Men More Than Twice as Likely to Approach Women with Tattoos

C. Price
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Does having a tattoo affect a woman’s chances of being approached by men?

A new study finds men consider a woman with a tattoo more approachable, but those men also think she is more promiscuous.

While this study did not attempt to determine the cause, psychologist Nicolas Guéguen, of the Université de Bretagne-Sud, said the results were nonetheless striking.

For the study, researchers had 31 men identify the 11 “most attractive” volunteers from a pool of 58 candidates. The chosen volunteers would then visit area beaches – 10 trips with a temporary tattoo and 10 without.

The women with ink were solicited 23.67 percent of the time, but when the same women didn’t have tattoos, that average dropped to 10 percent.


“Women with ink were solicited 23.67 percent of the time.

That drops to 10 percent for women without tattoos.”

Initial contact by men was also made noticeably faster, with the tattooed participants averaging 23 minutes compared to nearly 35 minutes for those without.

As part of the study, a male researcher at the same location would approach young men near the female subject. They were asked to rate the likelihood of the woman agreeing to a first date and having sex on a first date.

Guéguen says the conclusion is clear: Tattooed women are seen, by men at least, as being more promiscuous.

The tattoo used was a small butterfly located on the small of the back. Guéguen had determined this to be the most common image and placement for college-aged women.

From an evolutionary perspective, men are wired to look for seemingly more promiscuous partners, Guéguen said. Men see tattoos on a woman as an indicator of her having a greater interest in sex.

Source: Université de Bretagne-Sud. Photo source: