Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 11, No. 1, 2013
DOI: 10.36108/ijss/3102.11.0150

Tattoos among Youths in Yaba Community, Lagos State

Olusegun Moses TEMILOLA

Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Universty of Lagos, Akoka- Yaba, Nigeria


Tattoos and body decorations, as expressions of individuality, group affiliations or belonging ness, are increasingly becoming prevalent and popular practice among adolescents. This practice has potential health-related risks and social implications. Exposure to tattooing through social and cultural influences can encourage participation in body art practices, sometimes without awareness of the risks involved. The study investigated causes as well as social and health consequences associated with the practice of tattoos among adolescents with theoretical explanations from Social Identity and Rational Choice theories. Data were collected through survey and in-depth interviews. A sample of three hundred and eighty-four respondents was selected for the survey. The results indicated that friends, school mates, movie actors and musicians were influential with their desire to get tattooed. Most respondents also associated skin infections with rashes and swellings mostly on affected body parts and a strong possibility of getting HIV/AIDS with the practice of tattoos. It concluded that body art is prevalent among adolescents and there is a significant incidence of health-related risks. The study recommended increasing awareness and knowledge of health and safety measures regarding the growing practice of tattoos among them.
Keywords: Body art, beauty experts, health, youth, identity, tattoos, Lagos


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