Many of us take the term “beer goggles” a little lightly. While we go along with the notion that the inebriated version of ourselves might find people a little more attractive, we are fully aware that when we’re drunk, our inhibitions go down, and so do those of the other drunk people around us. It makes sense that with less self-censorship, a hormone-crazy night out will make us all a little more sexual while neglecting some of the possible consequences we wouldn’t overlook when sober. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean that just because we’re buzzed we’re actually perceiving people as being more attractive than they really are. That’s surely ridiculous, right?
Well, it seems that would be wrong! While the scientific world has been largely divided on this topic, according to a new study from the University of Bristol’s Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, the beer goggles are totally a real thing.
Volunteers – who I’m guessing weren’t hard to obtain for this one – were summoned and asked to look at different pictures of 20 men, 20 women and 20 landscapes, both before and after drinking.
They were divided in two groups; the first one would have one alcoholic drink, while the other would have a non-alcoholic placebo drink.
The results? With no exception, all three image-types turned out to be rated higher on the people who drank the alcoholic beverages over the ones who drank the placebo ones.
Who knew the real scientific cure for extreme pickiness would be to develop an alcohol problem? Luckily for some of us, we’re already there. Talk about an upside to a terrible predicament!
While this lends itself to a lot of good spirited jokes, it can obviously have repercussions that shouldn’t be ignored. Olivia Maynard, one of the leading researchers, pointed out: “It’s a bit of fun, but there is a serious message.
“If alcohol does change perceptions of attractiveness then that could be a factor in the kind of risky behavior you see when people are drunk, such as unprotected sex.”
The quest to prove this continues, as the team has now extended their research into the more realistic setting that pubs provide. These tests are being conducted over four days at three popular Bristol pubs: The Green Man, The Portcullis and The Victoria. Something tells me they also had no trouble finding more volunteers for these new dates.