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ERIC Number: ED142091
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Why Ladies Don't Swear.
Tyler, Mary
An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the use of swear words by women elicits more negative perceptions of the speaker than the use of the same words by men. Subjects (undergraduates) read vignettes describing fictitious clients' initial interviews at a mental health center. One described a forty-year old teacher troubled by anxiety, the other a rebellious teenager. Two aspects were varied, sex of client and his/her use of swear words: none, mild or moderate. Twenty subjects responded to each variant. Subjects rated perceived problems of each client on a five-point scale. Data for each problem were analyzed with a 2 X 3 analysis of variance. A pattern of results emerged which was internally consistent, but counter to prediction. The mildly swearing woman and the moderately swearing female teenager were perceived as the better adjusted of the various clients. Interpretation must be tentative, but it is possible that subjects may have perceived mild deviations from the norm as signs of strength in females. Undergraduates' misperceptions of the psychotherapy setting may have contributed to the finding. Results suggest that swearing men and women are perceived differently, and that evaluators' background and perception of the speech context contribute to judgments. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the Southeast Conference on Linguistics (16th, Greensboro, North Carolina, March, 1977)