EJ RESEARCH: How «bad» words affect our body

In modern society, the use of foul language is considered a bad form. I have been taught since childhood that I can not say bad words, but I did not understand why. Therefore, in this article, will be studied the problem of the use of swear words by children of 11-14 years old and what effect these words have on the human body. In this research article we will consider the key points about the using of abuse language. We will get acquainted with the opinions of scientists who have found out that words have a great influence on a person’s life. Consider the spilling from different sides and find out how they affect the body. Define the pros and cons of abusive words. In the results were found different influences of swear words on human’s body. Were studied scientific researches and experiments, also was learned the teacher’s experience about swearing among children. Аs a result, it was found that the use of foul language by children has a negative impact on the body due to the inexpedient and excessive use of the swear words. This articlewill be useful for parents and teachers working with children of this age.

“Swear words serve many different functions in different social contexts. They may express annoyance, aggression and insult, for instance, or they may express solidarity and friendliness” notes Janet Holmes (2013, p.283).Originally, it would be useful to understand what a swear word is. According to Cambridge`s dictionary (2013) swearing is a rude or offensive language that someone uses, especially when they are angry. In this article I will use several synonyms for word swearing such as abuse language and bad words.

Richard Nordquist wrote in his article: “I see swearing as meaningfully patterned verbal behavior that readily lends itself to a functional analysis. Pragmatically, swearing can be understood in terms of the meanings it is taken to have and what it achieves in any particular circumstance.” (What Are Swear Words and What Are They Used For?, 2017).

Unfortunately, there is not any research about swearing words done in Kazakhstan. Therefore, I would like to provide some Russian Federation`s statistics as most of the Kazakhstani population understand and speak the Russian language.

Levada-center it is Russian non-governmental research organization. The Center regularly conducts its own and customized sociological and marketing research and is one of the largest Russian organizations in its field. According, to a survey conducted by Levada Center, more than half of Russians (59%) use abusive language in their speech frequently.

• 37% of respondents said that they “hardly ever” use bad words

• 4% found it difficult to answer

• 76% of Russians admitted that they heard abusive words from others (17% – often, 59% sometimes).

The survey was conducted in January 23-26, 2015 among 1,600 people aged 18 years and over in 134 settlements in 46 regions of the country. (Poll: more than half of Russians use swearing in speech, 2015)

And how does swearing affect a person mentally and phisically? It has been proven that swearing affects to the transmission of genetic information to the next generation.There have been a number of studies of scientist about bad words. Candidate of biological sciences Pyotr Petrovich Garyayev and candidate of technical sciences Tertyshny G.T. with the help of equipment developed by scientists recorded: the abusive word causes a mutagenic effect similar to radiation with a capacity of 1000 roentgens.

Garyaev believes that with the help of words, speeches, there are thoughts, for speech is the result of thinking – a person, like a sculptor, sculpts his genetic apparatus, and transmits the corresponding information to the next generation, if negative, then from generation to generation, like a snowball will increase self-destructive information. (The influence of swear words on human DNA, 2015)

Scientist could change cells of DNA without surgical interventions. Using frequencies and language, the group received incredible results. They successfully transmitted information images from one set of DNA to another. Eventually, they even could reprogram the cells on another genome, without a scalpel, without making a single cut, they transformed frog embryos into salamander embryos.  (The influence of swear words on human DNA, 2015)

“The reason that a child thinks the F-word is a bad word is that, growing up, he or she was told that it was a bad word, so profanity is a cultural construct that perpetuates itself through time. It is an affliction of its own creation” (What the F: What Swearing Reveals about Our Language, Our Brains and Ourselves, 2016, p.167)

Likewise, given that most people are curse when they are frustrated, shocked, thrilled, or otherwise emotionally charged, profanity is usually uttered with a little extra “oomph!”(TheWashington Post, 2015).

Also Richard Stephens conducted a study on the use of a swearing during pain sensations. A study co-authored by Richard, a senior lecturer in psychology at Keele University, found that swearing can increase your ability to withstand pain. So when you stub your toe and howl an expletive, it might help you tolerate the pain better. (The Case for Cursing, 2017)

In his experiment, Dr. Stephens asked students to come up with a list of swear words that they might use if they hit their thumb with a hammer. Then they were asked to come up with a list of neutral words, there are adjectives, to describe a chair (like wooden, for example). Then he asked them to submerge a hand in ice water for as long as they could, while repeating a word from either list: a swear word or a neutral one.

Participants who repeated a swear were able to keep their hand submerged in the ice water for almost 50 percent longer than those who repeated a neutral word. Not only that, swearing also made participants feel like the pain wasn’t as intense. Researchers concluded that swearing had the effect of reducing sensitivity to pain. Who knew four letters could be so soothing?( The Case for Cursing, 2017)

“For pain relief, swearing seems to trigger the natural ‘fight or flight’ stress response, as well as increased adrenaline and heart pumping,” Dr. Stephens said in an email. “This leads to stress-induced analgesia — being more tolerant of pain.”

