Kiwi attitudes to swearing soften

TVNZ News 28 March 2010
Public attitudes towards swearing on air are generally softening, but some words remain taboo, a Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) survey shows. The BSA asked 1,500 people whether they found a list of 31 swear words acceptable or unacceptable when used in 10 different scenarios on radio and television. The survey found that with 14 of the words there had been a statistically significant decrease in the number of people who found them unacceptable compared with the 2005 results.

However, many of the more unacceptable words did not experience a statistically significant softening. The C-word, which topped the list as most offensive, actually increased in unacceptability. BSA chief executive Dominic Sheehan said that the research showed that while there was a general softening of attitudes towards the use of swear words in broadcasting, a majority of the public still found hard core swearing unacceptable with eight words rated by at least half the respondents as totally or fairly unacceptable.