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Friday, July 12, 2013

Women Use Lighter Words to Describe Intoxication

College is often a time of mass consumption of alcohol due to the social nature of the drug in conjunction with the high level of stress during the collegiate years. However, women tend to describe intoxication with a gentler vocabulary, using words like “tipsy” or “buzzed”. On the other hand, men tend to use stronger words such as “hammered” or “wasted,” according to a new study.

A study of 145 college students, who read vignettes that described people who had been drinking, USA Today reports. 

“Results supported previous research by showing that moderate intoxication terms such as ‘tipsy’ were applied to female vignette characters more than male characters, even when female characters were heavily intoxicated,” said study author Ash Levitt of the Research Institute on Addictions at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. “Female participants applied these terms more than male participants.”

Women may downplay intoxication in order to lower expectations of how much they should drink, while men may overestimate how much they are expected to drink, as well as how much their male friends consume, according to Levitt. Make no mistake about it; drunk is drunk no matter what word is used to describe the feeling. 

The study is published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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