There are many studies on the effects of vulgarity. A handful of studies come to the conclusion that the use of vulgarity can reduce stress, make you happier, and prove that you’re smarter; while there are conflicting studies that claim swearing can lead to anxiety, sleep disorders, or suggest a pre-existing mental health issue.
The one thing that everyone seems to agree on and that is there is a lot more of it these days. Is this a bad thing? A study discussed in a British Psychological Society blog says “demonstrates that being fluent at swearing can be seen as a sign of a healthy verbal ability just as much as having a sizeable vocabulary of non-swear words”. While it might be all well and good to use such language with a close group of friends, but are we affecting those around us in a negative way if we use it all of the time?
It was once understood that one would never use vulgar language in the workplace. However, as reported by Reuters, a survey of more than 2,000 managers and 3,800 employees conducted by Caeerfinder showed some surprising statistics. An astonishing 51% of the employees surveyed admitted to cursing in front of their boss with 47% of those employees being women. These statistics might seem trivial but when you consider that managers and supervisors surveyed stated they were 64% more likely to think less of a vulgar employee and 57% were less likely to promote them. While other studies might find you smarter for your swearing, you will also find yourself underutilised in the workforce or even unemployed.
Social etiquette guides used to advise women never to use any forms of vulgarity and for men to never use vulgarity in the presence of a woman. While today the rules are a lot less strict there are still places where you can cop a fine for swearing in public. Some folks believe that this is a restriction of Freedom of Speech while others say that it’s a must to ensure that civility doesn’t go completely out the window.
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So while the studies have shown that a spot of vulgarity is healthy, therapeutic, and proves a slightly higher intelligence perhaps we should use that higher cognitive ability to choose the right situation for it.
Still it does feel right when you kick the corner of the bed first thing in the morning.
What do you think about vulgarity? Is there too much? Are people too sensitive to it?