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Superheroes Bad Role Models


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Role ModelsSuperheroes used to embody the “American ideals,” promoting democracy and freedom in a mildly violent way.  But researchers say today’s superheroes are sending the wrong images to today’s youth.

According to the American Psychological Association:

The “macho” role models in comic books and movies may be damaging the social skills of teenagers and even affecting their performance at school, it is claimed.

US psychologist Professor Sharon Lamb, from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, said: “Today’s superhero is too much like an action hero who participates in non-stop violence; he’s aggressive, sarcastic, and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity.”

Professor Lamb’s research says that today’s boys only have two options of people to look up to when it comes to today’s media “superheroes and slackers.”

The difference between the superheroes of the past and today, is that the characters of the past “were real people with real problems and many vulnerabilities.”

The study surveyed 674 boys ages 4 to 18.  Lamb also hints the role of the “slacker” might be hurting boys achievements.  Funny since a recent study said the reading of comic books helps youth when it comes to reading.

Also lumped into this article is a study of masculinity and how youth internalize it, crossing two totally separate issues.

The article also fails to mention how the researchers isolated any other influences on youth.  This quote from Prof. Lamb is what I’m referring to:

Today’s superhero is too much like an action hero who participates in non-stop violence; he’s aggressive, sarcastic and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity.  When not in superhero costume, these men exploit women, flaunt bling and convey their manhood with high-powered guns.

Cause that right there described a huge chunk of today’s pro-athletes too.

General DC