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Tramp Stamps: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

Photo: starsurf / Splash News

You may not be promiscuous when you decide to get a tattoo on your lower back, but you will probably have the opportunity to become promiscuous after you do. According to a series of studies by French psychologist Nicolas Guéguen, men find women with tattoos less attractive but perceive them to be more promiscuous. Perhaps as a result, women with tattoos receive more sexual overtures from men, faster, and have sex at a younger age.

In Guéguen’s study, women went unaccompanied to the beach to sunbathe. When they wore a temporary tattoo of — what else? — a butterfly on their lower backs, they were approached by men 24 percent of the time, while women sans tramp stamps were solicited 10 percent of the time. Men approached women with tattoos eleven minutes faster. In a second experiment, male beachgoers surveyed said they thought they had a much greater chance of having sex with the woman when she was sporting the tramp stamp. “Like cosmetics and clothing, men may see tattoos as advertising greater interest in sex on the part of women,” writes Psychology Today’s Vinita Mehta.

Before we can fully endorse harnessing the power of the tramp stamp, we need some further research into the mind of the male beachgoer. As Guéguen notes, it’s hard to tell now whether the men’s perceptions are based in stereotypes or reality. Until then, here’s a funny video of Nicole Richie getting hers removed.

Tramp Stamps: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?