The 1980’s were a scary time for conservative types. Heavy metal, which incubated through the ’70s thanks to the likes of Black Sabbath, KISS and Deep Purple, caught on with a vengeance, and suddenly the PMRC (Parent’s Music Resource Center), a group formed by the wives of Washington D.C. politicians, was calling for the censoring and banning of W.A.S.P., Twisted Sister, and Motley Crue. Given the live fast, die young attitude of bands like Motorhead early Metallica and the hedonistic lifestyle of many a hair metal band, you’d think that ’80s metal and its behavior might have warped a mind or two, or at least created some bad habits and traumatic lifestyles. However, according to a new study, you’d be wrong about that.
With three decades since the hair metal explosion and the PMRC, which former VP Al Gore’s wife Tipper was a part of, researchers found that ’80s metal fans were “significantly happier in their youth, and better adjusted currently” than their peers that liked other musical genres, and to a parallel group of current college students. The study, which was published in the journal Self and Identity, looked at 377 adults, 154 of which were metal fans growing up in the ’80s (including musicians and groupies). Not surprisingly, they had a lot less regrets about their risky (read, awesome) behavior in the ’80s than the other group, and were happier than today’s college students. Also, the researchers found “no statistically significant group differences in life experiences or current functioning” between the groups they examined.
That being said, the study was done with “relatively high functioning individuals,” meaning that the drug-addicted, suicidal, and alcoholic metalheads from the ’80s might be too strung out, drunk, or dead to have participated in it. The study suggests that “social support” led the “troubled” 80s youth out of the gutter and to being meaningfully employed adults with some stories to tell from their wasted youth.
[via Pacific and Standard]