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Study Explains Why Drunk Women Get Weepy

Update Date: Oct 18, 2013 01:46 PM EDT
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Alcohol, especially when consumed in excess, can lead people to do things that they will later regret. Even though this substance affects people in very different ways, stereotypes about how girls start to get weepy when intoxicated continue to exist. In movies, characters tend to drown their sorrows in alcohol. Due to these ever-lasting stereotypes, researchers from Denmark set out to study the veracity of these common beliefs. In a very small study, the researchers reported that young women do tend to get weepy after a few glasses of alcohol whereas men appeared to remain cheerful.

For this study, the researchers recruited 151 females and 79 males from Denmark who were between the ages of 15 and 20. These participants were going to attend high school parties where the experiment was then designed to take place. During every hour of the party, the participants had to go to the examination room where they had their blood alcohol content (BAC) measured via a breath analyzer. The researchers also recorded the individual's levels of cheerfulness, focus distraction and sluggishness, which were measured using scales 0-16, 0-8 and 0-4 respectively.

"We found that low to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with increased cheerfulness among adolescents attending high-school parties," Professor Marie Eliasen from the University of Southern Denmark stated according to Daily Mail. "Extensive alcohol consumption leading to high BACs was associated with decreased cheerfulness among girls, while this was not found for boys."

Although the researchers could not determine why girls became less cheerful whereas boys did not, they reasoned that it could be due to alcohol tolerance. Eliasen explained that since boys tend to have a higher alcohol tolerance, they might not feel the effects of alcohol as early as the girls did during the study. Eliasen believes that excessive alcohol drinking needs to be discouraged more often through public-health campaigns.

"Our findings of increased focus distraction at high BACs stress the importance of reducing excessive alcohol drinking, as increased focus distraction is strongly associated with higher risks of accidents," Eliasen said.

The study was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

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