Tattoos and body piercings in the United States: a national data set. J Am Acad Dermatol

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (Impact Factor: 4.45). 10/2006; 55(3):413-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2006.03.026
Source: PubMed


Little is known about the prevalence and consequences of body art application.
Our aim was to provide US tattooing and body piercing prevalence, societal distribution, and medical and social consequence data.
Random digit dialing technology was used to obtain a national probability sample of 253 women and 247 men who were 18 to 50 years of age.
Of our respondents, 24% had tattoos and 14% had body piercings. Tattooing was equally common in both sexes, but body piercing was more common among women. Other associations were a lack of religious affiliation, extended jail time, previous drinking, and recreational drug use. Local medical complications, including broken teeth, were present in one third of those with body piercings. The prevalence of jewelry allergy increased with the number of piercings. Of those with tattoos, 17% were considering removal but none had had a tattoo removed.
This was a self-reported data set with a 33% response rate.
Tattooing and body piercing are associated with risk-taking activities. Body piercing has a high incidence of medical complications.

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Available from: Anne Laumann, Jul 13, 2014
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    • "Likewise, tattoo possession among college students is associated with increased, earlier, and riskier sexual activity (Burger & Finkel, 2002; Drews, Allison, & Probst, 2000; Koch, Roberts, Armstrong, & Owen, 2005, 2010), the use of illegal substances (Armstrong, Roberts, Owen, & Koch, 2004; Nathanson, Paulhus, & Williams, 2006), and a history of criminal arrest (Koch et al., 2010). Among adult, community samples, too, tattooing is associated with risky behaviours, including smoking, greater number of lifetime sexual partners, and drug use (Heywood et al., 2012; Laumann & Derick, 2006; but see Adams, 2009). These associations have been used to bolster calls for clinicians to use tattooing as an indicator for further investigation into risktaking behaviours, at least among adolescents (Stephens, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that there are few differences in the personality profiles of tattooed and non-tattooed adults. To add to this literature, we compared tattooed and non-tattooed adults in terms of their willingness to take risks in multiple domains, as well as their impulsivity and boredom proneness. Adults from central Europe (N = 1006) completed measures of the afore-mentioned concepts and reported the number of tattoos they had. In total, 19.1% of respondents had at least one tattoo, with no significant differences as a function of sex, nationality, education, or marital status. We also found that tattooed adults had higher motor impulsivity and were more willing to take risks in recreational and health and safety domains. However, effect sizes of these differences were negligible to small. Among tattooed adults, there were no significant associations between the number of tattoos possessed and any of the measured variables. These results suggest that tattooed and non-tattooed adults nowadays are more similar than different.
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    • "Additionally, Cherokee ―scratching‖ (Kilpatrick and Kilpatrick 1970) mirrored the ink-less tattooing of arthritic joints (Parry 2006 [1933]). Horne et al. (2007) found the main motivation for females to get tattooed is to enhance personal attractiveness, and waistline tattoos are among the top preferred locations (Laumann and Derick 2006). "
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    DESCRIPTION: unctions for tattooing in this convergence differ, but the evidence suggests a richer continuity of tattooing practices than previously recognized. This convergence has taken place over the several hundred years since the Columbian encounter and is still evident today. Persistent differences between native and non-native North American tattooing are based in collectivist and individualist cultural orientations. Because explanations for cultural forms of body modification are myriad and overlapping, the persistence of tattooing is compared with respect to Tinbergen‘s four questions, which include phylogeny, ontogeny, adaptation, and proximal stimuli. It is important to consider that, despite cultural and demographic disruption, the history of North American tattooing may rightly begin in antiquity. There is much work ahead in examining intercultural exchange through visual arts like the body projects of tattooing.
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    • "Jewelry and ear piercing are the most common inducers of nickel allergy. In several studies, a clear relationship between ear piercing and nickel sensitization has been found [29] [30] [31]. In northern Norway it was showed the prevalence of nickel allergy in women was 27.5% and in men 5.1%, with a clear relationship in women to the number of earlobe piercings [15]. "

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