A new study has decided to reinforce old stereotypes, without providing answers. Researchers from the UK apparently concluded that kids who consider themselves Goths have a higher risk of falling into depression and / or deliberately hurting themselves.
The research team surveyed youngsters at different moments in their lives, and found that subjects who considered themselves somewhat Goth “were 2.33 times more likely” to admit that they deliberately hurt themselves at one point or another, compared to subjects who did not consider themselves Goth.
And subjects who considered themselves very Goth “were more than five (5) times more likely” to admit that they deliberately hurt themselves at one point or another, compared to subjects who did not consider themselves Goth.
The study included thousands of subjects that the researchers began to monitor at birth and kept doing so until the subjects turned 18. The team asked the subjects to answer questions twice, once when they were no older than 15 and the researchers used their answers to split them into groups of Goth kids and non-Goth kids, and a second time just three (3) years later, when their subjects turned 18 and the researchers wanted to evaluate their mental health.
The eight (8) big groups that the research team divided subjects into were: Goths, loners, populars, the sporty, keeners, chavs, skaters, and bimbos. However, Goths turned out to be the most likely to attempt suicide and / or self-harm.
The British researchers wrote that “as we originally postulated, the reported association between Goth affiliation and depression could be due to social selection factors not addressed adequately in the previous study”. But the problem is that they forgot to answer a critical question – “why?”.
So rather than focusing on finding answers and explanations, what the researchers did was reinforce old, flawed and incomplete stereotypes. Stereotypes are generally dangerous as real life people are more complex than portrayed in the media. And they are even more dangerous when they’re linked to negative behaviors that may influence how they are treated by peers and professionals alike.
TheDailyBeast.com questioned the researchers as well and reached out to the Goth community on Reddit for some opinions. The answers that they gave revealed that they are more open minded than so called normal people.
Clare Castleberry, 35, Louisiana, informed that identifying as a Goth means that you have the ability to see and appreciate the “beauty in darkness”, anything that society automatically dismissed or tries to hide because it feel uncomfortable with it. By exploring these things, Goths hope to encourage others to question pre-established beliefs, think for themselves, and change their perceptions.
And Jack Corax, 21, New York, explained that Goths are “much more in tune with” mental health issues than most people. He explained that members of the Goth community do not have a fetish for death / suicide / mental issues, but that they’re more willing than the average person to make an effort to understand them.
Image Source: pixabay.com