When it comes to cursing, growing numbers of women are not fucking around. A new survey that looked at the swearing habits of both genders over the last 20 years found that women use the F-word more than men.
Researchers analyzed recordings of up to three hours of the daily conversations of 376 people. Although only half the conversations have been transcribed so far, the findings at this point are that women use the F-word 546 times per million words while men use it 540 times. The full results will go public in 2018.
It’s a drastic shift from the 1990s, when men used the F-word 1,000 times per million words and women a mere 167, according to The Times.
The survey, which was administered and sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) alongside Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press, marks the first time changes in speech have been examined over a period of two decades.
Professor Tony McEnery, a director at the ESRC, said it appears that cursing is shedding its masculine image.
“It looks like there were a set of men who said it a lot in the early Nineties, and they influenced the women to do it, and then it levelled down,” McEnery told The Times.
“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 should become something of the past.
“These data sets are very rare. The British are the first to achieve this, to see how English has changed over the years."