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Are tattooed adults really more aggressive and rebellious than those without tattoos?

Abstract

One stereotype of people with tattoos is that they are more aggressive and rebellious than people without tattoos. However, studies examining differences in these traits between tattooed and non-tattooed individuals are dated and have returned equivocal results. To re-examine this issue, we asked 378 adults from London, UK, to complete self-report measures of aggression and rebelliousness, and to report the number of tattoos they possessed. Of this sample, 25.7% possessed at least one tattoo, with no sex difference in the distribution of tattoo status. We found that tattooed adults had significantly higher reactive rebelliousness, anger, and verbal aggression than non-tattooed adults. However, effect sizes were small and there were also no significant between-group differences in terms of proactive rebelliousness, physical aggression, and hostility. These results suggest that, while stereotypes may contain a kernel of truth, they likely present an outmoded picture of tattooed adults.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Swami V, Gaughan H, Tran US, Kuhlmann T, Stieger S, Voracek M

    Source

    Body image 15: 2015 Sep pg 149-52

    MeSH

    Adult
    Aggression
    Anger
    Body Image
    Female
    Humans
    London
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Self Report
    Stereotyping
    Surveys and Questionnaires
    Tattooing
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    26439666