Hidden tattoos

I don’t like tattoos– never have, never will.  And neither does “Dear Prudence” advise columnist Emily Yoffe.  Anyway, she had a question about tattoos in an on-line chat today and it inspired me to wonder just what percentage of the public has a tattoo.  Fortunately, NCSU has a subscription to Roper Ipoll so I could easily look up the data and found it in a 2010 Pew Survey.  They give a number of demographic breakdowns as options, but surprisingly, not age.  Anyway, the overall figure is 24% and here’s the PID breakdown:


Now, what actually surprised me most, is the fact that there’s way more tattood people out there than you realize– unless you have x-ray vision, that is.  Check this out:


Anyway, some day when I’ve really got nothing better to do (so much to grade!) I’m going to download this dataset and run some models with this variable.



About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

7 Responses to Hidden tattoos

  1. Mike from Canada says:

    When you say “…download this dataset and run some models with this variable.” what exactly do you mean, which is to say, what software do you use? Excel or Mathmatica, or something else?

    Just curious, if you don’t mind me asking.

    • Steve Greene says:

      I’m a big SPSS guy. Learned it in grad school and it’s still easy to use and does all I need. I think the cooler/more advanced empirical social scientists would look down on me, but I can at least use Stata some so as to appear somewhat cool.

      • Mark says:

        Sorry, but SPSS is the worst. R all the way.

      • Steve Greene says:

        I almost mentioned that R is what all the cool young PS hipsters use these days.

      • Mike Barr says:

        SPSS is great for building data sets — recoding, labeling, etc. I mostly use Excel these days but I can still write lots of SPSS code from memory.

      • Mark says:

        I do agree that SPSS makes recoding data pretty easy. And it’s nice that you can easily save data sets in different formats. I found R (and even Stata) code much easier to pick up than SPSS for some reason. I can vouch for the “young PS” comment (though cool is a stretch), but hipster is insulting. Totally uncalled for.

      • Steve Greene says:

        The reason I love SPSS is for its utility in manipulating datasets. I’ll definitely grant that its code to run statistics is too complicated, but the nice part is that you can use the interface to get the code and then just modify the parts you need to.

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