Boing Boing links to the findings from a recent study showing that the most psychologically vulnerable teens may benefit from mascara, ankhs, and Victorian chic. As it turns out—though the sample here is too small to be really conclusive—the stereotype of the goth teen as more likely to self-harm (by cutting or other methods) pans out, but usually the self-inflicted harm starts before they join the subculture, which the researchers suggested may provide the kids with "valuable social and emotional support from their peers." Again, the jury's still out, but findings like this do pull the rug out from some conservative cultural alarmism, the ideal type of which is this unintentionally hilarious Michelle Malkin column (best line: emo music is "a new genre of music…associated with promoting the cutting culture") blaming self-harm on… Christina Ricci.
Addendum: Chris Lehmann wrote about boomer fear of Kinderkultur here.
Vero de Rugy reported on earmarks to fight goth culture in Missouri here.
Jacob Sullum cavorts with the goth girls of the Web's premier alternaporn site here.