A study conducted by the U.K.’s University of Westminster confirms that all you longhaired, headbanging fans of heavy metal music are just a bunch of depressed misfits with no respect for authority.
Somewhat predictably, heavy metal fans were more likely to be male, to dislike authority, and to feel a need to be unique. Enjoying heavy metal was also correlated with openness, possibly because people with more open personalities would be drawn to music that is “intense, engaging, and challenging,” as metal can be, the researchers write. Interestingly, the metal fans in the study tended to have relatively low self-esteem. “The catharsis afforded by heavy metal may, in turn, help boost self-worth and promote positive self-evaluations among those with otherwise low self-esteem,” the study postulates.
Of course, the respondents consisted of 414 people, mostly college students, all British, and their metal-ness was based on whether or not they liked bands including Cradle of Filth and Disturbed, so.
For a more detailed, entertaining ethnography of metaldom, there’s always this.
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