Taboo Tattoos

Topics: Deviance, Art, Tattoo Pages: 5 (1333 words) Published: September 10, 2006
Andrew Truesdale

Taboo Tattoos


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.

Literature Review
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.

Research Design
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.

Analyzing Data
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:

"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%


Bibliography: Finneren, Kate. "Tattoos No Longer Taboo." Washington Times, third edi. (2005)
30 Aug. 2006
Kyles, Stanly. "Tattoos Taboo for Virgin Tycoon." BBC News (1998). 30 Aug. 2006
Pro, Johnna A. "Tattoos are Taboo No Longer." Post-Bazette (2005). 1 Sep 2006
Unknown. "In Many Workplaces, Tattoos Stilll Taboo." Business & Legal Reports (2005). 28 Aug. 2006
Wong, Nancy. "Tatto Facts and Statistics." PR Newswire (2003). 2 Sep. 2006
Ethical Concerns
The only ethical concerns throughout my research were with my survey. Since I personally conducted this survey and because I have tattoos I decided to wear business formal to conduct my survey. I feel that people would have answered differently if I would have been dressed normal with them seeing some of my tattoos. I am not sure if those results would have been more truthful or just different. I also feel that some of my concerns lie with that I was not picky on who I asked the question to. I should have been a little more precise in choosing an age range rather than any adult males or females that walked past the main entrance at the Athens Mall.
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