After someone mentions heavy metal music, you normally think of loud instruments, swearing, and an abundance of drug and alcohol use.
Well, how dare you judge..! A new study is now suggesting that people who listened to the music in their teens and younger adult years were actually far happier in their childhood and have become better adjusted in today’s compared to any middle-aged or current college-age youth groups.
The 80s were dominated by the heavy metal scene and the unruly misconception of the genre gave way to “The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC)”,an organization co-founded by Tipper Gore and several other wives of Washington power brokers. The center launched a political campaign against any music that promoted “negative” things.
The original aim was to place warning labels on all music that featured “negative acts”. A few pop acts were targeted however the majority of the music to fall victim to the labels was heavy metal bands from the 80s, in particular: Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, W.A.S.P, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, and Venom.
Not all musicians and bands agreed with the PMRC. Dee Snider from Twisted Sister famously appeared before Congress in 1985 after accusing the PMRC of deliberately misinterpreting his band’s lyrics and waging a false war against the whole genre of metal music. You can watch the stunning interaction below.
Over three decades later, it as though Snider was right…
Thirty Years On
So after thirty years later, what’s happened to these metal-head kids?
The often assumption is that they’re drug addicts or in prison or even dead right? Wrong! A group of esteemed researchers at Humboldt State, Ohio State, UC Riverside, and UT Austin conducted a study that examined 1980s heavy metal groupies, musicians, and even the fans at middle age.
Over 377 participants were closely monitored throughout the study. The results conclude that although metal enthusiasts lived riskier lives as children and teenagers, they were actually far happier and better adjusted than other middle-aged or current college-age youth comparison groups.
The researchers concluded from the study that participation in these kind of “fringe style cultures” may enhance identity development in younger years. The results also prove that heavy metal lyrics don’t turn kids into damaged goods, as the PMRC mistakenly suggested.