Is profanity less of an issue than it was 40 years ago?

It certainly seems to be, given the fact that you can hear it almost anywhere at anytime and very few people react to it. What this says about the US society depends upon your personal view. IMO, it shows a lack of intelligence on the user's part. In many cases the user has the false belief that it makes them appear asssertive or powerful when the reality is that type of behavior is a sign of insecurity and fear (anger is also a side affect of fear).