Body: Search for Deviants

The eternal quest to figure out who’s a deviant and who’s not, and who things they are, continues. One research team adds to its impressive body of body work work:

Body Art, Deviance, and American College Students,” Jerome R. Koch, Alden E. Roberts, Myrna L. Armstrong and Donna C. Owen, Social Science Journal, (article in print, 2010). (Thanks to Scott Langill for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, report:

“We use sub-cultural identity theory to propose that individuals with increasing evidence of body art procurement will also report higher levels of deviant behavior in order to maintain and/or increase social distance from the mainstream. We tested this proposition by surveying 1753 American college students, asking them to report their level of body art acquisition and their history of deviance. Results indicate that respondents with four or more tattoos, seven or more body piercings, or piercings located in their nipples or genitals, were substantively and significantly more likely to report regular marijuana use, occasional use of other illegal drugs, and a history of being arrested for a crime. Less pronounced, but still significant in many cases, was an increased propensity for those with higher incidence of body art to cheat on college work, binge drink, and report having had multiple sex partners in the course of their lifetime.”