Poll - Have You Read “Seduction of the Innocent”

Hello,
Seduction of the Innocent is a part of comic book history and I find myself wondering how many people have read it. My answer is that I own a copy but have only read parts of it. I’m also wondering if it is even known to a lot of fans.
First time making a poll so let’s see if I do it right.

  • Yes, I have read it
  • No, I have not read it
  • I have read some of it
  • I have never heard of it

0 voters

5 Likes

I’ve heard of it but never read it! Had that old guy had wrote this in the 90s, he probably would’ve attack video games instead of comics. I’ll admit the book kind of got my curiosity, but not going too, since I’ll be disagreeing on what he say about Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other heroes at that time.:slightly_smiling_face:

3 Likes

It’s definitely a product of its time.

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I haven’t, actually, but I have read The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, which talked about it a lot. What’s funny is that what I think most people know about Seduction of the Innocent and the “comic book scare” is Batman and Robin, but a lot of horror and crime comics really were super over the top back in the day. Lots of nudity and decapitations on the covers to get people’s attention (and money).

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Yeah. I reread parts this morning and it’s so much more about crime and crime/horror books than sexuality. And even in that chapter a large portion is about sadism. Several times in the Batman and Robin portion he points out that they have a well decorated home with flowers.
I also have serious questions about the sample size and sample population. In parts I have read, he references patients with some intense maladaptive behaviors and psychological profiles which I personally believe skews his findings.

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I also own Ten Cent but haven’t read it. I have such good intentions with the books I buy. I have a desire to learn that is quickly turned off and I go back to escapism.

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I go back and forth with my reading. I keep telling myself to stop checking things out from the library and read the books I actually own for a while, but I inevitably think of reading something else and end up with 10-20 library books at a time. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Knowing what’s in it and what came of it, I never had a desire to read it.

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Kindle has also changed me. The act of holding an actual book while in bed is annoying and a lot of nonfiction books are large. “Scott died when he accidentally dropped a dinosaur encyclopedia on his face.”

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I still prefer physical books, but being able to check out 20-30 library books at a time on a device that I can fit in my jacket pocket is very nice.

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That was my feeling but now I think I’m going to try again from the perspective of history of psychology. I’m a school psychologist and while I question his approach and conclusions there’s still something interesting in there.

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I do think it’s interesting to read books like that just to understand their historical impact. But at the same time, there are so so many books I’m eager to read it’s hard to make myself read something I’m not really interested in. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Seems random to bring this up. I have done research on it, but it does not appeal to me.

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Not that random. It was actually your mention of it on the Tim Drake post that got me thinking about it.

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I figured. I also read your comment saying the book focuses more on crime than sexuality. If you have a dissenting opinion on my comment, feel free to share.

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I’m not sure what your opinion is and you specifically asked people to not comment so I didn’t. I bring up it’s more focused on crime than sexuality because it is. I think a lot of people associate it with the sexuality piece and don’t realize how much the crime piece is covered.

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Even within the chapter focused on sex, sex crimes and violence are given more focus than homosexuality or sexuality in general.

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yeah, it I wanted to hear homophobia or how comic books were evil, I’d strike up a conversation with some of my older relatives

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The common association is because of how it is displayed on pages like Wikipedia and through books (I think the Psychology of Batman book discusses it). Most people associate the Seduction of the Innocent with sexuality because, whether truth or seen once, it was inspired by the scene where Batman and Robin share a bed. Since it focuses more on crime, then that should be where articles highlight.

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It’s funny to think how many people believed Wertham’s nonsense. Years later a lot of his work has been disputed on the basis he falsified facts to suit his point. If I had a time machine, I’d go back in time and bring him to the future so he could see how big comics and comic culture is; that everything he worked toward ultimately backfired and now he’s only remembered for being wrong.

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