Swearing in the Cinema: An Analysis of Profanity in Teen-Oriented Movies, 1980-2006

by Dale Cressman, Mark Callister, Tom Robinson, Chris Near
Citation
Title:
Swearing in the Cinema: An Analysis of Profanity in Teen-Oriented Movies, 1980-2006
Author:
Dale Cressman, Mark Callister, Tom Robinson, Chris Near
Year: 
2009
Publication: 
Journal of Children and Media
Volume: 
3
Issue: 
2
Start Page: 
117
End Page: 
135
Publisher: 
Taylor and Francis
Language: 
English
URL: 
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17482790902772257
Select license: 
No License (All right reserved)
DOI: 
PMID: 
ISSN: 
1748-2798
Abstract:

The exposure of children to profanity continues to be a concern for parents, media researchers, and policy makers alike. This study examines the types, frequency, and usage of profanity in movies directed at and featuring teenagers. A review of relevant literature explores the nature, use, and psychology of profanity, its potential social effects, and its prevalence in the media. A content analysis was conducted of the ninety top‐grossing domestic teen films in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s (thirty from each decade) in the US based on domestic gross box‐office amounts. Results indicate no change in preferences in types of profanity used over the decades. Teen and adult characters use similar profanity types; however, teens are more likely to use the seven dirty words than adults, whereas adult characters use mild words. Male characters use more profanity than female characters, and although both sexes frequently use mild profanity, females show a higher percentage for this type and males have a higher percentage for using the seven dirty words. Finally, results indicate that within and across rating categories (PG and PG‐13), the amount of profanity in teen movies has actually decreased since the 1980s.

Comments
  • Recommend Us