The link between tattoos and rebellion may seen like a cliche, but a new study claims that the stereotype of the inked-up angry rebel may well be true.
Research has found that people with tattoos report higher levels of verbal aggression, anger and rebelliousness. And the more tattoos they have, it found, the more angry and rebellious they are.
About one in five Britons has at least one tattoo, so it would seem that tattoos are now for everyone and not just the misunderstood outsider.
But Professor Viren Swami, of Anglia Ruskin University, said his study restores the link between tattoos and anger. In research carried out when he was professor of psychology at Westminster, he asked 378 adults from London to report the number of tattoos they had.
Respondents were then questioned on four dispositional traits of aggression, including physical and verbal aggression, anger and hostility, The Guardian reports.
Swami and his team found that tattooed adults had significantly higher reactive rebelliousness compared with their unmarked peers. They also found that those with tattoos scored more highly in verbal aggression and anger, although not in the other two traits of aggression.
The study also found that women reported higher levels of all those characteristics than men.
Swami said: "One explanation is that people who have higher reactive rebelliousness may respond to disappointing and frustrating events by getting tattooed.
"That is, when these individuals experience a negative emotional event, they may be more likely to react by pursuing an act that is seen as defiant. The act of tattooing is perceived as rebellious, or more generally tattoos themselves can signify defiance or dissent."