Study Suggests That for Some College-Age Women Tattoos Can Help Restore Self-Esteem

tattooA new study led by a sociologist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock found that college-age women with four or more tattoos had higher levels of self esteem than other men and women in the same age group. The research found that a large number of tattoos does not correlate with depression or suicide ideation among either college-age men or women. However, women with a large number of tattoos report a higher frequency of past suicide attempts.

Jerome Koch, a professor of sociology at Texas Tech and the lead author of the study, says that ““I think women, especially, are more aware of their bodies through, among other things, fat shaming, the cosmetics and plastic surgery industry and hyper-sexualized imagery in media. What we may be seeing is women translating that awareness into empowerment. We know women sometimes replace a surgically removed breast, for example, with elegant body art. We wonder if more tattoos might be a way of reclaiming a sense of self in the wake of an emotional loss – evidenced by a suicide attempt.”

The study, “Tattoos, Gender, and Well-Being Among American College Students,” has been published on the website of The Social Science Journal. It may be accessed here.

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