Eek! Goths!: August 2006 Archives

August 22, 2006

Researchers: Goths not dodgy

Scotland: Goths everywhere already know it, but researchers in Glasgow have shown that members of that particular subculture are no more prone to violence and crime than anyone else. Dr. Kathy Charles, a forensic psychologist at Glasgow Caledonian University led the study which led to The Herald publishing a wholly positive article and editorial on Goth, possibly the first for a newspaper anywhere.

Earlier this year a study from Glasgow University indicated that, while there is a link between gothic culture and self-mutilation, violence directed against others was comparatively uncommon. Another study, from Sussex University, maintained that, far from being a group of dangerous social misfits, many teenage goths end up with university degrees and jobs in the professions or creative industries.

A report in The Herald today suggests there may be a valuable lesson to be learned from the Luke Mitchell[*] case, but it has nothing to do with goths. When forensic psychologist Dr Kathy Charles of Glasgow Caledonian University studied 700 12 to 15-year-olds in the west of Scotland, she expected to find that those interested in goth culture and the occult were more likely to go on to commit serious offences.

So, are there links between anything and deliquency?

Boys (and girls) who are prone to showing off to the opposite sex and adopting multiple partners are the most likely to become serious and violent offenders. Commentators and policy-makers might have done better to focus on the fact that Luke Mitchell was already showing signs of becoming a serious sexual predator when he murdered Jodi Jones.

It should be pointed out that this is correlation, not causation, by the way. The bad kids get more sex. Charles also noted hostility to one's own sex as a factor (are there no gay delinquents?). The newspaper reports also do not say if the children were self-reporting their own delinquent behaviour, or whether Dr. Charles' work was based on criminal cases. If the former, it's known that teenagers exaggerate to make themselves look harder (and so more sexually attractive?). Luke Mitchell himself claimed to smoke enough cannabis to knock an old hippy out for several months. Charles also pointed out that the same sexual aggression could also lead to high acheivement in those with the aptitude to express it through other means.

Sarah Sands of the Daily Mail should take note.

Goth culture: It's not about crime, death and violence, Show-off children: the link to crime and violence and What makes a predator?The Herald, 20th August 2006.

Note: At the trial of Luke Mitchell, the teenager given life after murdering his 14-year-old girlfriend Jodi Jones in July 2003 in Midlothian, his fascination with Goth culture and heavy metal were prominent factors in the prosecution. But it was also revealed that he had been seeing another girl at the same time as Jodi and that he had had a number of sexual partners.

August 18, 2006

Heaven knows I'm miserable now

What with war, disasters and a dubious terrorist threat, you'd think the newspapers would have plenty to write about. But the Daily Mail has us convinced: the burning issue of the day is that some teenagers wear lots of black, listen to depressing music and a minority of those have serious problems. Yep, the Goth-hunting season is open once more and it's the Spooky Kids in Sarah Sands' gunsight.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Eek! Goths! category from August 2006.

Eek! Goths!: May 2006 is the previous archive.

Eek! Goths!: April 2007 is the next archive.

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