Women Wear Stronger "Beer Goggles"
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Booze makes potential partners seem sexier, according to a gasp-inducing study, but the effect isn't equal for both sexes. Researchers at Roehampton University in London sought to discover the science behind “beer goggles” by recruiting more than 100 men and women and dividing them into two groups. One group receiving alcohol, and the other a non-alcoholic beverage. After drinking, participants had to rate the attractiveness of images of male and female faces. The pictures were distorted to make some more symmetrical and some less; previous studies have shown that more symmetrical faces are generally believed to be more attractive. Both the men and women in the study had a hard time judging attractiveness—but women's perceptions were more dramatically altered. “People that had drink tended to be less good at noticing if a face was asymmetrical, they often saw it as being symmetrical when it was asymmetrical,” says researcher Lewis Halsey. “What we have shown is that people’s ability to detect symmetry is part of the explanation for the beer goggle effect.” Many of the participants admitted to meeting their spouse while drinking. “A lot of people say they met their partner when they were drunk. Are their marriages shorter or longer lasting? Does it change the nature of the relationship?” worries Halsey. More research is planned.