The university released an unfortunately headlined press release that says:
For example, in “Seduction,” Wertham links “Batman” comic books to the case of a 13-year-old boy on probation and receiving counseling for sexual abuse of another boy: “Like many other homo-erotically inclined children, he was a special devotee of Batman: ‘Sometimes I read them over and over again. … It could be that Batman did something with Robin like I did with the younger boy.’ ”That change was crucial because Wertham’s book linked Batman and Robin to homosexuality but didn’t make the same link for the comics that young patient actually preferred.
What Tilley found in Wertham’s notes, however, was that the boy preferred “Superman,” “Crime Does Not Pay” and “war comics” over “Batman,” and that he had previously been sexually assaulted by the other boy – all information that Wertham left out.
The press release notes other examples where Wertham’s notes and final text don’t match. For example, he left out a lot of pertinent risk factors in troubled young patients’ lives. When a patient described learning crime techniques from “the movies” as well as comics, Wertham mentioned only the comics.
I’ve previously noted how Wertham retold a news story about a boy who put on a cape and jumped off a cliff without acknowledging that the character the boy was imitating wasn’t Superman but Mighty Mouse, a character created for the movies.
(Thanks to E. J. Barnes for the alert.)