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Some think that horror has no benefits and only serves to scare people. However, the fear and other feelings caused by it can be positive in many ways. Scary stories have been told for centuries to scare children, but do they do more than simply scare? Research says it does. While horror stories may be scary, they can benefit teens, as they help them learn about themselves and society.
To begin with, horror can help teenagers learn more about themselves and how they can confront fear.
To illustrate, in “One third of parents avoid reading children scary stories, study finds”, Emma Kenny, a psychologist, describes, “Fear is a natural response…Being frightened by a book helps forge resilience, “(Flood p3-4). In other words, when teenagers get scared by horror, they become stronger as they face their fears. In Addition, Paul Goat Allen describes in his article “5 Reasons Horror in Children’s Literature is a Good Thing”, “By exploring (albeit superficially) the dark side of humanity and the nature of fear, kids learn more about themselves (their strengths and weaknesses, etc.
) and hopefully become more empowered by it”. So, children and teenagers can learn more about themselves through how they react to fear and can become inspired by characters in stories who defeat their fears. This can also help teach them about society as well.
Many lessons can be learned from horror especially about humanity and society. For example, in “Social Lessons From Our Favorite Horror Movies”, Krystal D’Costa describes many lessons that can be learned from horror, such as “home is important to shaping the individual and “costumes let us hide things”.
These show some important lessons that can be taken from horror and why they matter, such as if a person’s home is shattered, the individual can be broken as well, along with that appearances cannot always be trusted. Another example of how lessons can be learned from horror is in Jackie Torrence’s “Scary Tales”, in which she describes, “Children need to be frightened… Only fools rush in where angels fear to tread. You should be a little hesitant sometimes.”(p5). More specifically, the fear that horror induces can lead teens to be more cautious and not make the same mistakes that the characters made. This is good, as then teens will be more careful, rather than just rush into a potentially dangerous situation, but not scared enough to have anxiety.
Conversely, many people believe that horror is bad, as it is believed to cause anxiety and nightmares. This may be because of the fear it can cause in sensitive people. While this may be true for those few, participants in a study conducted by researchers “reported a significant uptick in positive moods after experiencing the haunted attraction.”(the Conversation, “How Do Horror Movies Affect Your Brain? Here’s What Loving Or Hating them Says About Your Personality, According To Experts” p4). Fear can have some positive effects, as the participants were happier after confronting their fears. Therefore, while fear can indeed have negative effects for a select few, for he most part it can have a more positive effects, which are not simply it being ‘thrilling’ and ‘fun’.
In conclusion, according to research, fear has many good effects. It can help children learn about themselves while they confront and defeat their fears, and they become stronger and more resilient as a result. They can also learn many social lessons, such as how family is important to who you are as well as appearances should not always be trusted, and that they should be more cautious sometimes. Finally, they can be happier as a result of this, as they will have less to fear and worry about, as they will know how to deal with those fears. So, horror indeed has many benefits for teens in the Junior High age group, and I would recommend that they are allowed to experience horror stories for themselves, reading books if it is less scary for them.
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