F*ck Being ‘Ladylike’; Swearing Helps Us Deal With Pain

Taken from here.

Somehow uttering “gosh darn it” or “fiddlesticks” when we stub our toe on the foot of the bed just doesn’t cut it. And now researchers know why. It seems using a hearty “shit” or “fuck” or other favorite profanity can actually help us better cope with pain. But does that mean women should swear more?


In the study from Keele University in England, 71 college students were asked to submerge their hands in freezing water for as long as they could bear it. One group was asked to repeat a swear word of their choice, while the other group was asked to repeat a control word they might use to describe a table (because, you know, constantly saying “square” or “mahogany” is going to help you forget that you’re freezing your damn hands off). And guess what happened? Nearly three-quarters of the participants kept their hands under water longer while swearing for an average of 31 seconds longer.

Researchers believe our potty mouths actually help relieve pain by activating our brain’s endogenous opioids–you know, the natural pain-relieving chemicals we all have which are similar to pain drugs like morphine and oxycodone. See, all these years of thinking good girls don’t swear was just wrong! Some may say that it’s taboo or socially unacceptable to cuss, and our society may still judge women more harshly for dropping an f-bomb than men (all of which is bullshit, by the way), but when we bang our shin or burn our hand, there is something deeply gratifying about letting the shit fly.

Just don’t get too comfortable swearing though. Researchers say that the more frequent we do so, the less impact it has at killing pain. Damn.

Photo: Thinkstock

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