Body Art: An Expression of Masculinity or Femininity? Evelyn Derus, Honors Psychology, University of Alberta Supervisor: Dr. C. Baerveldt. Introduction. Results. Conclusions. Is body art an expression of femininity or masculinity?
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Evelyn Derus, Honors Psychology, University of Alberta
Supervisor: Dr. C. Baerveldt
Body art is everywhere. Although tattooing and body piercing have been construed as signs of deviance, during the past two decades body art has began to filter into mainstream culture as a popular and effective form of self expression. Tattooing and body piercing have evolved over the years both in the meanings and symbols associated with these acts, as well as the types of customers interested in these practices. The practices of tattooing and body piercing not only challenge dominate notions about the usage of the body, but also challenge rigid cultural standards of beauty, and proper expressions of femininity and masculinity. Body art in the past has been viewed as an act only appropriate for the male body. However, recent research has shown that the female population has increasingly expressed greater interest and intrigue in donning their bodies in tattoos and piercings (Armstrong, 1991).
Presence of a Tattoo and Tattoo Consideration
n=46 n=47 n=48 n=44
n=46 n=47 n=47 n=44
This study explored the intrigue behind body art practices by investigating the association between level of masculinity and femininity and the presence or absence of body art.
(110 Males, 141 Females)
Masculine (High Masculine/Low Feminine)
Feminine (Low Masculine/High Feminine)
Androgynous (High Masculine/High Feminine)
Undifferentiated (Low Masculine/Low Feminine)
n=55 n=105 n=59
n=21 n=47 n=24
This study suggests that although levels of masculinity and femininity are not associated with having body art, masculinity appears to be associated with the consideration of having body art.