Why You Get Wasted, But She Gets Tipsy

Remember the last time you tied one too many on? Remember how trashed you were? Probably not, because how can you trust your perceptions of yourself when you’re drunk?

The difference between a drunk’s perception and reality is very well realized and documented, but a new study sheds suggests that how we describe other people’s drinking behaviour doesn’t always match reality either.

A new study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research says that extremely drunk men are likely to be described as trashed, ploughed, plastered, obliterated, and a few more colourful terms, whereas equally drunk women are more likely to be only described as buzzed, lightheaded, or tipsy.

In their experiment, researchers had 139 college students read a short passage about some characters getting drunk. The passage described quantities of alcohol consumed and their actions while inebriated. Students used moderate terms when the character was drinking moderately, and this was true for male and female characters.

However, when the character was described as extremely drunk, students began using different words to describe the character, based on the character’s gender.

The results suggests that people perceive women as moderate drinkers even when they’re not, though we suspect that denizens of King Street are working hard to change that. Similarly, the study’s results could suggest that it isn’t surprising to find men drunk in public.

We wouldn’t know anything about that, though; we only ever get drunk at home, at other people’s homes, and in canoes. Don’t knock it until you try it.

Photo courtesy of paukrus

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