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New alcohol science: Drinkers live longer, engage in more sex and love the night

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The World's End guys drinking at bar
According to a University of Texas study, drinkers tend to have lower mortality rates than teetotalers.  Photo by Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

If you found yourself downing glass after glass of wine during a holiday party to the judgmental stares of some teetotaler that somehow snuck in, take solace in the fact that you will likely outlive him. And you’re probably smarter than he is.

At least that’s what scientists are saying.

According to a study by researchers at the University of Texas, moderate drinkers (and even heavy drinkers) tend to live longer than those who abstain. The 20-year study examined the mortality rate of 1,824 adults between the ages of 55 and 65 and found that baseline abstainers had a 69 percent mortality rate, the highest among the categories.

 According to a trio of studies that Esquire put together, smarter people spend more time having sex, doing drugs and staying up late.

Heavy drinkers — that is, more than three drinks per day — were close behind at 60 percent, but then the rate dropped to 46 percent for baseline light drinkers. Moderate drinkers, who had one to three drinks per day, had a mortality rate of 41 percent.

The study accounted for things such as socio-behavioral habits, past drinking history, smoking and more to ensure that it really was just the moderate alcohol consumption keeping people going.

Of course, it’s one thing to live longer, but what are you going to do with all that extra time? According to a trio of studies that Esquire put together, smarter people spend more time having sex, doing drugs and staying up late.

It basically boils down to this: The smarter you are, the more likely you are to explore the less conventional options that life presents as a means to expand your horizons.

For example, students at Oxford and Cambridge spend more on sex toys than their less-prestigious peers, according to a study by toy shop Lovehoney in England. Another 2010 study found that individuals with an IQ over 125 are more likely to “consume psychoactive drugs than ‘very dull’ individuals (with IQs below 75).”

And because drugs and sex are primarily nighttime endeavors, perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that the more intelligent tend to be more nocturnal.

In a 2009 study titled “Why night owls are more intelligent,” researchers found that smarter individuals thrived at night as a sort of evolutionary progression. Consider that humans have, for millennia, been conditioned to operate during daylight and slumber when the sun goes down. Those that eschew the trend are showing off an evolutionary novelty that less intelligent people simply aren't compelled to attempt.

So if someone tells you he thinks you have a problem, just tell him that your problem is that you’re too damn smart to live as long as you’re going to end up living. And then offer him some drugs.

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