Getting drunk makes you gay

Well, no. But research by Lee et al. presented on Deric Bownd’s MindBlog indicates that an effect of chronic exposure to alcohol on male flies is decreased discrimination in mate selection, including the courtship of other males. The research suggests that flies do not fundamentally change their sexual orientation; rather, they just get really horny (or “hypersexual”, to use the proper terminology). If there is a lack of females around, sometimes some of the guys are gonna settle for what they can get, I suppose. Another possible interpretation is that the mind-dulling effects of alcohol might make it more difficult for male fruitflies to distinguish the gender of other flies. If this explanation is plausible, I guess there hasn’t been much sexual selection in fruitflies. I figure they’re probably monogamous. Otherwise one would expect males to be able to tell a male from a female no matter how hammered they were.

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