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April 15, 2006

Correlation and causation


A University of Glasgow study suggests Goth subculture may protect "vulnerable children." A much larger percentage of the study's (admittedly small) sample of self-identified Goths had engaged in "self-harm" - cutting or burning - than their peers. Researchers noted, however, that this self-harm generally happened before finding whatever solace is to be found in equally mopey company.

Just 2% of the adolescents in the study identified with goth culture, although 8% said they had identified with it at some point in their lives. But it is a strongly non-violent and accepting subculture, which teens may find offers a supportive environment. Michael van Beinum, a psychiatrist for children and adolescents, who advised on the study, agrees: "For some young people with mental health problems, a goth subculture may be attractive as it may allow them to find a community within which it may be easier for their distress to be understood."

Certainly there is no causal relationship between black clothes and violence but acceptance used to be strongly correlated with pointiness of shoes. In these twilight days it is difficult to rely on anything.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 15, 2006 08:43 AM

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