You might as well stop blaming the "beer goggles"

Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:17am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Drinking alcohol reduces the attractiveness of the opposite sex and makes no difference to a man's ability at guessing a woman's age, according to a study in the British Journal of Psychology.

Dr Vincent Egan from the University of Leicester investigated how men view a woman's age, looking at factors such as the amount of alcohol he has consumed and how much make-up the woman was wearing. The study used 240 heterosexual people in bars and cafes, aged 18-70, to look at photos of women and comment on their age and attractiveness.

"Overall participants who drank alcohol actually rated all the women in the photos as less attractive (compared to the participants who hadn't drunk alcohol). This seemingly flies in the face of the commonly held notion of 'beer goggles,'" Egan said.

"Beer goggles" is a popular English language slang term to describe a common theory that the more alcohol consumed by the participant, the higher the attractiveness of the observed face of the opposite sex.

Half of the participants consumed alcohol prior to the test and ranged from feeling "relaxed and benign" to "unambiguously drunk and probably mentally impaired." Results showed that alcohol and use of make-up had a minimal effect on how men perceive a woman's age.

(Reporting by Farah Master)

<p>A customer poses for the camera with a pint of beer in a public house in Leeds, northern England October 13, 2008. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis</p>