3 Boys Provoke Black Widow to Bite Them So They Could Turn into Spider-Man

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3 Boys Provoke Black Widow to Bite Them So They Could Turn into Spider-Man

By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor

Three Bolivian boys provoked a black widow to bite them in hopes they could turn into Spider-Man. The venomous bite landed them in the hospital.

Fox News reported, “Believing a bite by the spider would give them powers like comic book superhero Spider-Man, the boys, aged 12, 10 and 8  from Chayanta, a town in the Andean region of Potosi, approached the spider on May 14 and poked it with a stick.”

According to National Geographic, the black widow is the most feared spiders in the world with venom 15 times more powerful than a rattlesnake.

Thankfully, the boys were discharged from the hospital last week.

Their actions, though, prove the influence of media in a person’s life. Had the boys not wanted to imitate their favorite superhero, they most likely would have left the spider alone.

However, the Spider-Man storyline continues to permeate pop culture and influence children’s behaviors.

Time and time again, Movieguide® has cautioned readers about media and the various stages of cognitive development for children.

Dr. Ted Baehr said it best in The Culture Wise Family, “Part of the problem with television and movies is the lack of time for the viewer to reflect, react or review the information he or she is receiving -processes that are absolutely necessary for cognitive development.”

These children who allowed the black widow spider to bite them were in or on the cusp of the Concrete Operational Stage.

In this stage, children need:

  • Stories with many characters who solve their problems together
  • Strong characters with real life dilemmas and solutions
  • Information that helps them bring clarity to the world and non-fiction
  • Stories that ask important questions about life with positive resolutions
  • Storylines that involve the audience, such as mysteries and game shows
  • Plots and settings that challenge their sense of real and imaginary

Though not all children would provoke a spider, it’s important that families recognize how their children process media and encourage them to use media discernment even from a young age.

For more resources on media-wisdom, check out Dr. Ted Baehr’s books.  For additional online resources, click here for articles on parenting

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