘You really should have stopped a couple of drinks ago.'”

source: The Red and Black

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