Women & Tattoos: The Painful Scientific Truth

https://principia-scientific.com/women-tattoos-the-painful-scientific-truth/


Written by John O'Sullivan



An epidemic of women getting inked up? We examine what academic studies say on tattooed women and what this growing trend may reveal.


The prevailing media message is that you look cool with tattoos. The trend for young women to get inked has grown considerably in the last 20 years. So much so, you are now more likely to see a female with a tattoo than a male. Currently, “close to 80% of the people walking into a tattoo shop to be inked are women!” [1]


But did anyone seriously consider what men think about these permanent gaudy badges of female narcissism (“it’s all about me, baby!“). It is said that girls get tattoos for the same reasons they cut their hair short.


Girls’ logic, when it comes to tattoos, may best be described by paraphrasing Lena Dunham’s character in Girls: “I have a tattoo, and that just makes me naturally interesting.”


When most girls are inked does that still make them unique? Very soon, those who spurn the ink will be truly more unique and thus interesting, unlike the unthinking sheep following a fashion.


The shift occurred notably in western nations around when the new millennium arrived. We saw how a once novel identifier of someone who is quirky, characterful and different turned into almost an essential fashion statement for every hip young woman.


But in countries like Japan and the Philippines tattoos and piercings are still widely seen as the mark of the whore, because in more traditional countries, only whores have them.


I’m always looking for a woman with a tattoo,” said the American comedian, Richard Jeni. “I see a woman with a tattoo and I’m thinking, ‘OK, here’s a gal who’s capable of making a decision she’ll regret in the future.'”


Whether in the street or in the gym it has become harder not to notice that the popularity of tattoos in America and other western nations is at an all time high. Over 40 percent of adults have at least one ink job, and 75 percent of those with tattoos have multiple ones. [id.]


The most heavily inked nations


Comparing the survey results by country, we found that Italy has the highest percentage of tattooed people at 48 percent. Following Italy are Sweden and the US with 47 percent and 46 percent, respectively. A Dalia survey (2018) showed that contrary to popular belief, more women (40 percent) than men (36 percent) have tattoos.


Dalia distributes millions of surveys in over 90 countries to provide research agencies, academia, public institutions, brands and other organizations access to high-quality market & opinion data.


And what about those have been inked and are left with regrets?


As the Daily Mail reports:


“A salutary tale for young women in the papers the other day: Melanie Chisholm, better known as Sporty Spice, is reportedly ready to spend £10,000 and endure two and a half years of intermittent physical torment to erase her numerous tattoos.

Mel C, 34, is said to have grown increasingly unhappy with her ten separate examples of ‘body art’, which include a Celtic cross on her left arm, a phoenix across her shoulders and the word ‘Angel’ above her navel.

“They look nice when you’re toned and tanned,” she is said to have said, “but when I put on weight they looked awful.”” [2]


For insight into what ‘normal’ readers think on the website www.returnofkings.com article about tattooed women read the 528 responses to this no-holds-barred polemic that helps prove that the silent majority of men are not fans of chicks with tatts. [3]


In this politically correct age of empowerment of women and where men are told to stifle their ‘toxic masculinity’ the boys are largely keeping quiet about how they feel when asked in a social context. But in the privacy of giving scientific surveys the truth becomes more apparent – men by and large prefer women to forego the permanent body art.


We see this evident in Hawkes et al. (2004) which showed the clearly negative attitudes towards women with visible tattoos:


“This negative evaluation was held even by study participants who had tattoos themselves. Yet there were other significant personality predictions that appeared to depend on the body art (or lack thereof) of the evaluator: Tattooed men rated tattooed women as more powerful and active than tattoo-less counterparts. Women viewed tattooed women as more powerful and less passive than their clear-skinned counterparts, whether or not they had a tattoo themselves. In other words, women viewed other women with tattoos less positively, yet rated them as more powerful.” [4]


Research by Nicolas Guéguen (2013) found that a man will approach a woman with a tattoo over one without — and faster. For more insight on this check out Nicolas Guéguen, “Effects of a tattoo on men’s behavior and attitudes towards women: An experimental field study.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 42, no. 8 (2013): 1517-1524, which tells us:


“Men were more likely to approach the women with tattoos — not because they found the tattooed women to be more attractive, but because they believed the tattooed women would be more likely to have sex on the first date.”


