In the News

Bad News Guys – Your Tattoo Doesn’t Impress the Ladies

Joseph Sparks

1st January 2017

While men might think their tattoos are likely to be a big hit with the ladies, recent research in Poland suggests that women are not impressed with a bit of ink.

Galbarczyk & Ziomkiewicz (2017) examined 2,584 heterosexual men and women from Poland. The participants were shown photos of topless men, some of which were modified so that their arm was pictured with a small black tattoo.

The male participants rated the tattooed models as more attractive than the tattoo-free controls. However, the female participants did not rate the tattooed men as more attractive. Furthermore, they even suggested that the tattooed men would make worse partners and parents!

However, it’s not all bad for men with tattoos, as the female participants did rate the tattooed men as ‘healthier’. Galbarczyk & Ziomkiewicz (2017) argue that the process of acquiring a tattoo is a painful experience which places an individual at risk of infection, and therefore males with tattoos are seen as healthier as a result of exposing themselves to such risks.

Anton Ivkin Image by Alexander Kuzovlev is is licensed under CC 4.0 International.

While most research suggests that health and attractiveness are positively associated, Galbarczyk & Ziomkiewicz (2017) claim that the negative connotations of tattoos, including masculinity and aggression, actually put women off.

Therefore, for men considering a trip to the tattoo parlour, you might want to think twice if you’re trying to impress the ladies!

Reference: Galbarczyk, A., & Ziomkiewicz, A. (2017). Tattooed men: Healthy bad boys and good-looking competitors. Personality and Individual Differences, 106, 122-125.

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Joseph Sparks

Joseph is a Subject Advisor for Psychology at tutor2u. He is an experienced Psychology & Music Teacher, Writer, Examiner and Presenter. He is currently completing a Professional Doctorate in Education and is passionate about the impact of technology on teaching and learning.

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