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New Study: Heavily-Tattooed People Are More Prone to Deviant Behavior

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A new study suggests that people who load up on body art are more likely to engage in risky and criminal behavior.

Tattoo man.jpg

The report reveals that those who get four or more tattoos, seven or more piercings, or one "intimate piercing," are far more prone to use illegal drugs, get thrown in the slammer, drink ungodly amounts of booze, cheat on tests and curse like a sailor.

And, oh yes, they also have more sex than Tiger Woods -- well, almost.

We kid you not.

For the past two years, Jerome Koch, a sociology professor at Texas Tech University, along with his "Body Art Team," surveyed more than 1,750 students at four colleges and concluded that there is in indeed a correlation between multiple tattoos and piercing and socially unacceptable behavior.

The Daily RFT yesterday caught up with Koch, who, by the way, is tattooless and says he intends to stay that way.

Koch will not say which colleges he chose for this tattoo study, entitled "Body Art, Deviance, and American College Students," but hint, hint, two are in Indiana and two are in Texas.

Koch stresses that those with a "low-level of body aret" or what he calls the "rose and dolphin crowd," are not much different than anyone else. But something happens, he adds, when a person goes heavy on the ink.

Says Koch: "They are ten times more likely to have an arrest history, a four-fold increase in drug use, other than marijuana, and there's a five-fold increase in having had nine or more sex partners in the last year."

So what to make of all these finding that will be published in the March issue of The Social Science Journal?

"Well," postulates Koch, "30 years ago, those who had tattoos were part of a subculture, but now it has become more mainstream, and so some people are pushing the envelope in the use of body art in order to be different."

Concludes Koch: "Heavy body-art users have a high need for sensation."

Needless to say, local tattoo artists are rather dismayed with Koch's study.

Tonya Jones, owner of Tattoo City in St. Louis, fumes: "I think it's rubbish. We got a lot of people who are already deviant, well before they come in for a tattoo."



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56 comments
floridianfool63
floridianfool63

This is not a surprise to me and I think  so obvious. Lets be intellectually honest here. Most prisoners have tattoos and it is about 95 %. You are in denial if you think otherwise. 

darvadan
darvadan

This is the stupidest research ever done in the 21st century. Jeremy Koch should have all his professional merits revoked and should never be allowed to conduct sociological research ever again. He is an embarrassment to educational and cultural development. 

Audrilias
Audrilias

You went to a college to do a study. This is not all true. All college students do is bad behavior. You can't judge people like this. This is an example why people are so closed minded.

Restassured
Restassured

College students -key words- doesn't that by definition mean binge drinking and subsequent naughty behavior by hormone raging coeds? Gosh, I'm not even a PhD.

Buy body jewellery
Buy body jewellery

As per new study it has been suggested that people who load up on body art are more likely to engage in risky and criminal behavior.

dagnytaggartoh
dagnytaggartoh

The replies to this study are all too amusing.  Tattoos do not cause deviance, nor do piercings.  However, there is also a strong correlation between self-loathing and tattoos/piercings, as they are a form of self-mutilation.  Along the same lines as cutting, it becomes an addiction.  A study of 2000 people is an excellent representation of a body of people, especially when it obviously represents a small population such as college students.  It also does not mean every tattooed/pierced person is going to conduct their lives along these lines.  The correlation simply suggests this body of individuals has a propensity for certain behaviors.  I would not expect tattooed individuals to agree, as they simply see themselves as "unique and expressive."  Couldn't have anything to do with equilibrium theory or equity theory, could it?  I do not judge people for what they choose to do to their bodies, as long as they do not affect others with their choices.  I do, however, refuse to hire them, which is my choice.

Enraged
Enraged

What happened to not judging a person by their skin? Tattoos may be related to crime and so forth as prison inmates inked themselves, but there is also a meaningfull history behind it. Tattoos were used to show status, and whatnot. No one should be judged by art, that's ridiculous. Society is F'd up, and that's the truth.

tatted suburbanite
tatted suburbanite

Ahh yes, the usual study to try to figure out what goes through the mind of a tattooed person. Did all the people interviewed have douche bag tattoos? Come on tattoed folks you know who I'm talking about. I'm not here to point fingers though. Its alright. Some day we'll have a president with sleeves. It just makes me smile when we have so many issues that are albatrosses and people decide that those can take a backseat to worrying about people that are covered in ink. If you want to stimulate the economy give a few grand to tattooed people and we'll go give it to businesses that are still in America and thriving even though nothing else is. Well I guess the speculating on tattooed peoples criminal history business is booming. I guess we should let the Pacific Islanders who have been doing it for centuries as rite of passage know that they are criminals. People that used to ride Harleys were thought of as criminals too. Now you look at them and say too yourself wow its a doctor or lawyer. What about womanizing, pot smoking, alcoholics? Now you say oh that person must be a politician. Let's do a study on that one. How about donating this research money to me so I can finish some artwork. You can come sit by me while I get tattooed and smell the green soap and hear the hum of the needle and I'll tell you whatever you want.

