Terry Jeffrey

"Despite these risks and variations in regulation and enforcement, nearly 20 percent of our college-age respondents reported they had at least one tattoo, and nearly one third reported a serious interest in obtaining a tattoo," said the Texas Tech researchers.

In 2006, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a study titled, "Tattoos and body piercings in the United States: A national data set." These researchers surveyed 500 Americans between the ages of 18 and 50, asking them whether they did or did not have tattoos and piercings.

They found a definite trend toward tattoos in younger Americans. Overall, they discovered, 24 percent of their survey sample had been tattooed. But the likelihood a person had been tattooed increased as their birth date became more recent.

Only 15 percent of those born between 1953 and 1956 had been tattooed, while 24 percent of those born between 1964 and 1974 had been tattooed, and 36 percent of those born between 1975 and 1986 had been tattooed.

According to this survey, religion also played a big role in who got tattooed.

Thirty-three percent of those who said they did not have a religious affiliation did have a tattoo. But only 19 percent of those who said they did have a religious affiliation were tattooed.

"Tattooing is prohibited in the Old Testament and in the Quran, but it seems more likely that in contemporary American society the fact that the less religious sport more body art is related to a lack of feeling of community among those who do not actively belong to religious institutions," the researchers wrote.

The liberal cultural elite in this county mocks athletes who publicly display their religious faith. It does not mock athletes who publicly display tattoos. Nor should it.

But the community of college athletes in this country, and those who coach and mentor them, could have a positive impact on those who will follow them into college if they displayed more faith and less body ink -- even at the risk of ridicule from our liberal cultural establishment.

Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

Be the first to read Terence Jeffrey's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.

©Creators Syndicate