In the current issue of Psychology Today, I wrote a little piece about personality and body modification (titled "The Body Mod Squad" in the paper version.) I already have a pierced tongue and some scarification, but for the servicey sidebar (titled "Rebel Without a Commitment") I reviewed some more softcore ways to stand out. (And actually tried them; yes we are better than Maxim.)
First, there was the henna (from earthhenna.com). Henna's pretty popular but I decided to bring edgy back and do a dagger tat over my heart. I see gang-inspired teardrop henna tats as the next ironic hipster trend.
Then there was the red hair gel (from manicpanic.com). This stuff actually glows under blacklight but I didn't try that out. I pretty much looked like Bozo's wayward nephew so maybe I won't be using this one as much. (I must say it really brings out the red in my fresh facial lacerations though.)
And here are the neurotransmitter earrings (from madewithmolecules.com). Dopamine, of course. My molecule of choice. The women who designs these, Raven Hanna, actually has a Ph.D. in molecular biophysics from Yale. The pieces are really nice but sadly they looked a bit too feminine when I put them on, so I'll be gifting them when I find the perfect nerdy lady. Oh, and check out this adorable oxytocin onesie. It'll look great with the MIT Baby Scientist bibs I picked up from Liz Spelke's developmental psych lab when she moved to Harvard. My kids will have their milk money stolen before they can even walk.
As for the main results reported in story, here's the study showing that people with tattoos and piercings are more promiscuous, sensation-seeking, and unfriendly but pretty much identical to squares on every other personality measurement, including sexual orientation.* Here's the study showing that men think women with tats drink and bonk and fug more. (The two ladies pictured here, part of the experimental stimuli, were assumed to throw back eight drinks in a night out, versus only four for their inkless sisters.) And here's the study showing that among college kids, being religious doesn't mean you have any less body art.
An additional finding from the first study: The researchers suggest that men have more tattoos on their arms and women have more on their tummies and tushies because the ink calls attention to their shoulder-to-hip ratios and waist-to-hip ratios, respectively. (Woman like guys with the inverted triangle look, and men like hourglass ladies.) And men have more eyebrow piercings and women have more nose and bellybutton piercings because women value prominent eyebrows in men as a sign of high testosterone, and men pay more attention to women's cute noses and flat bellies. Finally, I suppose if guys are concerned about length, they should probably get the vertical pinstripes.
*Chris Rock has a joke that goes, "If a girl has a pierced tongue, she'll probably suck your dick. If a guy has a pierced tongue, he'll probably suck your dick." This study's findings regarding sociosexuality and homosexuality respectively show that there's truth to the first part, but not the second.