The Evolutionary Motivations Behind Tattoos and Body Piercings in Popular Culture

Carmen, Rachael A., Amanda E. Guitar, and Haley M. Dillon. “Ultimate Answers to Proximate Questions: The Evolutionary Motivations Behind Tattoos and Body Piercings in Popular Culture.” Review of General Psychology 16.2 (2012): 134-43. ProQuest. 23 Oct. 2016 

This article discusses the cultural background to tattoos and divides the reason for getting a tattoo into three categories. The article talks about how these three categories have been the same for hundreds of years.  This article suggests two hypotheses, one “human canvas” and two, “upping the ante.”  In these hypotheses the author goes more in depth into the history and the modern art of tattoos.

This article has very strong research.  The author incorporates many different factors to try and not hold a bias towards one argument.  The article is broken down into sections, starting with defining all the terms she is using, like body ornamentation.  Then moving into different categories that people fall into, like gender and who they associate with and much more.  The author does a great job of breaking down every part to further explain the position she is taking.

This source helps with my research into tattoo guns and the culture around tattoos because it gives a lot of information about the different reasons to get a tattoo and the different social aspects behind those that do.  This will help my project because I am looking into the way electronic tattoo guns changed the way people viewed tattoos.  Tattoos have become more and more popular and the electronic tattoo gun has something to do with it.  I think it is important to look at the social aspects behind tattoos so I can decide what was because of the gun and what was a social reason.


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