Abstract Title

F@&* Mars and Venus: Gendered Perceptions and Practices of Profanity Usage

Disciplines

Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication

Abstract

The notion that “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” is an expression of an assumption that women and men employ opposing approaches to communication. When it comes to gendered communication prescriptions, profanity is no exception. This project explores profanity through gendered language theory which states that the English language consistently entrenches patriarchal notions of dominance, as well as, enforces binary expressions of gender. Through a self-constructed survey of college students’ profanity practices and perceptions, this project functions to; (a) examine the link between gender and profanity usage, (b) challenge the popular conviction that both John Gray of “Men are from Mars” and Richard Dooling of “Blue Streak” purport: women use more mitigated and softer language than men. The independent research inclusive in this project ultimately asserts the converse belief; not only does it appear profanity is increasingly prevalent, but college females are helping lead this trend, swearing just as much, if not more than male students in almost all instances.

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F@&* Mars and Venus: Gendered Perceptions and Practices of Profanity Usage

The notion that “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” is an expression of an assumption that women and men employ opposing approaches to communication. When it comes to gendered communication prescriptions, profanity is no exception. This project explores profanity through gendered language theory which states that the English language consistently entrenches patriarchal notions of dominance, as well as, enforces binary expressions of gender. Through a self-constructed survey of college students’ profanity practices and perceptions, this project functions to; (a) examine the link between gender and profanity usage, (b) challenge the popular conviction that both John Gray of “Men are from Mars” and Richard Dooling of “Blue Streak” purport: women use more mitigated and softer language than men. The independent research inclusive in this project ultimately asserts the converse belief; not only does it appear profanity is increasingly prevalent, but college females are helping lead this trend, swearing just as much, if not more than male students in almost all instances.