Saturday, April 15, 2006


Much of the coverage of the British Medical Journal report into automutilation presented it as "Goths are more likely to self-harm"; the actual report made it clear that that wasn't the conclusion it drew:

Self harm could be a normative component of Goth subculture including emulation of subcultural icons or peers who self harm (modelling mechanisms). Alternatively, it could be explained by selection, with young people with a particular propensity to self harm being attracted to the subculture.

In other words, it could be goths cut; or it could be that people who cut tend to be more drawn towards goth.

And, slightly more flippitantly, the report only considers those people who self-identify as goths; in our experience, the gothier the goth, the less likely they are to call themselves goth. Tracking subcultures - it's not that easy.


Anonymous said...

Whatsmore, 25 is a ridiculously small sample for any study, and it's a clustered sample (if you ask people from the same schools you'll find groups of friends who are more likely to be influenced by what their friends are doing than by what people across the country in the same sub-group are doing).

Ade said...

Furthermore, it was based on interviews and goths are probably more likely to see admission of self-harm, even false admission, as something glamorous or romanticised.

Anonymous said...

Self harm by scoring. Scoring? That's sheer laziness, and exemplifies the lacadaisical approach to things that is oh so prevelant in today's youth.

georgina said...

Thank you, your article is very good

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