WLBT TV

Research is poking holes in another stereotype, but this time the news is bad for African-American boys. A recent study has uncovered new data on young black males' susceptibility to engage in self-harming behavior, commonly called "cutting." Turns out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, it's not just for white girls.

WLBT reports:

"Based on what people once thought about this, we might have thought that white youth and in particular white girls, would be more likely to engage in this behavior. We never would have expected that African American boys were at such high risk," said study author Dr. Kim Gratz.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center psychologist analyzed information from six middle and high schools in Mississippi with diverse populations. The sampling is considered significant because it is large.

Previous studies indicate self harm methods, such as cutting, burning and biting are more common among white adolescent girls, but Dr. Gratz say this study found what no one expected.

Across the board, it is most common among African American boys. "They reported higher rates of most of the self harm behaviors than the other groups of students. They had higher rates of severe scratching, self biting, punching but they also did in fact have the highest rates of cutting along with white girls. They had higher rates of most of the behaviors."

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