October 7, 2019 - 17:46 AMT
Binge drinking an evolutionary tactic to woo women, science says

It may seem an uncouth way to spend the evening, but binge drinking could be an evolutionary tactic to woo women, say scientists, according to New Zealand Herald.

Research suggests that heavy consumption of alcohol tells a potential mate that the binge drinker is "healthy and strong".

According to the authors of a study of American men published in the academic journal Evolutionary Psychology, heavy drinking among young adults delivers a 'sexual signal' that demonstrates their worth.

And the amount of drinking is influenced by the number of eligible men present compared to women.

The researchers wrote: "More eligible men compared to women was associated with higher male binge drinking rates but lower female binge drinking rates."

"Our findings generally support predictions derived from evolutionary theory and suggest binge drinking may function as a costly sexual signal, conditionally regulated by age and the local sex ratio."

Binge drinking was defined as the consumption of more than four alcoholic drinks for women and five drinks for men on a single occasion.

The authors, from the universities of Pennsylvania and Buffalo, also noted that binge drinking provides information about the characteristics of a drinker that would be useful when evaluating worth in a mate.

Data from the UK and other countries shows binge drinking is more prevalent among wealthier individuals, potentially reflecting affluence in a possible mate.