Written by Tunde Ajaja - Nigeria
Tattoo is often regarded as a fashion statement, which has largely been embraced my some and strongly despised by some others. Be that as it may, it is simply defined as a picture or design that is marked or drawn on a person's skin by making small holes in the skin with a needle and filling them with coloured ink.
It is believed in some quarters that men do it mostly to enhance their masculinity or for some identification but there are mixed perceptions about women having it, sometimes connoting that such women do it to express their confidence and create an identity for themselves.
Meanwhile, a study by some researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio, United States, found that men are likely to see women with tattoos as more sexy and promiscuous.
In fact, a 2003 study reviewed by medicaldaily found that men are more likely to approach a woman with a butterfly tattoo on her lower back compared to one with no tattoo. Interestingly, it was found that such men perceive such women (with tattoo) to be open to romantic advances, ready to have sex on the first date, go out on a date and be more sexually active.
However, in a study to examine how tattoos influence public perception of women, Lisa Oakes, a researcher involved some psychology students comprising 135 females and 86 males in the study. Oakes showed them four photos of a woman. In one of the photos, the woman had no tattoo, while in the three other photos, she had tattoos with different inscriptions.
They (the participants) were then asked, after looking at the pictures, to rate the woman on how they perceived her sex drive, openness to casual sex, attractiveness, intelligence, warmth and how sexy she is.
The students perceived the woman as having a higher sex drive, more open to casual sex and less selective when they rated her based on the pictures where she had tattoos compared to where she had none. Overall, the students explained that the tattoos gave an impression of a woman that would likely be more promiscuous.
In another study by a psychologist, Nicolas Guéguen, of the University of Southern Brittany, France, it was found that men often overestimate and misinterpret the sexual intentions of women when they have tattoos on their bodies.
The result of his research, published on pschologytoday.com, showed that men are 23.67 per cent more likely to approach women with tattoos than those without. It also found that if the same men see the same women without tattoos, the percentage would drop to 10 per cent.
Interestingly, it was found that when men sight women with tattoos, they often don't waste time before making contact with such women unlike with those who have no tattoos. It identified a time difference of 11 minutes.
In another study, Gueguen found that men who have tattoos feel they would more easily get a date or have sex with females they meet at the beach provided they display their tattoo, unlike when they don't.