Do You Drink More When You're With Friends?

By May Wilkerson 03/04/15

According to a new study, you do.

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If you’re trying to cut back on booze, you may need to cut back on your boozy friends. Because the more drinking buddies you have, the more drunk you’re likely to get, according to a new study.

Scientists examined the habits of 200 Swiss teenagers, over one weekend, who logged their drinks and drinking partners with their smartphones. The study found that subjects with more people around them at any given moment were likely to drink more.

The phenomenon held true for both genders, but was apparently much more pronounced for men than women. Men are less likely to turn down a drink if they are around their friends, claimed the study, published in the journal Addiction. This is partially because men see drinking more as a “challenge,” and also find their own drunkenness less embarrassing than women do, said researchers.

This could be the first study to legitimately prove that peer pressure influences how much teens drink, since past drinking studies have taken place in labs or relied on surveys. Labs are not exactly a realistic measure of human behavior. And drinking surveys are notoriously inaccurate since survey-takers often lie, or forget how much they drank.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.