by Psych 105 Student
Tattoos, body piercings, and other forms of body modification have existed among different cultures since humans have walked the earth. While these body alterations may have been looked favorably upon in ancient societies, in our current culture there is a social stigma associated with those who partake in tattoos and piercings.
In an study conducted at a German university, information was gathered by observing the incidence and relationship of psychological factors to tattoos and piercings in a large group of German citizens. In the experiment, 2043 citizens chosen at random were questioned in their homes. The data collected involved sociodemographic data, as well as self-reported mental health and quality of life questionnaires.
The results of the study showed that there was no significant difference between body-modified and non-body-modified respondents regarding depression or anxiety. However, the rating of personal mental health revealed that tattooed respondents felt significantly worse in terms of mental health than non-tattooed respondents. Also, both tattooed and body pierced respondents showed having significantly higher sensation-seeking behaviors.
In the study, those who had tattoos viewed themselves as being depressed and leading unhappier lives. Does body modification have strong ties to low self-esteem and a despondent self-perception? Do you usually make assumptions about people who have multiple piercings and/or tattoos and their mental health and sensation seeking behaviors compared to other people who do not?
[Editor’s note: There is a more recent post about tatoos and piercings.]