A new study reports that the goth community may actually protect vulnerable teens from self harm.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow interviewed 1258 people at the ages of 11, 13, 15, and 19.
It found that of those who considered themselves goths, 53% had self-harmed and 47% had tried to commit suicide. The average prevalence of self-harm among young people in the UK is 7% to 14%. Self-harm includes behaviours such as cutting or burning oneself. And about 6% of young people admit suicide attempts. Some studies suggest the incidence is rising in society.
“One common suggestion is they may be copying subcultural icons or peers [when they self-harm], but our study found that more young people reported self-harm before, rather than after, becoming a goth. This suggests that young people with a tendency to self-harm are attracted to the goth subculture,” says Robert Young, who led the study.
The drawback was that the study was small – just 2% of of the teens identified with goth culture, though 8% said they identified with goth culture at some point in their lives. The quote I liked was
But it is a strongly non-violent and accepting subculture, which teens may find offers a supportive environment.
So many people associate goth culture with violence, evil, occult, death and the like… it’s refreshing to see an alternative point of view.