Women drinking to excess a turn-off

07:51, May 05 2009
BEER GOOGLES: An international study has found that young women who drink to excess are making themselves less sexually attractive to men.

Young women who think drinking to excess makes them more sexually attractive to men are mistaken, a new international study shows.

Women taking part in the US study commonly overestimated how many drinks a "typical guy" would expect them to drink.

The study results reflect the emerging "western phenomenon" of the female equivalent of the yobbo, an Australian expert says.

The views of young adults aged 18 to 25 in the study revealed 71 percent of the women would overestimate how many drinks they were expected to have at an event.

They guessed an average of one-and-a-half drinks more than the responses of young men who took part in the same survey.

The American participants were also quizzed on how many drinks they felt a potential male friend, or sexual partner, would expect them to have and it revealed a "giant misperception".

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Commenting on the findings, Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) executive director Gino Vumbaca said the rise in drinking by young women was a "western phenomenon" that had occurred over the past decade.

Factors responsible included positive gains in mobility and income for women along with industry's rollout of ready-to-drink (RTD) products, to target women with "sweet fizzy. . . alcopops".

"There's also an emergence of the female equivalent of the male yob, or lad in the British sense," Mr Vumbaca said.

"They probably think that is what men like but as this survey points to, men don't actually like that.

"I don't want to portray that women are always out to do what men want. . . but there is some confusion with equality being seen as having to act in the same way."

Associate Professor Joseph LaBrie of Los Angeles' Loyola Marymount University said the research suggested women believe men find excessive drinking sexually attractive and appealing, but "it appears this is a giant misperception".

"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."

The study took in a total 3600 students at Loyola Marymount University and the University of Washington.

More than a quarter (26 percent) of women believed men would "most likely want to be friends" with a woman who drank five or more drinks at an event.

Sixteen per cent said men would be "most sexually attracted" to a woman who drank five or more drinks, but in both cases it was almost double what the young men wanted.

Young women who overestimated men's alcohol preferences were also more likely to drink to excess.

The study is published in the March issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviours, published by the American Psychological Association.

AAP