ERIC Number: ED445364
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Sep-7
Sexual Activity on Daytime Soap Operas: A Content Analysis of Five Weeks of Television Programming.
Heintz-Knowles, Katharine E.
In 1994 the Kaiser Family Foundation commissioned a monitoring project which assessed the frequency and representation of sexual behaviors in five daytime television soap operas. A new study sought to provide up-to-date quantitative information and to extend the previous project by examining more specifically the representation of planning for and consequences of sexual activity, and by increasing the sample size to include all 10 nationally televised daytime soap operas. When appropriate, the study makes comparisons with the previous research. This study examined 10 hours of each of the 10 nationally televised daytime soap operas during the 5-week period from May 27 to June 28, 1996. All sexual behaviors--both visual and verbal-- were classified according to the type depicted or talked about, characteristics of participants, presence of discussion and/or depiction of planning for sexual activity, and motivation for and outcome of sexual activity for participants. Overall, across the 97 hours of programming reviewed, a total of 594 individual sexual behaviors were identified. Findings confirm that sex remains a key element of soap opera storylines. In a marked shift from previous analyses, including the 1994 study, sexual activity was found to be primarily visually depicted, although most depictions were not of sexual intercourse. There is a range of sexual activity represented on televised soap operas, and most of it occurs within the context of committed, heterosexual relationships, with the majority of interactions having clear outcomes. (Contains 6 tables of data, 11 references, and an appendix on methodology.) (NKA)
Descriptors: Content Analysis, Programming (Broadcast), Sexuality, Soap Operas, Television Research, Television Viewing
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2400 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025. Toll Free (800) 656-4533, Web site: http://www.kff.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, CA.