Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Body Piercing, Tattoo Prevalence Survey Underway

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Body Piercing, Tattoo Prevalence Survey Underway

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- A survey underway could provide the first prevalence data on body piercing in the United States, as well as an update on tattoo prevalence, Dr. Anne Laumann and Dr. Amy Farmer said during a joint presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychocutaneous Medicine of North America.

In addition to prevalence data, the survey will fill considerable holes in knowledge about the medical and social implications of body art, according to Dr. Farmer. The 460-question survey is being administered to 500 respondents identified through random-digit dialing.

The researchers, both from the University of Chicago, refined their survey in a pilot study of 32 people with body piercing and/or tattoos.

Of the 32 respondents in the pilot study, 15 had piercings and tattoos, 11 had tattoos only, and 6 had piercings only.

There was a total of 199 body piercings among the 32 respondents in the pilot study. These same 32 people had a total of 105 tattoos--of which 2 had been removed and 5 were kept covered.

Alcohol consumption likely played a role in the decision to get body art. Of the 32 survey respondents, 28 described themselves as drinkers, consuming a mean of six alcoholic beverages a day. …

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