Body Piercing

Body Piercing
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.35

     challenging words:    piercings, self-expression, stud, unwashed, germy, trend, sake, utmost, cons, navel, unclean, punching, indicate, bored, pros, spiritual
     content words:    Hole Story, Science World, Middle Eastern, American Dental Association, American Academy, United States Red Cross

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Body Piercing
By Brenda B. Covert

1     Maia Weinstock's article entitled "The Hole Story - body piercing" appeared in the February 7, 2000 issue of Science World. In it, she described body piercing as "the act of punching a hole in your body, usually in your skin or cartilage, the tough material that gives your nose, ears, and other body parts their shape." A needle does the deed. The purpose of body piercing is to attach jewelry. Ear lobes are the most common body part to be pierced. Other parts that are punctured for jewelry's sake are eyebrows, noses, lips, tongues, navels, and other more private parts.
2     Body piercing is a popular art form among American teens. It has cultural significance in other countries. Natives of certain small islands in the Pacific have many facial piercings. They begin at the eyebrows and work their way down to the throat. Middle Eastern tribes stick to piercing ears and noses. People get pierced when they leave home and when they get married. Other piercings indicate a loved one's death. In this way, piercing is used to mark various events in a person's life. Infants as young as three months old get pierced. By the time a child is six years old, he or she may have already received five piercings! All these piercings have a spiritual meaning.
3     American teens do not normally attach a spiritual meaning to their piercings. Some may do it to rebel against their parents. Some crave attention. Others simply like the look and want to be a part of the latest trend. Still others see it as the utmost form of self-expression. One teen girl says she got her tongue pierced because she "was bored and wanted something to do." Another teenager with many piercings claims that the act gives her an adrenaline rush. Studies agree that teens seeking excitement and new experiences sometimes turn to body piercing.

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