Holy sh**, women officially swear more than men in their daily lives, according to a new academic study. We thought it was just us.
Women’s use of the word ‘f***’ has increased by more than 500 per cent over the past two decades, while men have almost halved their use of the word over the same period, reported The Times.
The study, conducted by researchers from Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press, also found that women were ten times more likely to say ‘sh**’ than men.
But it wasn’t always this way. According to studies from the early 1990s, men used ‘f***’ 1,000 times out of every million words they said; while women said it 167 times.
By 2014, however, women had become sweary Marys, increasing their use of the word to 546 times per million words, while men’s use of it almost halved to 540 times per million words.
Women were just four times more likely to say ‘sh**’ than men in the early 1990s, compared to ten times more likely today.
The data was gathered by 376 volunteers recording up to three hours of their daily conversations and researchers then analysed the roughly 10 million words.
New variations of the f-word were also recorded among the data, the researchers found, including ‘f***tard’, ‘f***wit’ and ‘abso-bl***y-lutely’. Researchers also said swearing is more acceptable now than it was in the past.
Fuddy duddies might decry the study’s findings, but they can’t say our language use hasn’t become more creative.
“It looks like there were a set of men who said [the f-word] a lot in the nineties and they influenced the women to do it, and then it levelled,” said Tony McEnery, a professor at Economic and Social Research Council, which sponsored the research.
“As equality drives on the idea that there is male and female language, that there are things which men and women should or should not say, is going to be eroded. Gentlemanly behaviour and ladylike language is becoming something of the past.”