The ‘tipsy’ myth

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  • Think you're just a little tipsy? You're probably already drunk

    Women who claim they’re just a ‘little bit tipsy’ are probably already drunk, a new study has found.

    As more and more is done to persuade individuals not to drink so much alcohol, a group in America decided to investigate at what level people perceived themselves to have drunk too much – and discovered it’s all highly subjective.

    ‘We found that intoxication-related terms reflected either moderate or heavy levels of intoxication, and that “drunk” reflected a level of intoxication somewhere between moderate and heavy,’ explains the report’s lead author, Ash Levitt, from the University of Missouri.

    ‘Men tended to use heavy-intoxication words more than women, which were also relatively more forceful in their tone, such as “hammered”.

    ‘Women tended to use moderate intoxication words more than men, which were also relatively more euphemistic, such as “tipsy”.’

    And why does all this matter? Well, we’re probably drinking more than we should for starters and fooling ourselves into thinking we keep to ‘healthy’ levels of alcohol consumption.

    Women could be binge drinking while psychologically perceiving their level of intoxication as being “tipsy” or relatively benign, as opposed to heavier levels of intoxication that would be described with less euphemistic terms, such as “hammered” or “wasted”,’ explains Levitt.

    ‘Such a perception could potentially mislead women, for example, to feel as though they are capable of driving after drinking because they are “only tipsy”.’

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