While the TV watchdog says the F-word 'is not suitable language for a child that young', psychologist Timothy Jay finds in his studies that 'kids say swear words as soon as they talk.'
"Modern Family" drew a controversy by inserting a storyline where 2-year-old Lily dropping the F-bomb. While Aubrey Anderson-Emmons who plays the little girl did not actually say the expletive word either during the taping or on the aired scene, the Parents Television Council (PTC) is still not into the idea.
"It's not suitable language for a child that young in the real world, and it's not suitable language for a child that young on television, either," the group stated. Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the organization, additionally told FOX411, "It is certainly in poor taste."
"The more we see and hear this kind of language on television, the more acceptable and common it will become in the real world," she argued. "Since television is constantly adding to the likelihood that children will be exposed to this kind of language, we will naturally see more and more children eventually emulate that behavior."
Another group, No Cussing Club, also opposed the scene. Its founder McKay Hatch stated, "Our main goal is to stop this from happening. If we don't, at least ABC knows that people all over the world don't want to have a 2-year-old saying the 'F-bomb' on TV."
However, expert finds the scene is very common in real life. "Yes, 2-year-olds say f***," so claimed Timothy Jay, a psychologist who studies psycholinguistics and obscenities at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
He went on telling LiveScience, "Kids say swear words as soon as they talk. We have 1- and 2-year-olds who say 'f***' and 's***' in our sample." Supporting his argument, he explained, "Preschoolers are pretty well-versed in the lexicon, and by 11 to 12, we are looking at adult swearing patterns."
Insisting that TV shows are not the main source where kids first hear swear words, Jay claimed, "Television really has nothing to do with it.... We don't learn how to swear from television - nobody does. We learn how to swear from our siblings, from our parents, from the backyard."
Despite the two groups' objection, "Modern Family" still aired the F-bomb in "Little Bo Bleep" episode on Wednesday night, January 18. Eric Stonestreet, who plays one of Lily's fathers, reacted to the protest by tweeting, "For fornication sake people! Again, how bout actually SEEING what you're against before u r so STRONGLY against it."
He further wrote, "How bout redirecting energies...2 reading 2 the elderly, picking up litter, feeding the hungry... So focused on the 'cussing' in tonight's Modern Family, everyone seems to have neglected Ty, Jesse, Ed's, and my full frontal scene."
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, meanwhile, explained to E! Online, "I can assure you she did not actually say the F-word on the show. We said the very innocent word fudge, but people are all up in arms about that. This is not child abuse! We're not making her cuss."