Kids who like heavy metal are more likely to become hardcore criminals and thugs. That’s according to a new study, published in the Dutch journal Pediatrics.
“We were stunned ourselves,” admitted Dr. Tom Ter Bogt, of his findings. “But we checked it over and over again.”
The Dutch study tracked 149 boys and 160 girls, from ages 12 to 16. Over those four years, researchers discovered that 12-year-olds with a strong preference for “deviant music” — labelled as “heavy metal, hip-hop, gothic, punk, and techno-hardcore” — were more likely to become engaged in vandalism, shoplifting, fighting, and gang delinquency by age 16, whereas kids who listened to other genres of music — pop, classical, or jazz — did not.
“What we believe happens,” reported Dr. Ter Bogt, “if you have this taste for rebellious music, for noisy music, it brings you into contact with other kids with the same type of music taste. And you are contaminated by the behavior in that group.
Ter Bogt added, “If you listen to classical music, or jazz, overall these kids tend to behave far less dramatically. So I would suggest to parents if your 12-year-old listens to very, very noisy music, rebellious music, be aware of what kinds of friends he or she brings to the house.”
After studying the connection between music and behavior for 10 years, Ter Bogt now admits his own pre-teenage metalhead tastes in music affected his young adulthood.
“The first LP I bought in those days was the Beach Boys. The second was Black Sabbath. I was into the heavy stuff myself, and at 16 or 17, I was involved in an occasional thing or two, although I was never at a police station.
“LIke most kids,” he said, “I grew out of it and became a normal law-abiding citizen.”
The doc did admit his findings do have him worried about his own son, a 10-year-old who likes popstar Justin Bieber but also has a taste for German heavy metallers Rammstein.
“I’ve got to keep an eye on him,” he concluded.