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  • Date Submitted: 03/05/2015 11:21 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.3 
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he study was carried out by researchers from the University of Bristol and Macquarie University, Australia.
It was funded by a European Research Advisory Board grant. The Medical Research Council paid for the article to be published on an open-access basis.
It was published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, and is free to access online. It should be noted that this journal does not have a peer review process.
Both The Independent and the Mail Online's headlines failed to make clear the highly artificial nature of this study: it didn't involve people speed dating in a wine bar, just students looking at photos.
Both news outlets deserve some praise, however, for making it clear that the alleged effects of alcohol on attractiveness were limited to only one drink.
But the Mail's claim that the study found "wine and other alcohol can dilate pupils, bring on rosy cheeks and relax facial muscles to make a person appear more approachable" is misleading.
This was the speculation of the authors of the study, but the study itself did not look at what mechanisms might increase facial attractiveness after consuming alcohol.
What kind of research was this?
This study set out to examine whether alcohol consumption leads to the consumer being rated as more attractive than sober individuals.
The authors point out that alcohol consumption can cause mild flushing and also result in facial changes that may indicate changes of mood, sexual arousal or expectancy of sex, making people more attractive.
Alcohol consumption is known to be associated with sexual behaviour, particularly risky sexual behaviour, and they say it is important to understand the mechanism through which alcohol might influence such behaviours.


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