Body Modifications: Perceptions of Tattoos and the Examination of Gender, Tattoo Location, and Tattoo Size
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Individuals’ perceptions of others, including the presence or absence of body modifications, can influence the way they make judgments. Body modifications have become mainstream in American culture. There is a lot of research documenting negative judgment of individuals with body modifications, such as tattoos, due to their association with deviant activity, criminality, and gang affiliation. Although possessing tattoos once had negative connotations, now having tattoos is being seen as an emerging trend. The study explored whether possessing tattoos still elicits negative judgment from others, examining whether an individual’s gender, tattoo location and size have an effect on judgments (2x2x2 design). In addition, participants’ gender transcendence versus gender role conformity and rigidity were assessed to see if these factors affect judgments. MANCOVA results revealed a main effect for tattoo size [F(4,337) = 2.559, p=.039, partial ɳ2=.034], an interaction effect between gender and tattoo location [F(1,340)=5.398, p=.021, partial ɳ2=.016], and an interaction effect between tattoo size and tattoo location [F(1,340)=9.385, p=.002, η2=.027]. Hypothesis II which predicted gender attitudes would be related to tattoo judgements was supported and Hypothesis III which predicted larger tattoos resulting in more negative judgement than smaller tattoos was also supported.