Swearing on TV: It’s offensive and sets a bad example – UK poll

Mail Online 14th June 2010

Swearing on television offends millions of viewers, according to a survey commissioned by the Daily Mail, directly contradicting controversial claims that foul language is considered acceptable. A majority also believe bad language on television has worsened over the past decade and that it is directly responsible for an increase in swearing by youngsters, despite findings by Ofcom. The TV watchdog’s study, labelled ‘bizarre’ yesterday, was based on just 130 viewers with a disproportionate focus on minority groups, including travellers and transsexuals.

But research by the polling firm Ipsos MORI for the Mail, in response to the regulator’s claims, reveals TV swearing is still a major cause for concern – especially among women and the over-55s. The nationwide survey of more than 800 viewers, weighted to reflect a cross-section of the population, showed that four out of five believe the problem has worsened over the past decade. And a quarter of all respondents, including a third of women, said they had been personally upset by incidents of swearing in the past 12 months.