According to studies conducted by the National Health Service, as many as 46% of girls ages 16-24 years have a body piercing of some kind. Statistics from the same report show that male piercings have nearly doubled from early 2000; no longer used solely as a cultural signifier as it once served in the gay community or various sects of street gangs, male ear piercings make up a small fraction of the more radical and extreme piercings that men sport today. Many men and women prefer their body jewelry to be plain and straightforward, while others prefer the more exotic styles available today. The body modification movement is gaining momentum with people of all races and ages, visible at a glance wherever you go. As tattoos were once mistakenly thought of as a fad that would pass, so too is body piercing now considered a permament form of social expression.