The cliche goes that women spend hours, weeks, years, even entire lifetimes trying to figure out how to land a man. Well, there's one item every lady looking to impress a fellow can cross off her list: Drinking. As drinking becomes the pastime of choice across college campuses, many women have started trying to match their male counterparts drink for drink in an effort to make an impression. An impression she might make, but a new study shows it isn't a good one.
The study surveyed 3,616 college students, ages 18-25, hailing from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and the University of Washington. The female participants filled out a questionnaire asking them how many drinks they thought males wanted women to consume: the number of drinks to be considered friend-worthy, dateable, or sexually attractive. The survey also asked for the maximum number of drinks a male would want a woman to consume and still be interested in her. The male participants were asked for their actual preferences. The women also noted how much they drank in an average week or month and how much they thought the average woman at their university drank in any given week.
It turns out 71% of these female co-eds were vastly overestimating the amount males wanted them to drink. On average, they overestimated by one-and-a-half drinks. Over a quarter of the women thought men were more likely to buddy up with a women who drinks five or more drinks. The true answer? Men expect women to consume around 2.5 drinks. 16 percent of women thought men would be most sexually attracted to women who downed the 5+ servings of their choice poison. In actuality? Men prefer nearly half that amount.
The lead author on the publication, Joseph LaBrie, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University, says, "Although traditionally, men drink more than women, research has shown that women have steadily been drinking more and more over the last several decades. Our research suggests women believe men find excessive drinking sexually attractive and appealing, but it appears this is a giant misperception." The study is published in the March issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
Not all women are drinking solely to impress men; the study did find, however, that the women who overestimated the men's preferences were more likely to engage in excessive drinking. "There is a great, and risky, disconnect here between the sexes," said LaBrie. "While not all women may be drinking simply to get a guy's attention, this may help explain why more women are drinking at dangerous levels. We believe universities and other public health organizations could use this information to help curb binge drinking among young women."
Lest you think researchers are clinging to worn-out female stereotypes: Professor LaBrie is doing a second study that asks men how many drinks they think women want them to knock back in an evening. Though it's hard to believe that guy over there doing a keg stand or his pal funneling beers to his left are trying to impress the ladies, they might actually be doing just that.
So, ladies: don't drink 'em under the table. Have fun, know your limit, and let the men deal with the hang-over.
This study is soley subject to gender bias. I'm shocked that the researchers didn't take time to understand why girls are expected to drink less than guys.
If a guy drinks and gets hammered chances are he'll be labeled as the wild partier, the fun guy, or any number of similar acronyms. If a girl does the same act she will be perceived, almost exclusively, in negative light.
Girls and guys should both drink responsibly, but it shouldn't be inherently worse or better based on gender. Girls have just as much right to drink as the rest of us.
I always love to see these articles about survey data. On the college level (18-25 year olds), do you really think the average guy expects a girl to have 2.5 drinks in a night? Realistically, your talking 2.5 drinks per hour. And just an ironic twist to this article, I personally have seen a huge rise in girls doing beer bongs. Weird.
Dapper - This study isn't subject to gender bias, it is measuring it. I dare say a similar study would find that most women would perfer moderation in their guys as well.
It is a simple fact: alcohol impaires decision making, including natural mating responces. No matter how ugly I am, I can be with anyone if they are drunk enough. It is the drunk partner that is "dating down." Therefore, it makes sense that people would perfer if an imaginary partner (who will, of course, be beyond social reach) was willing to date them that they would be so willing without intoxication.
In other words, my status is improved the better looking and more sober my willing partner is.
In actuality, I'm likly encouraging potential but out of reach partners to overindulge to aid my chances.
As a good little dry Protestant, however, I am curious if the perfered number of drinks is matched by personal consumption. I know that since I do not drink, my idea of a datable girl is always sober.
Number of drinks has absolutely nothing to do with it. No guy thinks "Wow, she had 10 drinks tonight, she's attractive". Actually I think it would be pretty creepy if you were even keeping track. It is about the behavior. I don't care if a girl has 10, 5, 1, or zero drinks if she's fun to be around.
If a girl has 3 drinks and is on the dance floor, and her friend has 1 and is sitting in the corner, I prefer the drunker girl. If a girl has 1 drink and is on the dance floor, and her friend has 3 and is puking in the corner, I prefer the soberer girl.
When you average out the responses to these surveys I think you will get some pretty strange results because alcohol has different effects on everybody.
well said dude... totally agree with you
Gender Bias complaints are a nice idea, but let's face it -- the guys aren't thinking PC when they check us out. I have begun to think that the idea of being a lady is an unspoken requirement that we've be talked out of -- and we're the poorer for it. Miss Dana
Drunk girls were fun when I was 17... they are still fun, but it stops there.