Yes, even when it comes to tattoos for either receiving or removing, sexism is alive and well. It seems that while men are more likely to get tattoos than women, women are more likely to remove them says a new study coming out of the Archives of Dermatology. Forget that this is 2008 and tattoos are more common than ever before, the reason stated is the social stigma that is involved with even having a tattoo in the first place.

Statistics today indicate that as much as 25% of the population has a tattoo, and this number is expected to increase to as high as 40% over the next few years. However, due to new or old boyfriends moving on, or of tattoo meanings that exist no more, or simply a general dissatisfaction with the tattoo, more women are launching into removal.

In fact, the very notion that tattoos are much more easily removed these days may be a factor in women getting them at all. It’s almost like trying on a nail polish that you don’t like. We now have more security knowing that hey, if the novelty wears off, so will the tattoo with a few visits to the laser clinic.

In a study published today in the Archives of Dermatology,

researchers analyzed data from two surveys of people undergoing tattoo removal. One survey was taken in 1996 and a second survey in 2006. In both surveys, men and women said they wanted the tattoos removed because their identities had changed and they had grown to dislike the tattoos. But in the 2006 survey, women also reported that they felt stigmatized by the tattoos. For example, 93% said having to hide the tattoos on occasion was a factor in the removal compared with 20% of men. About 40% of women endured negative comments at work, in public or in school compared with 5% of men.

So it seems that after all, society has not changed as much as we’d like, and women are still feeling a social stigma attached to their tattoo. And well, women worry more about what others think of them, a predominant factor leading to tattoo removal.

Ladies, think before you ink!