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Science Says: Tattoos = Sex

By , 9 August 2012

Science Says: Tattoos = Sex
Science Says: Tattoos = Sex

Aim.   The aim of the study was to evaluate sexual behaviors among young adults with body modifications (BMs)—tattoos and piercings.

Methods.  One hundred twenty young healthy adults, ages between 20 and 35, were included in the population study. The study group was divided into three subgroups: controls (N = 60), adults with tattoos (N = 28), and adults with piercings (N = 32). The research instrument was a self-prepared questionnaire containing 59 questions assessing socioepidemiological parameters, sexual behaviors, incidents of sexual harassment in the past, and self-attractiveness evaluation, as well as questions concerning tattoos and piercings. Socioepidemiological variables and sexual behaviors were compared between subgroups.

Results.  Adults with BMs have had their first intercourse statistically earlier and were more sexually active compared with controls. There were no statically significant differences in sexual orientation, sexual preferences, engaging in risky sexual behaviors, frequency of masturbation, and history of sexual abuse between the groups. In contrast, the frequency of sexual intercourses was statistically higher and oral sex was more likely to be a dominant sexual activity in adults with BM compared with controls. The multivariate logistic model revealed that adults with BM were four times less likely to participate in religious practices and twice more likely to have early sexual initiation.

Source: "Tattoos, Piercing, and Sexual Behaviors in Young Adults" from The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Science Says: Tattoos = Sex

About Roger Keays

Science Says: Tattoos = Sex

Roger Keays is an artist, an engineer, and a student of life. Since he left Australia in 2009, he has been living as a digital nomad in over 40 different countries around the world. Roger is addicted to surfing. His other interests are music, psychology, languages, and finding good food. Click here to subscribe to his weekly blog, or stalk him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Comment posted by: , 6 months ago

I remember reading some other interesting papers on religion and sex. One found that sexually transmitted diseases were more prevalent in people who had taken (and broken) a virginity pledge. The other found that practising Catholics engage in exactly the same sort of sexual behaviour as non-religious people (e.g. heterosexual, homosexual, oral, anal, extra-marital, pre-marital, etc.) The only significant difference they found was that Catholics experienced far more guilt about it all.

Sadly, I've lost the reference. I'm sure I'll come across it one day in my notes. When I do, I'll post it here.

Comment posted by: Otheus, 6 months ago

In Judaism and Christianity, tattoos are forbidden. (I think it's Leviticus or Deuteronomy). Given the trend in the various Christian sects to stigmatize pre-marital sex, it should therefore be unsurprising that religion and thus, lack of BMs, is highly correlated with a later first sexual experience. To control for that, you could look at countries where religion is prominent enough but in which one of the two stigma does not exist. Perhaps Germany or Italy.

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