Carlee
Carlee

What a complete load of crap!!! As a Criminal Psychology student, who has more than four tattoos and more than seven piercings this study is clearly biased!!!! I have never had and never will have a criminal record nor do i engage in illicit drug use. Where you got your research from is beyond me!!!!!!!!!!

twin
twin

discrimination at it's best, ppl talk everyday about ppl judging others for the way they talk, color of their skin, or just by the way they act. But it is ok for someone to judge others because they throw the world STUDY out there, well do this study, body modification falls in all categories! from hair cuts, nose jobs, breast implants, to the style of clothing you wear, but non of this is looked down apon. i have gauges in my ears and have a large amount of my body covered in ink and everyday i am approached by many ppl who are intrested in tattoos, are getting one or just want to know about them, so for the ppl doing this sorry excuse for a study, why don't you focus on more important things like a cure for cancer, or trying to figure out a solution for the econmy. If i had to take a guess that would be to challenging, anyways one thing  that every person can say that has one or many tattoos is we learned the most basic rule in life NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY IT"S COVER! and one more thing if you feel that this test is so acurite than why test colleges? you are already making the assumption that ppl with tattoos and peircings don't even make it to college, do the internet a favor and stop taking up space with bullshit

Mikey
Mikey

multiple tattoos and or piercings means they are more likely to commit " socially unacceptable behavior "... depends on what society... tribes are a society and most do similar things as a right of passage.. to become a man... i'm guessing the society you grew up in is a pruddish.. god-fearing.. nunnary or some nonsense... expand your mind... AND EXPAND YOUR RESEARCH before spouting off claims....... peace..... 

LOLWUTOMG
LOLWUTOMG

guys, there was a ground breaking finding here. SOMEHOW genetalia pierciengs correlate with being a slut...who would've though....Oh, and this is really a biased study. I'm about to go get a half sleeve and I'm studying for my PhD in child psychology

Ixchokexbtchz
Ixchokexbtchz

Im a highly tattooed 24 year old guy from jersey. I have never drank alcohol, done a drug, smoked a ciggarette, been in jail or cheated on my tests. I left highschool in the top 10 percent of my 1200+ graduating class, left college with a 3.7 gpa, and left my cosmetology school with academic achievement awards. This is a complete joke. I hope this professor has a child he loves alot, and that child grows up and becomes heavily tattooed. Tattoos dont make you bad. Nor do piercings. I'm part of a croud of people, that collect fine are and are working on full body coverage. So please show me how I fit your article. You just go to show that people are so unbelievably stupid. Disreguard the mis spellings, its tough to type on a blackberry while this irritated.

Annoyed
Annoyed

This is dumb. I have 4 huge pieces and more than one intimate piercing and I have never actually done anything delinquent in my life. It's mainstream, therefore of course it's going to have a higher statistic than it used to, not because of the ink but because there are more people getting ink. So wow. Just wow. This professor had a personal biased against ink that he decided he wanted to twist to distort the image of people with them. Way to go dude, you're just as bad as those racists and sexists out there. Hope you're proud of yourself.

Heavily tattooed
Heavily tattooed

This study is unsurprising if you carefully examine the conclusion.

Let's say you have a deviant person. How likely is that person to get in trouble with the law? More likely. Take drugs? More likely. Engage in promiscuous sex? More likely... Get heavily tattooed? More likely.

Deviance is the cause of these behaviors. The behaviors are not causes of each other. Promiscuous sex will not make you rob liquor stores. Tattooing will not drive you to do drugs.

stephen
stephen

The fact that the people who conducted this study are from Texas Tech University makes me laugh; I'm currently a student at Texas Tech and if you don't know anything about this school, it is located it Lubbock which is the second most conservative city in America. I have several piercings and I am one of the few here that has any kind of unusual body art. I can say that tattooing and body piercing is definitely looked down upon here, so it comes as no surprise that such a closed-minded place would produce such a closed-minded study.Go figure.

carli
carli

No no no this is crap!I have a lot of piercings and I'm 15, and when I turn 18 I want to get a lot of tattoos and maybe an intimate piercing.I am an A grade student, I am straight edge (No alcohol, drugs, promiscuous sex) vegan (if that counts for anything and I've never gotten in trouble with the law.

