A new study confirms what parents have suspected for years: Kids mimic the profane language and obnoxious behavior they see on TV and in video games.
Research published in the journal Pediatrics reveals that television programs and video games that use profanity can lead to adolescents cursing more and behaving more aggressively.
“We didn’t know this before and I was really surprised because we’ve got all these ratings for television, film, and video games for profanity,” said study author Sarah Coyne.
She went on to say that ratings may not be an accurate reflection of the profanity being displayed.
“I think as a society we’ve gotten really lax concerning profanity,” she added. “I think it’s in part because we hear it all over the media.”
The study included 222 children ages 11 to 15 from the Midwest.
“So maybe you watch television, play video games with a lot of profanity, and kind of you get more used to it,” Coyne said. “You get more desensitized to it, you become more accepting of it, then you kind of start using it in your own life and then kind of show the lack of respect for people.”