Has Profanity Taken Over Our Lives?

Mia Condon, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In American culture today, profanity is everywhere: the movies we watch, the TV shows we binge, and especially the music we listen to. The question I hope to shed some light on is, “Has society become desensitized to the use of profanity?”.

To properly investigate this question, I first had to find out how profanity was used in high schools of the past. When asked how the use of profanity has changed from when he was in high school, Mr. Riesterer (pictured left), had this to say.

“I don’t know if it’s changed. I think kids are kids, and people are people, and they use the words- I don’t know if we always understand what we’re saying, we just say ’em sometimes, the words, and use the profanity that way.”

To my surprise, many of the other staff members I interviewed had similar responses.

Mr. Haycraft, the Student Services Assistant at BHS, said “I don’t know that it has. I’m sure kids swear when they’re in their friend groups, and I think it’s probably always kinda been like that.”

I then continued my investigation into asking staff members how often they noticed profanity being used in a school set

ting. Contrary to my previous assumptions, all of the staff members interviewed noted how

rarely they heard profanity being used in their presence. This information was shocking considering that of the 150 students interviewed, 76% said that they swore regularly, and 81% noted that

they noticed or heard profanity being used in school “all of the time”. These statistics lead me to ask the question, “Why is profanity used so much today?”

Ms. Szotkowski, the choir director at BHS, had an interesting point of view.

“I think that, for students, it makes them feel like adults. I think it just, it becomes part of your filler-word culture.”

 

This investigation shed light on many things.The first being that teachers often don’t notice students using profanity, despite students using it consistently.

Similarly, many staff members do not think the use of profanity has changed much since they were in high school. when asked why profanity is used so much in today’s culture, Mr. Riesterer was able to offer some words of wisdom.

“Society accepts it. And I think if we, as a society, said ‘We’re not gonna do this anymore. We’re not gonna allow for this to happen anymore.,’ it would go away.”