Study: "Good guy" superheroes engage in more violence than their evil enemies

Researchers watched 10 superhero movies released in 2015 and 2016, and recorded any instance of violence portrayed by characters, classifying it based on whether it was at the hands of a protagonist or antagonist. The research team also noted the specific type of violence, such as fighting, destruction of property, or even murder.

They found that the superheroes engage in an average of 23 violent acts each hour, compared to 18 instances of violence by villainous characters. In total, the authors counted 2,191 acts of violence by the protagonists across the 10 films, and 1,724 from the antagonists. As far specific acts of violence, the good guys were most often engaged in fighting (about 46 percent of their violent acts), followed by use a lethal weapon (30 percent), destruction of property (9 percent), murder (8 percent), and bullying/intimidation/torture (6.5 percent).