Tattoos were once considered to be part of the lower class and the deviant, now many American adults in all social categories are receiving these permanent works of art. Today, people still have clashing opinions about the presence of tattoos in everyday life and in the work force.
When researching this topic of tattoos, the researcher will find three very distinct and very different opinions. The first areas of research are people that love these colorful, permanent works of art. This is an underground infatuation of tattoos and piercing, and a small group of professionals that have one to three personal tattoos. This group proudly shows off their personal forms of art work.
The second opinion dealing with this research is the neutral group. This group consist of average Americans and experts that are members of many different organizations, the American Psychology Association, the Foundation for National Art Appreciation, and the Association for Free Labor to name a few, that have a neutral opinion about having tattoos and even try to explain why this taboo of tattooing is becoming such a hit in the American culture.
The third opinion is much like the first, but rather being passionately for these works of art these are passionately against tattoos and will stop at nothing to get tattoos removed from our work places, schools, and military. This group consists of many different religious organizations and different conformist parties in the American government.
Once considered taboo, the art of tattooing is vastly becoming an American norm. How can tattoos still be considered taboo when so many Americans have them? When trying to answer this seemingly reasonable question, other questions that first need an answer come to mind. What is considered taboo? With today's changing norms, its hard to put a stiff title of taboo on any one subject. Other questions that will come up are how many Americans have tattoos and are these numbers specifically influenced by the many different social classes in America.
When researching this topic I did not find substantial research to defend or disprove my topic, so I conducted my own survey to find out if people considered tattoos taboo. Gathering Data
During my survey, I asked one hundred random people, fifty females and fifty males, that where walking into the main entrance of Athens Mall in Athens, Georgia whether or not they thought tattoos were taboo. I also conducted research on the internet. The following chart outlines the results from my survey question.
TABLE 1IIn 1936 about 10 million adults, 6%, had tattoos; during a recent Harris Pole the numbers of adult Americans with tattoos has quadrupled in the last sixty-five years. The chart below reflects these numbers via the 2002 Harris Pole:
WHO HAS TATTOOS?
"How many tattoos do you currently have on your body?" (People saying "one or more")
Base: All Adults
All Adults 16% Region
East 14% Midwest 14% South 15% West 20% Age
18 - 24 13% 25 - 29 36% 30 - 39 28% 40 - 49 14% 50 - 64 10% 65 + 7% Sex
Male 16% Female 15%