Friday, April 20, 2012

Light culture: Stuff you probably could have guessed

I love studies that confirm things any relatively intelligent person could have guessed. We see a lot of these nowadays because of a sort of false objectivity—which is to say a deliberate effort to ignore things we suspect to be the case in order to pretend things are "equal" in ways they really aren't.

Case in point:
People with tattoos drink more than their tattoo-less peers, a new study from France suggests.
Wow. You never would guessed would you?

The methodology looks solid:
The researchers asked nearly 3,000 young men and women as they were exiting bars on a Saturday night if they would take a breathalyzer test. Of those who agreed to take it, the researchers found that people with tattoos had consumed more alcohol than those without tattoos, the researchers said.
Why did they go to all the trouble though? So they could reach this conclusion:
 The researchers suggest educators, parents and physicians consider tattoos and piercings as potential "markers" of drinking, using them to begin a conversation about alcohol consumption and other risky behaviors. 
But again, you knew that already. Getting a tattoo is an act that shows poor risk assessment skills and people with poor risk assessment skills are, sorry to put it so bluntly, losers. Okay, maybe you made the one mistake and learned your lesson but it's still a mistake. In this day and age, however, we all have to pretend we don't know things we do know in the name of fairness.  Things like this:
Previous studies have shown that tattooed individuals are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex, theft, violence and alcohol consumption, compared to people without tattoos.
I'll go out on a limb here a and suggest that people with tattoos are probably also more like to struggle at school, to have car accidents, to be arrested, to be divorced and to earn low incomes.

But you wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

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