Leslie
Leslie

I agree with you Chris. My son, 23, is a tattoo artist and has been since he was 19. He has already participated in a Tattoo convention, Hell City Convention this past May. He is a shining example of talent, ambition, and a great sense of right and wrong. He doesn't do drugs, smoke and has a positive upbeat attitude and friends that know he will give them the "best" advice. He has peircings, sleeve on both arms and legs, and I am crazy proud of him!! So Mr. Koch, you need to do a little more research before you post something so far from the truth!!

chris
chris

this is the biggest load of crap, i suppose if u ride a motorcycle all the time or more often than not ur a criminal gang banger drug using guntoting loser too?? this is why ppl hate ppl. this is why the united states has so much crap. ppl that make some stupid comment based a stupid study that should have been done to ppl of all races and all ages and both sexes with and without. i think the deviant behavior has ZERO correlation with the body art, i am a biker and a tattoo artist, i work as a welder also, i also am an active member with b.a.c.a. , i also help several charities and volunteer as much as i can. i have never been to prison/jail. never been on drugs and have more tattoo's/piercings/body art moddifications than the "average/normal" close minded person u aparently are, thanks for posting more CRAP on the internet,

jesse
jesse

i dont think theres a whole lot of fact to this article, im heavily tattoed,and its true ive had a troubled past, but these days, i dont drink or do any drugs i go to work every day pay taxes the whole 9 yards

james
james

this is absolutely crazy. almost funny.

polling less than 2000 student..... hilarious.

that is hardly a study, and to make a statement such as this, is just plain rude. its people like this that make people want to act out.

some of the nicest people i have ever met are completely covered. mr koch..... you should really take your study to some tattoo conventions and see what you get out of that. i can promise you that you will meet some really nice people.... and they will not judge you the way that you judged them.

Lisa
Lisa

oh, c'mon! body modification is just that, body modification. does it matter if it is dying your hair or piercing your ear? or a bit of ink, etc? why is one acceptable and one is not?

Awful.
Awful.

I would discredit this, but I do find limited truth to some of this.

I agree with heavily tattooed people wanting to have a higher need for sensation or stimulus.

I would also go on a limb, and say that out of the people poll'd, that more of them were effected from disrupted family lives, television media, and a struggling education system.

Who am I to say anything though? I just about 50% of my body covered in tattoo art -- and I'm not a crack smoking, robbing, sexual deviant. I'm just a normal guy, who works a normal job.

Thumbs up for bringing this article to attention, thumbs down to the pencil pusher who is creating a negative stereotype to an AGELESS tradition.

Remember kids, Tattoo's will only lead you down a path of drugs, reckless abandon, criminal activity and sexual promiscuity.

Excuse my spelling\grammar on this. From,Kerry in Nashville.

SMC
SMC

I think what is important here, is to be mature enough to realize, understand, and admit that when a person does something as extreme as this to themselves, that they are massively narrowing the opportunities that are available to them in life. In other words, someone who has done this to themselves has gone as far in life as they care to. From now on, and until the day he dies, this sad fellow can no longer hold a professional position in society of any kind, no one will hire him for anything worthwhile or meaningful... even something as basic as flipping burgers is out, it is simply no longer an option that is available to him. Hell, when you really think about it, this person can not do very much in society at all now. If you disagree with that, then you are either just too young and immature to understand, or you are delusional, on drugs, or mentally retarded! So, if no one will hire a person that looks as disgusting as this, then what options are left for them to make money, which we all need to survive? He could star in his own traveling freak show for a few years, but how much money could you possibly make and how long would it be before that got old for him and everyone else in the world? 5 years, 10 years? Once it did get old, then what could he do with the permanent ink all over his face? Not much, is the short answer. He could have a 1 month gig every year working for a haunted house. Or, he could become a tattoo artist. And in reality, that is just about all this repulsive, horrifying, appalling person can do in life now. When all else fails, he could throw on his all black outfit with a ski mask, and go rob a bank at gun point, or snatch an 8 year old girl - rape, torture, and kill her, or shoot someone at a convenience store for $100 bucks! In fact, he has probably already done something so deviant, so heinous, something so totally reprehensible that he had to go all out to change his appearance in order to hide from the police or the FBI!! Now, come on!! Think about it... what person in his right mind would do something so incredibly stupid like this to themselves knowing full well that it would be irreversibly damaging to their future for the rest of their life!?! Yes... of course heavily-tattooed people are more prone to deviant behavior!! ABSOLUTELY THEY ARE!!

cassiato
cassiato

I think people who are angry with these findings are missing the point... The research isn't trying to say that getting a tattoo MAKES you, or CHANGES you into a deviant... I don't think they are implying causality... but the point is, there is a high correlation between deviant behavior and people having heavy tattoo usage. So, it might just be that people who are "deviant" or prone to that sort of thing are also more likely to ink themselves heavily. I don't think that's saying the same thing as "if you have a tattoo, you must be a deviant"... its a tricky difference, but it's a difference anyway. This is why I feel people can quote all kinds of studies and use them to "prove" stuff they were never designed to prove.

