By: Carrie Anderson
Spoiler alert: it’s because science says it’s good for you.
That’s right. SCIENCE, bitches!
Ok, so we can be a little more detailed than that. (If you insist.)
- Cursing increases your pain tolerance.
Next time you’re working out and have to yell “motherFUCK!” to get through that last set, and your SO gives you that look that says “watch your effing language,” just remind them that swearing is increasing your pain tolerance so you can kill it at the gym (and not kill them).
According to psychologist Richard Stephens, who has studied the shit out of this, study participants who repeated a swear word over and over were able to hold their hand in ice water longer than those who repeated a neutral word. (No idea about the curse word they were given, but I like to think it was “cocksucker.”)
However, the downside is that if you are perpetually profane, the effects will wear off and you will be just like all the normies and their regular pain tolerances. Damnit.
- You seem more honest. Actually, you probably are more honest.
A 2017 study interviewed participants about topics related to their swearing habits. Things like their favorite curse words, how often they swore, and the reasons why they resorted to cursing. Their findings reported that most participants used swearing to express themselves rather than in a socially aggressive or harmful context! They were then asked questions to determine their trustworthiness on topics like blame placing, game playing, etc. (Basically, whether they’d be a great cast member on Bravo’s Real Housewives.) Finally, they compared the data sets.
Surprise, motherfuckers! People who engaged in more blame-placing, game playing, and negative trust activities used more third-person pronouns (another reason you should never trust someone who talks in the third person) and negative words. People who used curse words regularly, however, were more honest, both in their self-reported trustworthy behaviors and in their social media posts.
People who are fluent in swearing often have correspondingly large vocabularies.
And you know what they say about a person with a big vocabulary... The next time someone tells you that swearing makes you sound dumb, you can use science when you tell them to fuck the fuck off. A 2015 study found that participants who knew a lot of curse words also knew a lot of other, non-curse words too. Basically, it debunked the common misconception that we curse because we don’t have other words to express ourselves. We're quite the vocabulists, in fact. (Here is a great summary of the study if reading the research isn’t your thing.)
There are many, many more benefits to swearing. The New York Times has written about it. Time has covered it. Your parents’ favorite hoarding material National Geographic has covered it. Multiple books have been written on the subject.
This really just leaves us with one conclusion to draw: embrace the shit out of swearing. It’ll be good for you in the long run. Now get to shopping some beautifully sweary home decor. Shit.