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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2019 December;154(6):646-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.18.06172-2


language: English

Body modification in Germany: prevalence, gender differences and attitude towards cosmetic surgery

Theresa LAHOUSEN 1 , Michael D. LINDER 2, Uwe GIELER 3, Dirk HOFMEISTER 4, Eva M. TRAPP 1, Ada BORKENHAGEN 4, Hans-Peter KAPFHAMMER 1, Elmar BRÄHLER 4, 5

1 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapeutic Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria; 2 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel; 3 Department of Dermatology, University Clinic of Gießen, Gießen, Germany; 4 Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University Clinic of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; 5 Clinic and Policlinic of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Mainz, Mainz, Germany

BACKGROUND: The most popular body modifications are tattoos and piercings and their prevalence has increased in recent years. The current study gathered statistics regarding tattoing, piercing and body-hair removal, differentiated by gender and attitude towards cosmetic surgery.
METHODS: The study was based on 2512 individuals and was performed as a population-based survey with the assistance of a demographic consulting company. In addition to sociodemographic questions, specific issues concerning body modification were asked.
RESULTS: Men get tattoos more frequently while women more often choose piercings and body hair removal. Women are catching up in the tattoo department and one can no longer observe age differentiations among the younger age groups. Instead there is a decrease in piercings among men. Body hair removal is widespread above all women. People with body modifications tend to be more open-minded about cosmetic surgery.
CONCLUSIONS: Tattoos and piercings continue to be the most popular body modification among young adults. The number engaged in tattooing is rising while piercings are still popular among women. Individuals being engaged in body modification are prone to consider cosmetic surgery procedures.

KEY WORDS: Body modification, non-therapeutic; Gender identity; Surgery, plastic

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