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Makeup, Alcohol Don’t Affect Judgment of Age

Makeup, Alcohol Don't Affect Judgment of AgeNeither makeup nor alcohol significantly influence a man’s ability to make a judgment of a woman’s age. So says new research from the U.K.

This study sought to determine whether factors like alcohol and make-up alter a person’s perception of women’s ages.

“This study suggests that alcohol consumption and make-up use do not interfere with how old we perceive someone to be,” noted lead researcher, Vincent Egan.

Subjects in the study were 240 men and women who looked at photos of women and then commented on their age and attractiveness. All the participants were heterosexual men and women between the ages of 18 and 70.

Half of the participants had consumed alcohol before the task.

The participants looked at photographs of ten 17 year old women. Some of the photographs were digitally altered to give the faces a younger or older appearance and in both some make-up was applied digitally.

The results showed that drinking alcohol and use of make-up had a minimal effect on the men’s perception of the ages of the photographed women.

Another interesting finding also emerged from the new research.

“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 goggles’,” said Egan.

This research finding may make it more difficult for a man accused of having unlawful sex with a minor to make a claim that they didn’t know the girl was underaged.

The study was published in the April 20 issue of the British Journal of Psychology.

Source: British Journal of Psychology

Makeup, Alcohol Don’t Affect Judgment of Age
APA Reference
News Editor, P. (2018). Makeup, Alcohol Don’t Affect Judgment of Age. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 16, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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