Children who are exposed to swear words on television, movies or in video games develop an aggressive streak, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Brigham Young University in United States.
The researchers observed the impact of swear words on 223 middle-schoolers in Missouri and asked them how they reacted to such words. The researchers then combined that information with whether the students became physically aggressive or whether they gossiped about others (relational aggression) and found that the exposure to swear words had the same effect as being exposed to violence in movies and video games.
The researchers added that those who were exposed to swear words constantly used profanity themselves and were prone to being aggressive towards others. They also suggested that those who were prone to using swear words often looked out for movies or programs that featured profanity.
"From using profanity to aggressive behavior, it was a pretty strong correlation. And these are not even the worst [profane] words that kids are exposed to, since there are seven dirty words that you're not allowed to say on TV. So we're seeing that even exposure to lower forms of profanity are having an effect on behavior", lead researcher Sarah Coyne said.