Booze goggles — helping people get laid since humans and alcohol first came together. According to a recent study published in the journal Alcohol surveying the effects of alcohol on human ability to rate attractiveness (based here on symmetry) seems to have revealed that men are more accurate than women in their ratings.
Meaning women are more susceptible to deciding an asymmetrical face (read: unattractive person) is attractive.
“The reduced ability of inebriated people to perceive asymmetry may be an important mechanism underlying the higher ratings of facial attractiveness they give for members of the opposite sex and hence their increased frequency of mate choice,” write researchers at Roehampton University in London.
This study is based on the choices made by a group of 64 students, which were divided into sober (control) and intoxicated groups.
According to a report on the HowStuffWorks blog, “The researchers attribute the gender difference to males’ visually stimulated attraction instincts. Women, on the other hand, tend to base attraction on a broader set of characteristics. Also, beer goggles might also be something of a self-fulfilling prophesy, according to a study in the journal Addiction. Essentially, the more participants associated sex with drinking, the more attractive they rated the their fellow partygoers.”
The study they reference, undertaken at University of Missouri–Columbia in 2005 found “stronger expectancies that alcohol increases sexual desire predicted higher attractiveness ratings.”
While both are fairly small studies, the results are interesting and merit more research.