heavymetal-dehornhand-sign640 Metal fans reportedly grow up to be happier and better adjusted adults than many fans of other genres, a study has suggested.

The research published by Taylor & Francis Online sought to test the validity of studies carried out in the 1980s which claimed fans of bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath were at risk of “poor developmental outcomes.”

And, Pacific Standard reports, the new research finds that most of the metal fans who took part in the study “were significantly happier in their youth, and better adjusted currently” compared to peers who were into other music.

The team was led by Humboldt State University psychologist Tasha Howe, who says, “Metal enthusiasts did often experience traumatic and risky ‘sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll’ lives. However, the metalhead identity also served as a protective factor against negative outcomes. Despite the challenges of adverse childhood events, and other stressful and risky events in their youth, they reported higher levels of youthful happiness. They were also less likely to have any regrets about things they had done in their youth.”

The study also reports that those who focused on types of music outside of heavy metal “sought psychological counselling for emotional problems more than any other group, indicating a less happy and fulfilling perspective on their 1980s adolescence.”

The research would appear to make a mockery of high-profile 1980s campaigns against the metal lifestyle, run by organizations such as Tipper Gore’s Parents Music Resource Centre. Metal in the 80s was often frivolously linked to devil worship, drug abuse and suicide.

Spotify recently named metal fans as the most loyal of all listeners.


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  • Tyger of Pan Tang on

    One thing’s for sure, metal fans are much more secure about what they like and stick with it. In the early 80s, when metal was becoming a distinct genre, the whole New Wave movement was just one big identity crisis and costume change after another. If changing your hair colour every week isn’t a sign of insecurity, I don’t know what is.
    If as Eddie says they don’t use the Internet to follow their favourite bands as much as they should, it’s because a lot of metal fans are sceptical of using technology in a trendy way.

  • Charles Clinchot on

    Tell me something I don’t already know

    • Dana on

      Well, did you know that Genie’s are literal? Cue the Geico commerical (winky face).

      D šŸ™‚

    • Doug R. on

      LMAO! šŸ˜‰

    • Charles Clinchot on

      Did you that right after that Mike Portnoy just joined another band.

  • James K. on

    I hope they didn’t spend too much money on this research only to tell us something we already knew.

    They should do a study on my brother: He started out a metalhead but married at a very young age and was brainwashed by his wife into becoming a country music fan. Since then, he’s been nothing but a screwup. There has to be a connection.

  • Bill Zwerz on

    what a bunch of crock! anyone with 1/2 a brain knows that metal has traditionally been the refuge for downtrodden, misanthropic, and trouble-prone youth – it has caused suicides and murders, and the music of Ozzy, Judas Priest, Slayer have directly caused some high-profile rapes/killings/suicides, etc.

    • Dana on

      Bill, are you serious?? I hope that was sarcasm because that was an ignorant and very BROAD statement.

      I have been listening to metal for more than half my life and I have NEVER had an urge to hurt anyone, let alone myself. Nor have any of the men that I dated, who listened to the music as well. I have never done drugs, barely drink, except on a rare occasion, and have a Master’s degree. If any genre of music has caused violence in the world, it has be hard core Rap, as there is certain lifestyle that seems to accompany that music. Plus, every time there is a live event, there is almost always a shooting or stabbing, most likely related to gang violence.

      Finally, and most importantly, music cannot influence anyone to do anything they weren’t already thinking about, it’s just a convenient excuse to explain away one’s own violent tendencies and proclivities. No matter how weak minded and mentally unstable an individual, unless they are diagnosed as schizophrenic with auditory delusions, they will always have free will to make their own choices.

      Dana from

    • Tyger of Pan Tang on

      Dana, I’m going out on a limb here and offer three possibilities:
      1.) Bill is a PMRC leftover;
      2.) Bill is a liability lawyer, hoping to drum up business suing rockers for influencing fans to engage in violence, suicide and drug addiction. He tried to get lawsuits going against tobacco companies and gun manufacturers, but that didn’t work out, so he’s now desperate for new business; or
      3.) Bill’s pulling your leg.

      Take your pick!

    • Dana on

      I really hope it’s number 3. šŸ™‚ I started out by replying that I prayed that he was being sarcastic. Sometimes, it’s hard to decipher tone in written text.

      D šŸ™‚

    • Charles Clinchot on

      Ok I’m going to try to keep this pg Dana, but to quote Dan Akroyd with a little modification. Bill you ignorant jacka** did u use that single brain cell that runs your body to come up with that I have a Bio and Psych degree did no drugs and drank a bit but I was never downtrodden nor a misanthrope I listen to all forms of music and even though I primary listen to metal anyone who kills themselves most likely has physical problems in their Brian and whether u listen to Ozzy, Barry Mannilow or rap on no music at all they would still commit suicide unless they got help.

      Anyway if we are all misanthrope and downtrodden what the hell are you doing on a hard rock heavy metal web site? As Sam Dunn would say you don’t like it enough of us and we are doing just fine!

    • Charles Clinchot on

      ThX for the edit dana

    • Dana on

      My pleasure, Charles.

      D šŸ™‚

    • shannon mehaffey on

      Wellll, what Bill is referring to in his references to the downtrodden, misanthropic, trouble prone youth is a co-relation, and he seems to be confusing that with cause/effect. Yes, there is a co-relation between disaffected youth and metal, because metal has a very genuine disposition and anyone who has been abused has a pretty high detector for b.s. Plus, it’s a form of the blues, so it understands and deciphers pain. So, then, metal is what keeps the majority of these people sane, the ones who don’t make it, don’t for factors that are not caused by metal.
      Now, as to metal fans being more adjusted, I concur, and my reasoning is that metal is aggressive in nature, and is music that requires you to put some authentic emotion out there, and also pushes you to your extreme threshold of emotion. So, it’s a release. Something I’ve noticed, males who really dig metal rarely beat their wives or girlfriends. It’s those folk guys, those New Age mellow types that always end up being psychotic and abusive, it’s all that repression.

    • Coredrum on

      One of the dumbest comments ever..You are an ass…

    • shannon mehaffey on

      I know, what a pompous blowhard, huh? Some academic out there would appreciate my argument, the people who do have the point of view that Bill was lampooning. Hey Doug R, Sammy, now that is some drinking music.

    • Doug R. on

      Shannon, Mas Tequila! The Rum Bum rules! Even at 67, Sammy still parties like an animal! There’s only one way to drink, Sammy’s way! Looking forward to his cook book coming out soon, should be some really good recipes in there, food & drink, cool! …96 bottles of beer on the wall… “Get Your Buzz On” Shannon, cheers!

    • shannon mehaffey on

      Doug R, no doubt, when i am enjoying some fine drink, and I want to feel good, Sammy is my go to guy.

  • mike hardy on

    Hey Bill ,i really hope you are joking,you throw around some pretty strong words my man.Just by mentioning rape ,murder as a result from listening to music period is ludicrous at best .Son of Sam in the 70s said he committed those murders from a dog barking next door,telling him sub consciously to do so,do the math my man. Those type of individuals will commit acts of violence with or without music.Rock on Dana , this guy should not be allowed to wave the metal flag!!!!!Go away!!!!!

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