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Jan. 13 2010 - 6:56 pm | 524 views | 0 recommendations | 16 comments

If you’re a deviant, and you know it: get a tattoo

A man receives a shoulder tattoo during a thre...

Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife

Just the research I’ve been waiting for to prove what a bad-ass I am.

A study by Texas Tech University sociologists has concluded that there’s a connection between “multiple pieces of body art” and “deviant behavior.” Somehow, TTU thought it would be a wise idea to create an entire “Body Art Team” to investigate the sordid details. Upon surveying 1,753 students at four Midwestern and Southern universities, the team had bad news for parents of college kids with four or more tattoos, seven or more body piercings, or (heavens!) piercings located in their nipples or genitals. Those with inked arms and bejeweled penises were more likely to admit to marijuana use, a history of arrests, cheating at school, binge drinking, and multiple sex partners.

And that was just at Midwestern and Southern schools! Can you imagine what the tattooed kids at NYU are getting up to? Probably piercing their own genitals while smoking a joint – outside of a police station – and videotaping the entire thing.

Good news – I guess – for parents of the dweebs who’ve only got bellybutton rings or cute little flower tattoos on their feet (ugh): the study showed “sharp differences in the levels of deviant behavior among those with just one tattoo vs. those with four or more, and among those with just one to three piercings vs. those with seven or more.”

This is a bit of a wake-up call for me. Apparently, I’ve got some binge drinking to catch up on.


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  1. collapse expand

    Hm, this is going to be quite a surprise to all the tattooed straight edgers.

  2. collapse expand

    I’ve never understood anyone’s need to deface (my word) their bodies, but it’s done in many countries. And although the preceding is true, most people, I think, frown on multiple or exaggerated body cacmarkings or trinket piercings. The survey doesn’t surprise me, although there are surely exceptions to be found.

  3. collapse expand

    Deidre: Amen!

    Palavering: I’d be inclined to argue that there are *a lot* of exceptions to be found. I have five tattoos and four piercings, and haven’t had more than a glass of wine in three years. Deviant, I am not.

    • collapse expand

      Katie: I know of no one personally that has as many markings and piercings as you (and I’m ancient), so I would refute your claim that there are “a lot” of people like you. I do not, however, claim that most of them are miscreants, deviants, or criminals; the survey suggests such, not I. Perhaps, in your case, an apotheosis is in order?
      Besides, what’s the psychology behind marking your body in such an unusual way?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    Katie, you’ll feel better when you finally accept your deviantcy, cey, ness, itis??

  5. collapse expand

    Wow Katie, I’m a lot more deviant than you, and I don’t have a single tattoo. But it seems to me people who are really into ink are more comfortable flouting convention than the rest of us stuffed shirts. Aren’t tattoos kind of rebellious acts?

  6. collapse expand

    It baffles me why people will permantly put a piece of art on their bodies that they wouldn’t put on their wall.

  7. collapse expand

    I find it interesting that the researchers are taking college kids’ word on their own “deviant” behavior. It’s entirely possible that those with few or no tattoos feel a greater need to bow to social convention, and are more likely to give the “right” answers when asked about their behavior. The tattooed folks are perhaps more likely to wear their hearts on their sleeves (pun intended).

  8. collapse expand

    “had I actually put some time and thought into this post” Says alot about you…

  9. collapse expand

    Hahaha, this is hilarious. My most straight-laced friend (in her 3rd year of Med School, 4.0 GPA, never drinks or smokes) has more piercings and tatoos than most people I know. I think she had a crush on the guy at the tatoo parlor…

  10. collapse expand

    MissP, do you huge quads yet from bicycling? If so, I think it would be really badass to get a tat’ on there : P

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