Alcohol consumption increases attractiveness ratings of opposite-sex faces: a possible third route to risky sex

Jones, B.T., Jones, B.C. , Thomas, A.P. and Piper, J. (2003) Alcohol consumption increases attractiveness ratings of opposite-sex faces: a possible third route to risky sex. Addiction, 98(8), pp. 1069-1075. (doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2003.00426.x)

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<b>Aims</b>: To measure the effect of moderate alcohol consumption on males' and females' attractiveness ratings of unfamiliar male and female faces. <b>Participants</b>: Eighty undergraduate volunteers were used in each of three experiments. <b>Design</b>: Participants' ratings on a 1–7 scale was the dependent variable. A three-factor mixed design was used. For experiments 1 and 2: one within-factor, sex-of-face to be rated (male/female); two between-factors, sex-of-rater (male/female) and alcohol status of rater (0 UK units/1–6 UK units). For experiment 3, the two levels of sex-of-face were replaced by two levels of a non-face object. In experiment 1, the faces were rated for attractiveness; in experiment 2, the faces were rated for distinctiveness and in experiment 3, the non-face objects were rated for attractiveness. <b>Setting</b>: Quiet, prepared corners of bars and licensed eating areas on a civic university campus. <b>Method</b>: For each experiment, 118 full-colour photographic images were presented randomly on a laptop computer screen, each remaining until a rating response was made. <b>Findings</b>: There was a significant alcohol consumption enhancement effect only for attractiveness ratings of opposite-sex faces in experiment 1. This indicates that the opposite-sex enhancement effect is not due simply to alcohol consumption causing the use of higher points of ratings scales, in general. <b>Conclusion</b>: Since Agocha and Cooper have shown that the likelihood of intentions to engage in risky sex increases as the facial attractiveness of the potential sexual partner increases, through the opposite-sex enhancement effect we identify a new possible link between risky sex and alcohol consumption.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jones, Professor Barry and Jones, Professor Benedict
Authors: Jones, B.T., Jones, B.C., Thomas, A.P., and Piper, J.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Addiction
ISSN (Online):1360-0443
Published Online:08 September 2003

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