December 21, 2008
Regular Drinking Women See Male Faces As More Symmetric

Even when sober women who drink more are less able to detect male facial asymmetry. So crooked-faced guys should look for female regular drinkers.

Researchers found that women who drink even moderately develop a reduced ability to rate attractiveness in male faces, even when they are sober.

Those who drank were less able to detect male facial symmetry, a marker of attractiveness and good genes which is thought to play an important role in the choice of a partner.

Even 5 drinks per month diminished ability to score facial symmetry. Researcher Kirsten Oinonen at Lakehead University in Thunderbay Ontario expects that women whose minds are altered in this way will find less attractive guys more attractive when their decreased attractiveness is caused by facial asymmetry.

If a woman stops drinking entirely does her ability to measure facial symmetry gradually return? I am reminded of my previous post Sexual Attraction By Odor Changed By Contraceptive Pill. The Pill is probably causing women to hook up with men who they will eventually find to smell bad once they stop taking the Pill. Marriages probably dissolve as a result. Does the same thing happen in relationships because one member of the couple stops drinking? Or does the alcohol cause a permanent alteration in brain function in an area that processes facial images?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 December 21 09:52 AM  Brain Sexuality

cancer_man said at December 21, 2008 11:33 AM:

"If a woman stops drinking entirely does her ability to measure facial symmetry gradually return?"

Based on neurological studies/tests from 2004, it would seem that it would return after months of abstinance, even if a heavy drinker.

The original article reported that women who drank 40 drinks per month were tested and that there was an effect even at 5 drinks per month. Once again, what isn't mentioned was magnitude.

Assistant Village Idiot said at December 22, 2008 11:53 AM:

Hard to measure, because one person stopping drinking creates a change in any existing relationship. I guess symmetry is as good a short-cut proxy as you can find for rating attractiveness of potential relationships, but it's still pretty limited.

Cover Me, Porkins said at December 22, 2008 12:21 PM:

Joseph Merrick: born too early.

Mark said at December 22, 2008 12:25 PM:

If women find facial symmetry attractive should men part their hair in the middle instead of the side?

newyorkdude said at December 22, 2008 12:54 PM:

Which government entity sponsored this groundbreaking study? If I apply, do I do it sober or stewed?

David Ross said at December 22, 2008 1:20 PM:

Someone actually funded a study on beer goggles for women?

Here's a proposal: research papers get better when Lakehead University's profs are drunk. I need free tickets to the local strip joints, a dozen bottles of Hennessey, and five boxes of Nicaraguan cigars to take their administrative staff out for, uh, research.

Bandit said at December 23, 2008 6:44 AM:

Crooked faced or not looking for the regular drinkers is a rule of thumb. Are I don't mean the wine and lite beer sippers.

Josh Reiter said at December 23, 2008 7:05 AM:

Didn't Mythbusters do an episode recently to see if getting drunk really changes a person's perception of attractiveness? If anything it was fun to see Carrie nearly passed out drunk. At first she thought the dopey looking guys were hopeless and the cocky looking guys were jerks. After she was drunk and after several rounds of many different faces they sprung the same set of people in a different order that they judged when they were sober. The same people that she thought were dopey and hopeless she then suddenly started to feel sorry for them.

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