A study from Professor Sharon Lamb of the University of Massachusetts stated that superheroes make bad role models for modern boys and are either "aggressive" or "slackers". The study consisted of questioning 674 boys between the ages of 4 and 18 on what they read and watched on TV and in movies.
I read the following quote and wonder what year it is in Professor Lamb's head.
"There is a big difference in the movie superhero of today and the comic book superhero of yesterday."
"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."
Apparently, and I think I've read this somewhere, comics aren't for kids anymore.
Seriously, I don't know what characters or media she's referring to. I know that this doesn't necessarily reflect the characters that I read in Marvel and DC books these days. But I also know that kids don't read them, so I want to know what superheroes are being cited in this study.
Just looking at the biggest superhero movies from the last decade, I don't see much of what she's talking about, at least not in terms of the non R-rated films. Spider-Man doesn't seem to fit any of these ideas. I suppose Iron Man might, but I don't think that was much of a kids movie thematically. Are the Disney animated superhero shows a lot more terrible than I was lead to believe?
DC writer Eric Trautman on Twitter, poked some holes in the findings of the study, using DC characters. "God forbid concepts like fair play (Superman), justice (Batman), empowerment (Wonder Woman), determination (Green Lantern) be emulated by boys."
I suppose it's possible the professor found a unique enclave of boys from 1994, reading only Cable, Punisher, and Grifter-centric Wildcats issues, but it sounds more like they were looking for something before they started, and the data magically fit that conclusion. But the timewarp theory also works for me.
If only things could be perfect again like they were in the '50's with their clean comics and good values. And segregation.