ERIC Number: ED226391
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Sex Differences in Reported Profanity Uses and Perceptions.
Selnow, Gary W.
A study examined sex differences in the usage and perceptions of profanity. Subjects, 135 undergraduate students (61 females and 74 males), completed a questionnaire requesting information about demographics, attitudes, and use of profanity. The initial series of questions sought to obtain a self-reported estimate of the frequency with which respondents used profanity in daily speech. Female respondents reported significantly less frequent use of profanity than did males. In all but a single instance (use of profanity in mixed company) female respondents said they felt the use of profanity would be less appropriate than males said it would be. Male respondents were more inclined than females to report that profanity provided a linguistic tool with which to demonstrate the social power of the speaker, and they were also more likely than females to report that profanity helped make the user socially acceptable. When asked to rate 16 commonly used terms on a six-point scale, males and females surprisingly rated the words similarly, except for religious profanity, in which the ratings provided by males were more severe than those given by females. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Communication, Language, and Gender Conference (5th, Athens, OH, October 15-16, 1982).