A study of 62 men suggests drinking may make them more persistent in their demands for sex.

The men were put on simulated dates with computer-generated partners and encouraged to talk to them as if they were on a real date, but using choices from a list which included nonsexual and sexual options.

The female avatar was programmed to engage in some sexual activities but refuse others, and her refusals became more intense if participants persisted.

The 62 men in their 20s were randomly assigned to consume alcohol (up to a target breath alcohol level of 0.08 per cent) or no alcohol.

The participants' self-reported desire to have sex was positively associated with choosing activities in which the woman willingly engaged.

Consensual sexual activities were positively associated with the number of times participants persisted after the woman refused.

Alcohol moderated this relationship such that it was stronger for intoxicated men than sober men.

The more sexual refusals participants received, the more hostile verbal comments they made to the woman.

Contrary to the investigators’ predictions, this relationship was not moderated by alcohol.

“We found that when a man is sexually interested in a woman, being intoxicated increases the likelihood that he will be more persistent pushing sex, even when she clearly refuses his advances,” said lead author Dr Jacqueline Woerner from Yale University.

“Furthermore, being sexually refused is associated with making hostile comments to the woman, regardless of whether or not the men were drinking.”

The full study is accessible here.