Very pro-tattoo website, thoughtfultattoos.com admits the scientific studies prove men see tattooed women as easy and sexually available, they admit that the scientific research confirms men don’t like sleeve tattoos. Almost half of the study’s male respondents (42 percent) believe tattoos simply make people appear more sexually adventurous, not more attractive. (survey of 1,000)


The Daily Mail reports:


“A salutary tale for young women in the papers the other day: Melanie Chisholm, better known as Sporty Spice, is reportedly ready to spend £10,000 and endure two and a half years of intermittent physical torment to erase her numerous tattoos.

Mel C, 34, is said to have grown increasingly unhappy with her ten separate examples of ‘body art’, which include a Celtic cross on her left arm, a phoenix across her shoulders and the word ‘Angel’ above her navel.

“They look nice when you’re toned and tanned,” she is said to have said, “but when I put on weight they looked awful.”” [5]


Now back to the vast number of scientific studies where it is shown repeatedly that being tattooed is associated with greater numbers of lifetime sexual partners (Heywood 2012), earlier sexual initiation, higher frequency of sexual intercourse and increased preference for oral sex (Nowosielski 2012). In adolescents, tattoos also correlate with the likelihood of having unprotected sex (Yen, 2012), but not in adults (Nowosielski 2012). [6]


Tattoos indicate lack of foresight


Tattoos indicate impulsiveness (Kim, 1991). In students, tattooing is associated with risk-taking behaviors, including smoking and cannabis use (Heywood, 2012). Participants with tattoos or body piercings were more not only likely to have engaged in risk-taking behaviors, but at greater degrees of involvement than those without either. These included gateway drug use, hard drug use, sexual activity, and suicide.


Young women tend to be more impulsive, but is that matched by much older women in a mid life crisis? The Dalia research (below) shows that the peak age for both genders getting a tattoo is in the mid-30’s. So not necessarily the preserve of reckless youth!


A considerable number of studies show a clear correlation with gateway drug and younger age of both tattooing and body piercing. Hard drug use was associated with number of body piercings (Carroll 2002). In Croatian prisoners, tattoos correlated with lower IQs and those possessing them demonstrated significantly higher levels of impulsiveness than the non-tattooed group (Pozgain 2004). An overview of autopsy reports also revealed that persons with tattoos appear to die earlier than those without. A negative tattoo may suggest a predisposition to violent death, but is eclipsed by the presence of any tattoo (Carson 2014). [7]


A trend is revealed whereby it is shown that tattooed women are more like to have characteristics of impulsiveness, increased risk taking behavior, increased change of death which may be summarised as; Lack of foresight


Body modifications are also proven to be linked with mental illness


There are links between tattoos and psychiatric disorders such as depression (Heywood, 2012), eating disorders (Carroll, 2002), borderline personality disorder (Raspa, 1990), neuroticism (Pozgain, 2004) and increased risk of suicide (Carroll, 2002). Seven or more piercings, or intimate piercings, described higher risk behaviors and emotional distress (Owen 2013). In high school students, tattoos correlate with suicidal idealization, suicidal attempts, and depression (Yen 2012).


As Matt Forney summed it up in his article:


“No girl has ever improved her looks with a gaudy mural injected under her skin or a piece of metal dangling from her nostrils. There’s no man on Earth who has ever thought about his girlfriend or wife, “Man, you know what would make her even sexier? A butterfly emblazoned just over her ass.” Yet despite this objective reality, thousands of girls continue to mutilate themselves at an astounding rate.”


I will conclude with this frightening fact from the UK’s NHS, which found that women are now at a higher risk of developing mental health disorders than men. Is the tattooing epidemic a signifier here?



References:

[1] https://fupping.com/tattooguy/2018/07/13/who-has-more-tattoos-women-or-men/

[2] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-510827/What-men-REALLY-think-women-tattoos.html

[3] https://www.returnofkings.com/81129/5-reasons-why-girls-with-tattoos-and-piercings-are-broken

[4] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/why-bad-looks-good/201804/what-people-assume-about-women-tattoos

[5] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-510827/What-men-REALLY-think-women-tattoos.html

[6]Nowosielski: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22616886 also, Heywood: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22153289 and Yen: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22726901

[7] Kim: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1781185 Heywood: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22153289 Carroll: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12042538 Pozgain: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15119003 Carson: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24926092

[8] Raspa: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2333825 Owen: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23938068


About John O’Sullivan John is CEO and co-founder (with Dr Tim Ball) of Principia Scientific International (PSI). John is a seasoned science writer and legal analyst who assisted Dr Ball in defeating world leading climate expert, Michael ‘hockey stick’ Mann in the ‘science trial of the century‘. O’Sullivan is credited as the visionary who formed the original ‘Slayers’ group of scientists in 2010 who then collaborated in creating the world’s first full-volume debunk of the greenhouse gas theory plus their new follow-up book.