corey
corey

say man i like that shit

floridianfool63
floridianfool63

@Enraged Ok so you never judge anyone? Give me a freaking break. You are just mad that people are judging you for your appearance. You can not have it both ways. You can not drastically alter your body permanently and just expect everyone to like it. Life does not work that way. I think tattoos are low class and that is my right to think that and you know what???  I do not hire people with tattoos and I will google social media to see if certain  applicants have hidden tattoos. Tattoos are a bad judgment call and I further judge intelligence or lack thereof , of sheep that follow Hollywood trends. You should have thought of the ramifications of your actions. 

floridianfool63
floridianfool63

@twin Another one of those comparing life choices to race lol. People judge books by cover all  the time. Go into an interview smelling or wearing shorts for a corporate job etc. Now expand that by having that stupid tattoo on your neck. Just because tattoos are permanent, does not make them immune from being judged. That is the point. 

Fromel
Fromel

God help us all!!!

Rjalexander92
Rjalexander92

Crips, bloods, Latin kings, hells angels, white aerian brotherhood, all have tattoos, so do 95% of criminals in jails, that's why tattoos have a bad name.

floridianfool63
floridianfool63

@chris You prove the point. You do not even capitalize the beginning of sentences and the word " I ". Your education level is well below par. 

floridianfool63
floridianfool63

@jesse And yet another tattoo person that does not know to capitalize the beginning of sentences and the word " I " . 

floridianfool63
floridianfool63

@james You are the 3rd tattoo person in a row that does not capitalize the beginning of sentences . By the way, proper nouns are to be capitalized as well. Wow. 

Stacy Simpkins
Stacy Simpkins

It's funny.  The only difference between non-tattoed people and people with tattoos is that people with tattoos dont care if you have tattoos.

Stacy Simpkins
Stacy Simpkins

Ya, ever since I got my tattoo's it's been nothing but a life of crime, LOL. Actually, tattoos are way cooler and less harmful than smoking. Havent led me to a life of crime, drugs, or what have you.

They're very addicting and I'm thinking of getting my arms sleeved.

Sbeachbum
Sbeachbum

You are right.  People look at other people with tattoos and automatically think "biker dude" or rought person.  It is difficult for people with tattoos to get professional jobs unless they can cover them up during the interview.  But if you have that many tattoos, there's no way you can hide those.  I never understood why people want to mess up their bodies like that.  It is just so sad.

Stainedtemple
Stainedtemple

That kind of attitude (discrimination ), is the reason why someone couldn't get a job/career, and then have to turn to a life of crime to provide for their family. As long as the art isn't obscene, I don't see the problem. I'm sure that some people don't like it, but they don't have to. Tattoos don't change a person's ability to do their job. I get grossed out and nauseous when someone taking my order or cooking my food is some sweaty fat ass woman with a beard. But I try not to look. The point is, in this country we're supposed to have freedom of expression! We should be able to look however we want, and not be persecuted for it. I wonder whose side you'd be sitting on during the civil rights era. Asshole!

theinfjlioness
theinfjlioness

That's fine. Why would any right-minded person want to work for you? I certainly wouldn't apply to work for you-not until you change your attitude (if you ever do).

theinfjlioness
theinfjlioness

What twin means is that people shouldn't be judged by his/her cover PERIOD. Would you like it if I judged you by your appearance or smell without knowing you or your story?

And you can choose your race, too. Remember Michael Jackson? Went from black to white! It's possible.

theinfjlioness
theinfjlioness

I hope you don't mean that God help those who are tattooed and majoring in child psychologists because you think tattoos make them bad people.

theinfjlioness
theinfjlioness

Please read the entire thing before you judge.

He/she didn't write this entire thing for you to correct him/her.

theinfjlioness
theinfjlioness

So that means it's the right thing to do to judge people you don't even know?

Blacks were thought of as criminals. Is that right because everyone thinks so? NO!!!!!

Think! Are books meant to be read? Or just to have you stare at the cover? They aren't paintings.

theinfjlioness
theinfjlioness

@floridianfool63   Education is more than just grammar and spelling.


Education is language, math, science, history, literature, engineering, etc. 


Jesse didn't post the entire thing to have you judge him/her by his/her grammar.



Sincerely,


An uneducated, heavily tattooed woman. 

theinfjlioness
theinfjlioness

@floridianfool63 Is spelling and grammar all you care about?


Go join your fellow Grammar Nazis (or whatever you want to call them).

floridianfool63
floridianfool63

@Sbeachbum I look at tattoo folk and I am sad for them. I am shocked that people both male and female would do this to themselves, basically because their favorite celeb who is set for life does it. Women especially shock me. I like feminine women but tattoos make women look like truck drivers. You folks want your individuality and you have it. I also have mine and I need to make a living. Hiring tatted people is a bad decision for my upscale business. I tip tatted servers less as well. It is a detriment to our dining experience. It looks filthy. You made that choice and I make the choice how I tip. You see freedom works for the other person too. 

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