ERIC Number: ED197405
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Afternoon Delight: Sex in the Soaps.
The mass media appear to have an influential role in the socialization of children by exposing them to a world far beyond the limits of their immediate experience. Because children must depend on mass media models for learning about adult sexual intimacy, a content analysis of daytime soap operas, to which many children are exposed daily without reruns or summer replacements, was undertaken. In 1976 and 1979 two episodes of each major network's soap operas were videotaped for analysis, and intimate acts or references were coded by level of intimacy from verbal reference to petting to implied intercourse. According to the analysis, unmarried people were portrayed as being more sexually active than married people. Of the intimate sexual behaviors engaged in by married people, petting was more evident than talk about intercourse. The rate of occurrence of intimate acts remained rather constant between 1976 and 1979, with only a slight increase in the 1979 season. Many of the sex acts were not explicitly portrayed; they were discussed, alluded to, or implied. Given the theory that children will come to value and model the behaviors seen on television, the findings suggest that those acts most explicitly portrayed, specifically petting, would be modeled more frequently than other intimate acts. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Effects; Soap Operas
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (66th, New York, NY, November 13-16, 1980).