A recent study suggested that the idea of beer goggles did not exist. The study stated that men who had been drinking actually rated women lower than men who had not been drinking – the author went from this empirical “fact” to a claim that the idea of beer goggles is false.
Now even if the empirical fact is indeed true, I would be a little more careful before claiming that such a commonly accepted social belief is wrong.
The essence of “beer goggles” (lets stick with the male version) is that men are more willing to sleep with a given woman after drinking beer.
Now, even if men find women less attractive when drunk than they do when they are sober – it does not mean that they are necessarily less willing to sleep with them. Fundamentally, we have to ask how beer influences “how low” a man is willing to go in terms of attractiveness when drunk (we are of course assuming that the supply curve is unchanged 😛 ).
If beer makes men willing to sleep with a significantly lower “attractiveness level” of woman – than it is possible that even if he finds her less attractive he is more likely to sleep with her.
This is still an interesting finding – as it tells us that we don’t find people more attractive when drunk. And in order to have the “beer goggle” phenomenon beer must simply make us more willing to sleep with less attractive people.
Note: The article dodges this issue by defining “beer goggles” as finding people more attractive on an objective scale. But I don’t think that this definition catches the true nature of beer goggles – which is simply slang for saying that you slept with someone when drunk that you wouldn’t have sober …