Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why Do Smart Chicks Drink More?

A new study has found that a link between IQ and drinking that was "markedly stronger among women than among men". The study, which included 3,895 men and 4,148 women, assessed the associations between IQ scores obtained when the participants were 10 years old and their alcohol intake when they were about 30 years old. They found that for every 15-point increase in childhood IQ score, the likelihood of drinking problems increased 1.38 times for women, and 1.17 times for men.

So smart chicks drink more....but why? I sprung this question on Kitty during her show. She is a very smart women who enjoys a cocktail or two (but never to excess ;-) ). Who better to come up with some possible answers?

Sometimes people drink more because they are stressed. So are smarter girls more stressed out? Kitty says that she and other women “think about too many things at once.” They have “more brain activity” is her exact phrase than men. This theory would work if alcohol tended to shut down some of that activity, which I guess happens when excessive alcohol is ingested.

In my experience, however, having been fortunate enough to have attended several mostly all girl or “hen parties”, the alcohol tends to make the girls talk even more, and even louder. I think it follows logically then, that all that “brain activity” going on inside a women’s head would also get louder, and there would be even more of it under the influence, such that UNLESS a really loud “hen party” going on inside her head makes a girl relax, this theory doesn’t hold up.

Are women more susceptible to liquor and beer advertising? There is a lot of really sexy alcohol advertising in Vogue, In-Style, and other women’s magazines showing beautiful girls with perfect bodies, drink in hand, surrounded by hunky men. However, a look at men’s magazines and TV shows much more alcohol advertising aimed at them, with no shortage of busty babes literally draped all over their bodies. This is especially true on sports shows (which is all that men REALLY watch). So this theory doesn’t hold up either.

Are smart chicks more likely to get free cocktails at the bar? Smart women, it could be argued, might be better conversationists, which would possibly lead men to buy them a cocktail more often, which in turn would make them even more interesting. However, it could be argued that most men do not buy women a cocktail for their conversational ability, but instead for their looks. For this theory to work, a women’s brain power and her looks would have to be in sync, and we know that this is not always the case (witness the large number of blonde jokes). Another theory shot to hell.

Do smart chicks have more money to spend on drinking? This is very possible. Research has shown that smarter women do end up with better jobs. In fact, more women are graduating from college these days than men, and rightly so, women’s incomes are starting to approach men’s. With these higher paying jobs comes more stress and the need to alleviate said stress. Sometimes a few drinks can help there and cocktails, especially in bars, are very expensive these days.

All things considered this is a tough one to answer, and even the scientists who uncovered this drinking anomaly cannot explain it. I think the only way to figure it out is to design a study where these hard drinking smart chicks are monitored daily, such that lifestyle and behavioral patterns can be correlated with their drinking habits. I am sure that there are many men, scientists and laymen alike, who would volunteer to take part in such an interesting study....especially if the women would buy the drinks.

No comments: