Harry Potter fans are better humans according to science

Mimi Launder
Thursday 16 November 2017 09:30
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Harry Potter fans may not have magical powers (we don't think) but they can at least be pleased knowing they are the best among muggles.

A paper has revealed that kids who read Harry Potter are less prejudiced.

The research, entitled The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice, conducted three studies to test whether extended contact through reading the best-selling books "improves attitudes toward stigmatized groups (immigrants, homosexuals, refugees)".

They found that identification with Harry Potter and disidentification from negative characters such as Voldemort and his Death Eaters "moderated the effect" of prejudice with young readers.

The revelation will no doubt be unsurprising for fans of the books.

After all, the Boy Who Lived and his friends align themselves with minority groups - including giants, muggle-borns and werewolves - throughout the novels.

And they don't pull their punches when fighting prejudice.

Voldemort and his Death Eaters are also a pretty obvious parallel to Nazism.

It is hardly subtle: terms such as mudblood, half-blood and pure-blood are alarmingly similar to racist language in the muggle world.

Writing on her website last year, J.K. Rowling revealed:

The expressions ‘pure-blood’, ‘half-blood’ and ‘muggle-born’ have been coined by people to whom these distinctions matter and express their originators’ prejudices.

As far as somebody like Lucius Malfoy is concerned, for instance, a muggle-born [wizard] is as bad as a muggle. Therefore Harry would be considered only half-wizard because of his mother’s grandparents.

If you think this is far-fetched, look at some of the real charts the Nazis used to show what constituted ‘Aryan’ or ‘Jewish’ blood.

I saw one in the Holocaust Museum in Washington when I had already devised the ‘pure-blood’, ‘half-blood’ and ‘muggle-born’ definitions and was chilled to see that the Nazis used precisely the same warped logic as the Death Eaters.

A single Jewish grandparent ‘polluted’ the blood, according to their propaganda.

It was also Rowling's mouthpiece in the novels, Albus Dumbledore, who said:

You place too much importance, and you always have done, on the so-called purity of blood!

You fail to recognise that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!

Coincidentally (perhaps), a 2016 study linked reading Harry Potter to a lower opinion of Donald Trump.

Take from that what you will.

But J.K. Rowling, who has made it clear she is not a fan of the President, is probably happy her books cast that particular spell.

More: JK Rowling mocked a report about her rules on writing, before giving the only rule anyone should listen to

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