Top designs for 'public' and 'private' body parts

These bar charts compare the most common tattoo designs for each of the twelve most common body parts on public versus private areas of the body . By 'private', we mean parts of the body normally covered up by clothing. This makes it possible to discover whether certain tattoos, such as those expressing love or religious beliefs, were hidden on parts of the body not normally seen by others. Note that the scale of two graphs is different; the relevant infrequency of recorded tattoos on private parts of the body may reflect the fact that the clerks who recorded physical descriptions often did not force convicts to take off all their clothes.

Credit: Sharon Howard

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