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    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2010
    Another study from NSSU by way of the BBC website.

    Superheroes 'poor role models for boys'

    Sorry if this has been posted already; I looked but couldn't see it.
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2010
    I have no idea what they're talking about.
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2010
    So the only options for role-models is "slacker" or "superhero" huh? Really?
    This is kind of a stupid article.
  1.  (8755.4)
    She doesn't like Iron Man.

    Aside from my initial 'oh fuck off' reaction, and sniggering about 'The Boys', it does raise some intriguing questions.

    Are superheroes meant to be role models? Should they be? What makes a good role model anyhow? Should there be some sort of 'approved role model' logo put on fictional characters? Would there have to be some sort of committee of the great and good to decide what or who gets to be a role model? Is there any reason why boys can't discern for themselves what are appropriate characteristics to model?

    I never saw superheroes as role models, never trusted the smarmy spandex clad bastards, but then I can't think who my role models actually were...
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
    i get role models from my comics but not from their characters, i hope this dosent sound like im trying to brown nose here because im not. i get them from the people who write, draw, color, letter etc.
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
    Professor Lamb says superheroes like Iron Man 'exploit women, flaunt bling and convey their manhood with high-powered guns'.

    How is this being a bad role model?
  2.  (8755.7)
    "He found that being able to resist macho images - especially aggression and autonomy - declines as boys transition into adolescence and this decline puts their mental health at risk.

    "Helping boys resist these behaviours early on seems to be a critical step toward improving their health and the quality of their social relationships"

    Does this sort of soft science horseshit concern anyone else?
  3.  (8755.8)
    I thought that the characters we read growing were examples to learn from, not emulate.

    Like Tony Stark's behavior was a result of having so much power that he couldn't sustain a fufilling long-term relationship with a woman, he hid inside his armor, almost always refused to delegate responsibility (except to War Machine rarely) and drove himself to drink because of the amount of stress he put himself through alone, and kept himself so isolated. That's not a character that they're trying to make a role model; he's a lesson to learn by.

    And Supes was never a realistic character to begin with. Who was it that said he was an alien who created Clark Kent to be a reflection of how Kal-El saw us? Weak, cowardly and pathetic?

    What was it Charles Barkely said..?
    I'm not a role model... Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids.

    I mean, obviously comics aren't basketball, but they shouldn't be looked at any more severely than television's impact on our kids. I'd much rather have my child reading a comic than watching American Idol. I think she'd get the wrong idea about role models watching stupid unoriginal people try to sing like stupid famous people... But that's me.
  4.  (8755.9)
    And here I was on the verge of donning a cape and about to fly off the nearest tall building into a rapist.
  5.  (8755.10)
    Come to think of it, this day and age, aren't cops worse role models for kids these days? With all of the sexual harrasment charges, corruption investigations, allegations of excessive use of force, civil rights violations and abuse of authority, they make a far better case of someone our kids shouldn't be around.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
    Who was it that said he was an alien who created Clark Kent to be a reflection of how Kal-El saw us? Weak, cowardly and pathetic?

    It was David Carradine in KILL BILL Volume 2, that's who.

    Spider-Man is a hell of a role model. "With great power comes great responsibility" and all that. Iron Man, on the other hand, is the most dangerous drunk driver of all time.

    These people aren't "scientists", they're "scientitions".
    • CommentAuthorSolario
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
    Her study sounds narrow-minded and it's pretty clear that she is manipulating data in order to fit her prejudice. She focus solely on film version of Superheroes and continues to disregard various aspects such as the self-discipline, ethical- and empathic considerations and willingness to act, instead of just observe. Most kids know that superheroes are suppose to be allegorical or metaphorical and I very much doubt that because they saw Iron Man punch a terrorist, they're going to go out and punch people. Hell, Superman Returns didn't have him do any sort of violence whatsoever; he just lifted shit for three hours.

    "Boys could look up to and learn from comic book heroes of the past because outside of their costumes, they were "real people with real problems and many vulnerabilities".
    This. This I don't understand at all. I would argue, that superheroes are far better at being depicted as rich and complex characters today, than they were in the past. Unless she thinks that a character trait is having a bum leg (to steal from Alan Moore).

