When it comes to our bodies, we know how important it is to respect women’s decisions, whether it has to do with health, fashion, or body modification. For example, when women decide to get tattoos to decorate their bodies or express themselves, that is always an awesome and radical act, even if we don’t know the story behind the tattoo or why specifically they chose it.
In general, women are expected to explain their decisions and justify every move they make, especially when it’s something that strays from social norms, such as getting inked.
This data comes from a survey done by a graduate student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Their research involved showing 211 study participants photos of the same women with no tattoos, and then various tattoos. There were four total options: woman was no tattoos, woman with a rose tattoo, woman with a skull and cross bones, and woman with a butterfly tat.
As researcher Lisa Oakes describes the results: “When she had a tattoo, she was rated as looking like she… she might be more receptive to sex without a committed relationship. She looked like she had lower standards of partner selectivity, and she looked like she had a higher sex drive then the girl without the tattoo.”
We know, of course, that this is pretty sexist and rooted in gender norms. After all, if we did the same survey but used a man instead of a woman, we’re willing to bet the results would say this dude seems pretty cool and unique, not promiscuous. And even if they did decide to attach a character judgment to the presence of a tattoo, we’re so sure that men would more often be “let off the hook” by chalking up their “mistake” to being “young and dumb,” whereas with women, having a tattoo — no matter when you got it, or how you feel about it now — seems to forever brand you as trashy. And when it comes to sexuality, do men EVER get called promiscuous? We think not.
Oh well. Let that haters hate.