Body Art Among Men and Article Critique

Excerpt from Article Critique :

Clinicians who are aware of these findings are better able to treat pierced patients without any social biases, and they are more aware of the need to provide counseling in relation to the importance of not relying on lay opinion on medical issues and in relation to the fact that patients with one piercing should be made aware that they may regret subsequent piercings.

The connection between impaired urine flow in connection with penile piercings suggests the need for additional studies in relation to specific procedures and piercing placement to minimize that potential complication. Other areas of further study include the possible connection between different types of sexual experimentation, risk-taking behavior, and earlier onset of first sexual experience among those with intimate body piercings.

Caliendo, C., Armstrong, M., & Roberts, a. (2005). "Self-reported characteristics of women and men with intimate body piercings." Journal of Advanced Nursing, 49(5), 474-484.

Article Summary and Comparison between Studies

The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences between individuals with and without tattoos in the same manner the prior study investigated the differences between individuals with and without intimate body piercings. The most significant difference between the two studies was that the prior study focused substantially on the decision-making factors involved in the decision to obtain body art and the health consequences attributable to those decisions. The second study considered a wider range of issues such as the subjective impressions and opinions about individuals with body art from the perspective of others. That focus also considered the difference in reaction to those with fewer tattoos or piercings as compared with the reaction to those with more tattoos and piercings.

Specifically, the research questions in this study concerned: (1) the image of those with body art; (2) the degree to which those with and without body art identify with others with or without body art; (3) the purpose of body art; (4) whether family or friends influence the decision to obtain body art; and (5) the nature of barriers and prompts to the decision to obtain body art.

Experimental Design, Method, and Limitations

The study relied on a similar design using questionnaires. That tool consisted of questions related to the purpose, image, identity, cues, and barriers associated with the decision. More specifically, they addressed demographic differences, the influence of friends and family, religion, and risk-taking behavior. Whereas the previous study solicited participants through published advertisements, this study solicited participants from groups of college students taking an introductory sociology course in which their participation granted them extra credit in the course. The most significant limitation of the study was very similar to one of those identified in the first study: namely, self-reports are notoriously susceptible to inaccuracies, bias, and imperfect memory.


The study determined that individuals with body piercings and tattoos are not significantly different demographically from individuals without body art. However, individuals without body any art are more likely to react negatively to individuals without any body art are more likely to react negatively to those with multiple piercings and tattoos than to others with only a few, as well as to those with more unusual types of body art than to those with more traditional types of body art. As in the first study, this study also determined that those individuals with body art made the decision primarily for personal reasons, after lengthy deliberation, and that they were generally happy with their decisions.

Implications for Practical Applications

The most significant implications for practical applications of the results of the study also mirrored those of the previous study to a substantial degree. Specifically, since individuals with body art are not demographically different from other individuals, nurse practitioners should understand that because their failure to treat them the same as other patients could be detrimental to the professional relationship. Similarly, the greater incidence of dissatisfaction among those with multiple pieces of body art as well as the increased resulting pejorative impressions in the minds of others are both issues that professional nurses should be prepared to discuss with patients in connection with their roles as patient educators and counselors.


Armstrong, M., Roberts, a., Owen, D., & Koch, J. (2004). "Toward building a composite of college student influences with body art." Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric…

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