If you have a toddler running around the house, the odds are becoming more and mroe likely you may hear them drop an f-bomb or the s-word more often than words like “poopy” or some other kid version of a curse word. You only have yourself to blame, parents.
A recent study monitored and researched swearing by children (what don’t they study these days?) from the ages of 1 through 12. It found that boys were more likely to utter a word considered taboo than girls, and boys tended to have a wider vocabulary of crude words. Good going, dads of America? From FiveThirtyEight:
The study found that, overall, boys had a slightly larger repertoire of bad words than girls (95 compared to 80). But that repertoire varied by age. By age 3 or 4, girls were using 40 taboo words while boys were using 34; but among 7- and 8-year-olds, boys were using 45, and the number of bad words girls were using slipped down to 25.
The study revealed that once kids hit the age of nine, the use of the word “fuck” skyrockets in frequent usage. So does “shit.” “Bitch” doesn’t launch itself in frequency nearly as rapidly, but does have a steady incline, as does the phrase “oh my god.” Not surprisingly, as usage of those words and phrases increases, the usage of the word “poop” or a derivative of it falls off the grid.
Kids are learning this from the parents, of course. Another study referenced by FiveThirtyyEight says usage of “fuck” and “shit” are up significantly since a similar study was conducted 27 years ago. But you know what? Parents of today had to pick it up from somewhere too at some point, and odds are pretty good they were first exposed to that language at home in some way.
We can always blame the older generation for something, right?