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New Study Says Superheroes May Turn Kids Into Violent Vigilantes

flickr / Tim Malabuyo

The most challenging part of your kid’s superhero obsession used to be getting your tablecloth back before your in-laws come over for dinner. Now, thanks to science, you have to worry about your little LEGO Batman turning into a LEGO villain. That’s because a study published in the Journal Of Abnormal Psychology found that being too into superheroes could lead to aggressive behavior. Yes, Michael Keaton is probably as pissed as you are.

Researchers interviews 240 children, as well as their parents, about their engagement in “superhero culture.” When asked why they liked certain caped crusaders, only 10 percent said it was because they protected people. Instead, 20 percent of kids cited some sort of violent skill as why they were awesome. While these ranged from benign examples, like “He’s big and can punch,” other statements were more aggressive. One kid even said that Captain America was his favorite “because he can kill.” USA! USA!

The remaining 70 percent of children reported they loved them simply for their superhuman skills, such as being able to fly. That makes sense, seeing how many times your kid has tried (and failed) to do this off the couch. In other words, a majority of subjects in this study were completely reasonable about their superhero interest.

So are superheroes bad examples? No. But they can lead to less-than-heroic behaviors if your kid takes their crime fighting ways too seriously. So it’s probably best to make sure your mini caped crusaders are into comic characters for more than their fists.

[H/T] Science Daily