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College-Aged Women and Men's Attitudes towards Tattoos and their Placements

Presentation for body mod
by

Tyrone Octavius

on 15 April 2010

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Transcript of College-Aged Women and Men's Attitudes towards Tattoos and their Placements

College-Aged Women and Men's Attitudes towards Tattoos and their Placements Grace Chow background why this subject: I'm interested in tattoos roommate and boyfriend have opinions I'm always looking to get more why these people: we have freedom at our age to choose there is a lot of social interaction easiest to access who I interviewed: college aged, at least 18 yrs 27 people broad spectrum of majors findings 53.8% of science/math majors 23% humanities majors 26.9% social sciences science/math majors somewhat more inclined not to want tattoos humanities majors somewhat more inclined to want tattoos social sciences majors somewhat more inclined to want tattoos permanency unprofessional looked down upon society's perceptions painful unnecessary judged 66% female respondents 33% male not taken seriously affecting job offers insubordination shows beliefs form of expression
communicating important experiences celebration of freedom ignoring control free unconventional meaningful reminders attractive findings on gender men had a more neutral view on lower back tattoos/"tramp stamps" than women 55.5 % of men did not care about "tramp stamps" 22.2% of men saw "tramp stamps" as bad 27.7% of women did not care about "tramp stamps" 55.5% of women saw "tramp stamps" as bad 11.1% of men saw "tramp stamps" as positive 16.6% of women saw "tramp stamps" as positive men had a more neutral view on bicep tattoos than women 75% of men did not care about bicep tattoos 25% of men saw bicep tattoos as bad 0% of men saw bicep tattos as positive 50% of women did not care about bicep tattoos 27.7% saw bicep tattoos as bad 22.2% of women saw bicep tattoos as positive It would be very different for a man to have ankle tattoos or a tramp stamp because those kinds of tattoos are made for women and seen mostly on women. If a man has those kinds of tattoos, it will be very weird. How might women and men perceive gender differently if men had ankle tattoos or "tramp stamp"/lower back tattoos? I definitely think that tattoos might be more widely accepted for women if men had them in these typically women areas. Lower back and ankle tattoos might not have such a negative connotation if men also [got] these tattoos. Do you think that the process of getting tattooed is liberating? Do you think it could make women appear tougher? Is that good or bad? "I think anytime a person decides to truly take ownership of his/her self (be it tattoos, piercings, even by having an abortion), there can be a sense of liberation that occurs. I say this because there is a sense of control (even in the paradox of tattoos being labeled an out of control behavior) that comes with exercising one’s right to choose what does or does not happen in the territory of the self. Again, it’s a practice in being autonomous.

I don’t know if it makes women look tougher…I read that as more “masculine” which I think is unfortunate. It’s sad to think that for women to be powerful that we have to conform to be more like the male ideal. So, no on the tougher. Yes, on the ability to practice choosing what is best for our own selves through controlling what does or does not happen to our bodies." I certainly think feeling that your body is your own and you have the right to tattoo it is a liberating feeling for anyone, and that offers an explanation for adolescent fascination with body modification as a way for them to feel in control of their bodies and therefore their lives. I do not understand how it could be liberating. An individual gets a tattoo or piercing because they want to. If they are trying to make some snub at society or something like that, it will fall on deaf ears. As for women, women are already tough as it is. Why would a tattoo change my perception of that? I think tattoos are highly gendered and men with ankle tattoos or tramp stamps would definitely be immediately pegged as effeminate. I think tramp stamps are highly sexual tattoos and therefore add to the sexual objectification of women...it certainly plays into gender roles as a way of sexually branding women. Men, as the dominant gender, are not branded in this way and this kind of branding on men would suggest submissiveness. I think our culture influences [celebrities] to get tattoos just as much as they influence people to get tattoos. If we’re all inked head-to-toe in twenty years, it would be interesting, but no better or worse than a complete lack of tattoos. Well, tattoos are no revolutionary concept. They’ve been around FOREVER…ink, body jewelry, and body distortion practices have been around since the beginning of the ancient, civilized world. Consider branding, neck rings, nose rings, painting ourselves for battle with clay….splitting our tongues, putting horns/bones through our skin…but to think that we invented tattoos or are so “new wave” because they are becoming more mainstream, in my opinion, just means that we are connecting to our ultimate, whole humanness as members of a long tradition and a legacy of our great and phenomenal species.

An individual gets a tattoo or piercing because they want to. If they are trying to make some snub at society or something like that, it will fall on deaf ears. As for women, women are already tough as it is. Why would a tattoo change my perception of that?
I do think bicep tattoos have less social implications than lower back tattoos. Or maybe the internet just likes to make fun of girls more.
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