Is there any truth to the term "beer goggles"?

Is there any truth to the term “beer goggles”?

Many sitcoms and romantic comedies begin with two strangers meeting at a bar and getting cozy after a few drinks. Some series also show the two to be at loggerheads but end up falling for each other after spending some time together while drinking. This entire phenomenon of finding people attractive after a few drinks, who were not appealing initially, is termed as “beer goggles.”

Though several studies have tried to identify if beer goggles exist for real, the subject remains debatable till date. While there are some researchers who claim to have proven that a few drinks can impact the way one perceives attractiveness, another segment completely denies such claims, however, they associate the occurrence with other effects of alcohol drinking.

Debate on beer goggles

By definition, beer goggles refer to the supposed influence of alcohol on one’s perception of a person as sexually attractive, after a few drinks. However, scientists have argued that since alcohol is a depressant, it slows down the body’s nervous system. This further leads to a change in perception, an increase in sexual arousal and impaired judgment, thereby pushing an individual to chat with another, who is otherwise not so attractive or sexually appealing.

In addition to this, scientists also believe that since alcohol soothes the nerves and calms the mind, it relaxes the entire body. This further makes a person smile subtly which may make them appear rosier or appear as if they are blushing, thereby making them look more attractive.

Another study, published in the British Journal of Psychology, opposes the existence of beer goggles. It studied 240 heterosexual people in bars and cafes, aged 18-70 years. These people were asked to look at the photos of women and comment on their age and attractiveness. According to Dr. Vincent Egan from University of Leicester who conducted the study, “Overall participants who drank alcohol actually rated all the women in the photos as less attractive (compared to the participants who hadn’t drunk alcohol). This seemingly flies in the face of the commonly held notion of ‘beer goggle’.”

Beer goggles have the potential to alter people’s perception

Attempting to explain the probable science behind the phenomenon of beer goggles, a recent study conducted by researchers from University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland, involved 60 men and women between the ages 18 and 50 years. During the study, while 30 of the participants were made to drink enough alcohol to raise their blood-alcohol levels to 0.4 g/, the remaining were given non-alcoholic beer. The session was followed by showing them lewd images which they were asked to rate for their level of pleasantness.

According to the result, people who were drunk unanimously rated the sexually explicit pictures as more pleasant than the other kinds. The researchers further said that with “beer goggle” having the potential to alter the perception and vision of an individual, makes risky behavior such as unprotected sex, more likely.

Road to recovery

Despite numerous studies and researches, the existence of beer goggles is still unclear. However, the phenomenon has forced researchers to explore the effect of alcohol on the body and mind, which causes beer goggle. It is pertinent to note that the effect of beer goggle is observed only in cases of social drinking, or when one has had a few drinks, and not in the case of alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction is like a disease which needs immediate medical treatment. It has many severe consequences both physical and mental.

If you or your loved one is trying to overcome alcohol addiction, the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California can help you connect to various alcohol treatment centers in California. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online for more information regarding alcohol rehab centers in California. Our representatives will help you get in touch with one of the reputed alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California.

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