Saturday, May 3, 2014

Among women under 35, 47 percent have been tattooed

I live in a large city with great diversity of behaviors and tastes. One of the things that has long struck me as inexplicable has been the prevalence of tattoo parlors. They are everywhere, including in areas of exceptionally high rental costs. How does that business model work? Are tattoos that expensive and/or is there that much demand?

This article, Who’s Frequenting the Tattoo Parlor by Marjorie Connollie sheds a little light. Its reporting the results of a poll and therefore has to be viewed with some skepticism.
Current and former members of the military are among the most tattooed members of American society, with 36 percent having at least one, according to a recent Fox News poll. That tattoo rate exceeds the rate for liberals (26 percent), conservatives (18 percent) and nonveterans (18 percent).

One of the few groups more likely than members of the military to have a tattoo is young women. Among women under 35, 47 percent have been tattooed, compared with 25 percent of men in that age group. Over all, one in five American voters has at least one tattoo, and more than half of that group has two or more.
Yikes. I have jokingly told the kids not to bring home a date with tattoos but I never realized I might be imposing such a material constraint on their social lives.

The final paragraph is a tangle of ambiguity.
Despite the Army’s concern about appearances, 73 percent of American voters say a visible tattoo would not be a deterrent in hiring someone.
"Would not be" or "Should not be"? I suspect that the answer is that a visible tattoo, in the view of most people, SHOULD NOT be an impediment to employment but that among employers, a much higher percentage are likely to deem that a visible tattoo COULD BE an impediment.

Indeed, a survey performed indicates that 76% of respondents believe that visible tattoos DO represent an impediment to emplooyment. The survey also indicates that tattoos are a de facto signal of class/education attainment. 20% of high school graduates have tattoos but only 8% of those with masters, and only 3% of those with PhDs.

Interestingly, there is a huge mismatch between what people think and what is experienced. 76% think that visible tattoos are a potential problem in the workplace but:
Fortunately, only 4% of those with tattoos and piercings report having faced actual discrimination because of their ink and body art.
An example of how important it is to validate that perceived problems are real problems.

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