The reviewed studies thoroughly examine the reasons why people use abuse speech, influence of this words on DNA and why “bad words” dulls the pain. The peculiarity of this information that here was found advantages and disadvantages of abuse words.

Scientists’ conclusions about swearing are different, were found advantages and disadvantages of using these words. One of the biological scientists found out that abuse language causes a mutagenic effect similar to radiation. A group of Russian scientists discovered that living human DNA can be altered and reconstructed with the help of spoken words and phrases. Also a senior lecturer in psychology with his students has conducted experiment in which he found out that swearing can increase the pain threshold.

For this research was taken an interview with school teacher. My interviewee has been working as a teacher of history for 8 years. At this secondary school in Astana she has worked for 3 years. Out interview was taken on the 15th of December at the workplace of the participant. She wanted to keep her name confidential. The interview questions were about using swear words by learners. Before the interview, the research purpose was explained; participant was informed about a possibility not to answer any questions in the interview and not using video and audio recordings after the publishing the paper. The participant agreed signed the consent form for allowing to be interviewed and using audio recording.

In interview, the focus was on the problem of using obscene language among young people. In this section I will discuss about scientists’ opinion and teacher`s opinion. Firstly I noted that scientists’ conclusions about swearing are different, were found advantages and disadvantages of using these words. One of the biological scientists found out that abuse language causes a mutagenic effect similar to radiation. A group of Russian scientists discovered that living human DNA can be altered and reconstructed with the help of spoken words and phrases. Also a senior lecturer in psychology with his students has conducted experiment in which he found out that swearing can increase the pain threshold. In interview I examined the problem through the eyes of the teacher.

She said in her youth she used foul language under the pressure of classmates not to stand out from the crowd. The interviewee stressed that the younger generation uses abuse language to seems “cool” among their peers. Now she uses swearing only to throw out her aggression. The teacher said that abuse language can be used by creative persons who can do it culturally. When parents often use obscene language, this becomes natural for the child. From the level of education , you still know theme of “street” is important too, although it seems like a battered theme, street and television. Now there is censorship on television. There are children who are really very educated and know what is the culture of communication but some children not.

Finally I can said that scientists’ and teacher’s opinion diverged due to the fact that they are people of different professions. Professionals approached this issue from a scientific point of view. The teacher’s opinion is based on life experience and habitat. The teacher’s opinion about the use of abuse language among children carries a negative character in connection with the fact that children do not know how to rationally use these expressions. Also scientists proved that swearing have a negative impact on our health, but only in some situations they can ease our pain and help throw out excess aggression. Teenagers are most exposed to the pressure of the Internet and other children. As a result of the research, I found of that teenagers use swear words to ease the pain, to express their opinion about certain things among their friends. Unfortunately, having abuse speech deforms the DNA that influence negatively to the mental and physical health. That is why, I can recommend to parents and educators to control the speeches of children and explain why they should not use bad words.

Here are a couple of tips to avoid further bad words. After all, in everyday life from them more harm than good.

1) Convince yourself that the abuse is something bad. People quarrel for various reasons, some because they are angry, others to give more meaning to their words, the third, just to seem funnier. However, swearing obscenities are not the most pleasant habit. First, it creates an impression of poor education, even if it has nothing to do with you. Secondly, it can be considered an attack against another person, and, thirdly, it can be insulting to others, which can badly affect your success at work or in your personal life.

2) Try to think positively. To stop quarreling with mate, it is very important to learn to think positively. All because people are prone to abuse, when they complain about something, are in a bad mood, or just surround themselves with a negative. Do not argue, learn to think positively, not such a simple task, but there is a way. Simply, every time you tend to negate, stop yourself, take a deep breath, and ask yourself the question “Is it worth it?”

3) Replace swear words with others. As soon as you become aware of your habit of swearing obscenities, you can gradually remove the swear words from your vocabulary. For example, you can stop scolding without reason, that is, when you use a mate to express your thoughts. To correct, replace this word with another, not abusive, which, for example, can begin with the same letter or may sound like.


Benjamin, K. (2016). What the F: What Swearing Reveals about Our Language, Our Brains and Ourselves. Philadelphia, PA: Basic Books.

Holmes, J. (2013). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics [E-Reader Version]. Retrieved from: https://abudira.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/janet_holmes.pdf

Nordquist, R. (2017, July 12). What Are Swear Words and What Are They Used For? Retrieved from:



Poll: more than half of Russians use speech in speech. (2015, February 2). Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/russian/russia/2015/02/150202_russia_polls_swearing

The influence of words on human DNA. (2015, January 19). Retrieved from: https://digitall-angell.livejournal.com/455632.html

Wong, K. (2017, July 27).  The Case for Cursing. The New York Times, Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/smarter-living/the-case-for-cursing.html

Wright, T. (2015, August 7). Kids are learning curse words earlier than they used to. The Washington Post, Retrieved from:


Farida Karsybekova 


One Comment

  1. Farida, thank you for your informative article! Some students who read it may think over their speech and try to avoid using bad words following your advice.

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