Published on April 17th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Tattoos, Piercings Tied With Drinking, Risky Behavior in New Study
One of the larger stereotypes tattooed and pierced people try to diffuse is that they are an injudicious bunch, prone to risky behavior and vices.
Indeed, tattoos and piercings have become somewhat commonplace, and are widely present among young people today. But a new study has examined risk-taking behavior among those who have opted for body modifications, and found a link between the habits and drinking or other risky behavior.
The research, undertaken by clinicians at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, will be published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research in the July, 2012 issue. In the course of the research, 2,970 individuals (1,710 males and 1,260 females) were given breathalyzer tests as they exited drinking establishments. What researchers found was that those with tattoos or piercings were more likely to have consumed alcohol.
However, researchers note that the presence of a single tattoo meant the person was more likely to behave similarly to those with no tattoos, and that no one should stereotype tattooed individuals as likely to engage in risky behavior. Texas Tech’s Myrna Armstrong explains:
“In 2009, we conducted a study of those with one to two, three to four, and five or more tattoos… We found that those with only one tattoo were very similar to those without any tattoos in terms of high-risk behaviors, including alcohol. We also graded body piercings and found that individuals with seven or more were the really high-risk group. In other words, be very careful about generalizing among those with many tattoos or piercings and those with only one.”
The study also noted certain age groups are more likely to both have tattoos and engage in risky behavior, simply due to their youth.