6 thoughts on “&#%&!#%: Child profanity a 'stepping stone' to aggression, study says”

  1. As a person working inn the school system, I have to disagree with you to a certain extent Tom Davidson. When the “paddle” was sent to the wayside by “fed & state gov” THAT’S when good behavior went south by the “constituents” as you call them. ALSO, you find a family that enforces rules & or consequences for bad behavior, & see what happens when they do implement discipline.The little angels want to call the police & have their parents arrested for DOING THEIR JOB!!

  2. Profanity and aggression are both learned behaviours. So are erudition and civility. The ‘reserarchers’ in this ‘study’ have made the most naive of errors in statistics – confounding association with causation.
    Blame the educators for unacceptable learned behaviours. In the last half-century, the ‘education’ of children has slipped out of the home as the public schools have co-opted the upbringing of generation after generation of rude, selfish, and dependent ‘constituents.’

  3. Austin, that would actually be a proper and useful definition of profanity, and better than most due to its universality.

    Also, you could easily demonstrate a mutual cause effect. People (especially children) with great respect for the rules of society and parents are much more likely to say “Gosh Darn it” that profanity is a useful proxy for parental discipline and obedience.

    However, the lack of definition for aggression is most troubling. Aggression can be channeled into productive activities (football, management), or unsavory actions (lawyering, bar fights), and that is far more important than the mere presence of aggression

  4. Interestingly, the paper did not bother to define the words profanity and aggression. There was a footnote to the FCC’s definition of profanity, plus the TV ratings dealing with language and violence, but since almost every sentence in the paper used the word profanity once or twice, I assume the authors accepted some sort of common understanding of the term. As a linguist, I find this disconcerting and unhelpful. Then there is the matter of data-collection, which was largely anecdotal rather than observational. Are we really expected to draw meaningful conclusions from this “study?”

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