It's hard to mask the facts.
"Good guys" in superhero films are more violent than the "bad guys", according to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
According to the report, an analysis of 10 superhero-based films released in 2015-2016 showed the movies' protagonists engaged in 23 acts of violence per hour, while antagonists accounted for 18 acts of violence during that period.
The findings were slated to be presented at Monday's AAP 2018 National Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. The study is titled "Violence Depicted in Superhero-Based Films Stratified by Protagonist/Antagonist and Gender".
That study also revealed male characters were nearly 500 per cent more violent than their female counterparts and accounted for 34 acts of violence per hour.
Protagonists in the study fought 1021 times and used lethal weapons in 659 of those incidents. For antagonists, the most common violent act was the use of a lethal weapon, which happened 604 times, while the films' villains were engaged in 599 fights.
"In passively co-viewing violent media, there is an implicit message that parents approve of what their children are seeing, and previous studies show a corresponding increase in aggressive behaviour," the study's investigator John N. Muller wrote.
"By taking an active role in their children's media consumption by co-viewing and actively mediating… parents help their children develop critical thinking and internally regulated values."
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not indicate which superhero films were reviewed, only that they were all identified as such by boxofficemojo.com.
Some of the popular superhero movies released during the years involved in the study include Avengers: Age of Ultron, Suicide Squad, Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
The study concludes that "paediatric health care providers should educate families to the violence depicted in this genre of film and the potential dangers that may occur when children attempt to emulate these perceived heroes".
New York Daily News