University of Texas at San Antonio graduate student Lisa Oakes conducted a year-long study in which she surveyed 221 male and female students to see if women with tattoos are perceived as promiscuous.

“So impressions about her level of intelligence, her level of warmth, desirability of short term or long term (and) how attractive she is, how sexy she is,” Oakes says.


The graduate student used photos of one woman and gauged reactions.

“Basically, what I did was take four photos that were exactly the same photo of exactly the same girl. I just had her shown either with no tattoo, a butterfly, rose or skull and crossbones (at) the same location same size on her arm,” according to Oakes.

She found the photo with the tattoos elicited different reactions.

“When she had a tattoo, she was rated as looking like she had a, she might be more receptive to sex without a committed relationship. She looked like she had lower standards of partner selectivity, and she looked like she had a higher sex drive then the girl without the tattoo,” Oakes tells ABC 12.

Kayla Hylton, who has a number of tattoos, including ones in Oakes’ study, disputed the findings. She says if she’s able to commit to tattoos, she’s able to commit to a man.

“I got roses, skulls all that stuff. In my opinions tattoos are a really big commitment, if you are able to commit to having something on you for the rest of your life. I don’t see a problem committing to someone else for the rest of your life,” according to Hylton.

Cosmopolitan writer Anna Breslaw finds the results “deeply irritating.”

“I bet if a study of men with and without tattoos was done, they’d rate him as being ‘more receptive to being awesome,'” she says.