Women With Tattoos More Approachable, Study Finds

Some men believe that whether a not a woman has tattoos affects their chances of sleeping with her on the first date.

At least that's what a new study led by Nicolas Guéguen of France's Université de Bretagne-Sud showed. Guéguen investigated the relationship between how men rated a woman's attractiveness, willingness to go out with them and willingness to have sex on the first date and whether or not the woman had a tattoo.

Eleven heterosexual college-aged women, who 31 men had rated as the most attractive out of a pool of 58 female volunteers, participated in the experiment over sunny days in June and July of 2009. Each woman went alone 20 times to beaches in Brittany, France, where they lay reading on a beach towel while wearing a red bikini. Half of the time each participant was wearing a large temporary tattoo on her lower back.

The researchers found that men were much more likely to approach and make verbal contact with women sporting a lower back tattoo than those who were not. Furthermore, men were quicker in making their approach when the woman had a lower back tattoo than when she did not.

For the second part of the experiment, researchers surveyed 440 young men with an average age of 22.3 who were present at the beach areas where one of the women in bikinis was reading. Male interviewers approached young men who were within 10 meters of the woman and asked if they would answer three questions about a girl who was "somewhere on the beach" for a study about romantic relationships. Once the participant agreed, the interviewer would point out the girl in the red bikini, and ask the participant what he thought the likelihood was of the girl agreeing to go out on a date with him and of having sex on the first date. Then the interviewer asked the participant to rate the girl's attractiveness.

The results showed that men thought women with a tattoo were more likely to go on a date with them, and more likely to have sex on the first date, than women without a tattoo. However, Guéguen's researchers did not ask the participants why they thought this -- stereotypes about women with tattoos? Past experiences with tattooed women? -- and no news yet on what women think of men with tattoos.

Research from 2007 found that women with tattoos were considered more promiscuous and less attractive than women without. A study from 2005 found that people with tattoos were considered "less credible" in a professional context.

Do you think there's a link between tattoos and promiscuity? Tattoos and attractiveness?

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