    ""He found that being able to resist macho images - especially aggression and autonomy - declines as boys transition into adolescence and this decline puts their mental health at risk."
    Autonomy? That's amazing cynical. It makes it sound as if the study wants us to raise an entire generation of feeble willed individuals, because a weak will and no intelligence is the path to happiness.

    I'll throw down the gauntlet - I think Morrison's All-Star Superman is one of the strongest rolemodels, male or female, I've ever encountered in fiction. He's caring, empathic, righteous, self-disciplined, contemplative, intelligent and willing to do what he believes to be the right thing. Plus, he's fictional, so there's very little chance of him doing anything even remotely harmful.
    • CommentAuthorkperkins
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
    Folks, this is why psychology is NOT a science.
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
    On the other hand, I saw a music video the other day that had an all girl band stealing money, outracing cops, all the while shooting at them 'cool sideways' like.

    I'd rather read a comic.
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
    From what I could tell of the study, it seems that the worst problems the boys in it had was that they thought and acted... like boys.
  6.  (8755.16)
    So who exactly are good role models for our kids? I mean, I'm trying pretty hard to be one for my child (not that I necessarily want my child to emulate me, for example, but I'd like to pass on my morals), but who would you want your kid to look up to?
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010 edited
    this may sound too whiny or whatnot, but in light of my HORRIBLE home life and situation as a young child, BATMAN and CAPTAIN AMERICA probably helped me out quite a bit.

    but not that terrible Spider Man. HES A MENACE!
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010 edited
    What I got from comics, was that superheroes, despite being all powerful, still were human and did things like completely fuck their lives up to the point where they had nothing left to do but bury themselves in their work (yeah, I was a very optimistic child). The issues I remember loving as a child were the ones where the supes lost their powers and realized just how limited they were and how much they relied on their powers.

    But the point of it was that even when they lost their powers, they managed to overcome the evil forces anyways, which showed that yes, even regular humans, with enough determination, can get shit done. And at the end of their adventures they found that they still had to go back to their flawed lives. They know at some point that they have to fix it all, but they hold off on it. I sort of took solace in the thought that they were pretty much like me at the stage I was at. Angry that the world works the way it does, that people act a certain way and wondering where the line between good and bad is...that was me. And knowing that those issues plagued the mind of even the mightiest of heroes brought a little comfort to me.

    Sometimes kids need a "role model" who admits he or she is just as confused about things as you are. After all, how many times did we think things would be easier and it would be all figured out when we grew up?
      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010 edited
    I'm reminded of the episode of Joe Straczynski's Jeremiah called Man of Iron, Woman Under Glass, where a young man growing up in post-apocalypse America models himself on his hero Captain Iron. Iron's hero-speech goes:
    I am Captain Iron and I will use my powers only for good, never for evil. I will fight injustice wherever I find it. I will help those who cannot help themselves. I am a spirit of justice and I am a spirit of vengeance and I will kick the ass of the unrighteous. I will be gentle, for the world is hard, and I will be caring, for the world is harsh, and I will be strong and I will endure pain and I will die bravely and I will make it all better again, so that the children will never have to look up in pain and wonder why they lost so much. Why so many had to die. Why they are still even alive because
    ...because no one should ever have to ask that question.

    I have heard far worse bases for a moral foundation.

    There's a great bit (can't find the exact quote) where his sister describes how he learned his sense of moral justice from the comic and, though the result is tragic, the implication is that the meme of superhero morality thrives, even there.
  7.  (8755.20)
    Hard to argue with the premise in this article when there are few specifics. Let's assume the "trend" they are referring to are the most recent superhero films. Tobey cried every ten minutes in SPIDER-MAN 3, so let's look at everything post-2007. Let's eliminate pseudo-superheroes like John Connor and Duke.

    IRON MAN 2

    Quite a number of antiheroes on that list. Even Batman breaks bones and scars faces in his film. Not a lot of sensitivity, either. I mean, you would almost think these films were made for grown-ups and not kids...!