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Women Use More Moderate Words to Describe Drunkenness

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Women are more likely to describe intoxication with moderate words such as “tipsy” or “buzzed,” while men tend to use harsher words such as “hammered” or “wasted,” according to a new study.

The findings come from 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.”

He said women may downplay intoxication to fit expectations of how much they should drink. Men may overestimate how much they are expected to drink, and how much their male friends consume.

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

Mark Wood, Professor of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island, who was not involved with the study, told the newspaper women may be at risk of sexual victimization by underestimating how impaired they are from drinking. They also may increase the risk of impaired driving, he added.

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