profanityIt can reduce stress, increase pain tolerance, boost morale, and….it can be good for your health. That’s right, swearing might just be a health benefit!

From Reader’s Digest:

There are some weird habits that prove you’re smarter than everyone else, and swearing is one of them. It also happens to be healthy.

In a new book Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language, author Emma Byrne uses the latest research from neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, and other experts to make a strong case for swearing being a downright healthy response to stress and pain.

According to NBC News, “You probably don’t want to curse during your next performance review. But clinical therapist Amy Deacon, explains that cursing can make you appear more genuine within your social circles. “Cursing in a positive scenario makes us come across as honest, authentic and assertive because swearing is such a raw form of expression,” she says. “You are getting an uncensored, raw, unfiltered response that is a gut reaction and reflective of what the person is really feeling of thinking.” A recent study found that profanity is correlated with genuine feelings and emotions in social interactions, which indicated that those who curse may also be more likely to be truthful.” listed a number of ways and situations in which saucy language may be good for us.

  • Pain relief.
  • Non-violent Outlet.
  • Harmless & Humorous Coping Mechanism.
  • Assertion of Power/Control.
  • Social Bonding.
  • Psychological & Physical Health.
  • Outlet for Self-Expression & Creativity.

As for the idea that profanity is a sign of ignorance, the New York Times wrote that the exact opposite might actually be true. The more bad words you know, the smarter you may be.

“This is the ‘poverty of vocabulary’ myth, that people swear because they lack the right words due to impoverished vocabulary,’’ Dr. Jay said. “Any language scholar knows otherwise.”

Dr. Jay was the co-author of a 2015 study, published in Language Sciences, that tested the ability of people to generate words beginning with a given letter. It ended up debunking the poverty-of-vocabulary myth.

“We found that people who could generate a lot of letter words and animal names could also generate the most swear words,” Dr. Jay said. “So as fluency goes up, so does the ability to say swear words, not the other way around.’’ He added, “Fluency is fluency.”

However, National Geographic pointed out that a stigma still exists between men and women when it comes to cussing.

Today we are horribly still in the same place on men versus women swearing. Although women are still considered to swear less than men, we know from studies that they don’t. They swear just as much as men. But attitudinal surveys show that both men and women tend to judge women’s swearing much more harshly.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this idea that swearing might be good for us. All we ask is that, in this venue, you refrain from making it too colorful! Generating meaningful conversations around the health stories making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!



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