Parents, you can now rejoice in your messy, cursing, night owl children
Studies (that’s science, y’all) have found that people who swear, stay up late, and keep messy desks can, in fact, be more intelligent than their non-swearing, early-to-bed-early-to-rise, neatnik counterparts. This will relieve many adults, thrill most children, and horrify bullies, who now have to ask themselves, “Perhaps it is I who’s been the nerd all along?”
Get your kids away from your screen and get ready to be surprised/thankful for scientists.
Some of us were raised by parents who said that people who curse do so because they have nothing intelligent to say. Others of us were raised by parents who thought those first parents should go fuck themselves. And they were right. Using swear words may actually be a sign of verbal fluency instead of a limited vocabulary. When you can’t think of anything better to call someone than a **********, what you’re doing is using your creativity to forget taboos and use the best possible word to describe that motherfucker. That takes some smarts.
You know what else takes smarts? Going to bed late. Seriously. According to evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, since human beings have evolved to be active during the day and sleep at night, those who stay up late are doing something “evolutionarily novel.” He found that more intelligent kids tend to grow up to be more nocturnal as adults, while less intelligent kids tend to become adults who go to bed early then wake up at four am to go for a five-mile run and work on their novels before the rest of us have gotten out of bed because we were up till midnight watching Olympic beach volleyball and being geniuses. (That last part is just my interpretation.)
And if you’re reading this surrounded by your own filth and piles of garbage, congrats smarty pants! A study from the University of Minnesota showed that some of your poor life choices are related to how neat you are. They found that neater people were healthier, more generous, and more conventional. That’s great for them. But those of us who are sickly, inconsiderate slobs are also more creative, and creativity is a sign of intelligence. HUZZAH! We might die younger than you, but at least we’ll be doing it in new and unexpected ways, suckers!
If we can take anything away from these studies, it’s that going against the grain isn’t something we necessarily need to discourage — it’s those people who push the boundaries and cross the lines who are the ones who challenge and change us, and that’s usually a good a thing. So while you should still ground your kid for mouthing off at his teacher and never cleaning his room, on the inside, hidden somewhere he will never ever see, you can be comforted by the idea that he’ll probably be just fine.
And if that doesn’t make you feel better, consider this: if being tired, messy, and swearing constantly are signs of intelligence, then parents have it made. Stop worrying about cleaning your goddamn house and take a nap, nerd!
This article was originally published on