NCBI ROFL: Sorry Pedobear, science proves drinking is no excuse.

By ncbi rofl | May 20, 2010 7:00 pm

4573328854_9ea0e119bfBarely legal: is attraction and estimated age of young female faces disrupted by alcohol use, make up, and the sex of the observer?

“One ‘reasonable ground’ for unlawful sex with a minor is mistaken age. Alcohol consumption and make-up are often deemed further influences on impaired perception. Two hundred and forty persons in bars and cafes rated the attractiveness of composite faces of immature and mature females with and without additional makeup, alcohol users having their concurrent blood-alcohol level measured using a breathalyser. A non-sex-specific preference for immature faces over sexually mature faces was found. Alcohol and make-up did not inflate attractiveness ratings in immature faces. While alcohol consumption significantly inflated attractiveness ratings for participants viewing made-up sexually mature faces, greater alcohol consumption itself did not lead to overestimation of age. Although alcohol limited the processing of maturity cues in female observers, it had no effect on the age perceptions of males viewing female faces, suggesting male mate preferences are not easily disrupted. Participants consistently overestimated the age of sexually immature- and sexually mature-faces by an average of 3.5 years. Our study suggests that even heavy alcohol consumption does not interfere with age-perception tasks in men, so is not of itself an excuse for apparent mistaken age in cases of unlawful sex with a minor.”

pedofile_drunk_no_excuse

Photo: flikr/Tony Webster

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  • Miles Stevenson

    A couple of things come to mind in response to this post, keep in mind that I’m not trying to dismiss any finding or suggestion.

    1) How many studies like these have been performed?
    2) What kind of controls were in place for this study? How do we know that the males were not over-estimating age simple because they knew they were taking part in a study and being watched? Even people under the influence of alcohol can change their behavior and choices due to outside influences.

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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