Sex On Soap Operas - Introduction
Are DAYS OF OUR LIVES, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, GENERAL HOSPITAL, and the rest of the daytime soaps filling the afternoon airwaves with sex and more sex? What's really going on?
If you would like to see a mini-version of the original Sex On Soap Operas Research Survey conducted for this article before you continue reading, please go to the Sex On Soap Operas Survey Page.
When you're finished, come back and you will be able to compare your responses to those listed here in the official research.
Soap operas have been a cultural phenomenon for more than seventy-five years since Irna Phillips created the first radio soap opera called Painted Dreams in the early 1930's. Since then, there have been literally hundreds of radio soap operas and television soap operas over the years. Another Phillips' creation, GUIDING LIGHT, has been in continuous production (first on radio, later moving to TV and radio at the same time, then exclusively on TV, and now still on TV and also available in a podcast from the CBS website) since 1937 making it the oldest continuous program of any type in broadcast history.
Phillips also created other daytime dramas still on the air including AS THE WORLD TURNS and DAYS OF OUR LIVES. (She is credited as co-creator). She was also the creator of the long-running ANOTHER WORLD as well as many radio soaps now relegated to footnotes in broadcast history.
Ever since the first radio script included the words: "SOUND OF KISS – ORGAN MUSIC SWELLS," sex, or at least the implication of it, has been a constant and inextricable element of soap operas. Today's soap heroines are no longer required to remain virgins until marriage as their long ago radio counterparts were and the organ music disappeared years ago, but kisses are barely the least of sexual content on today's soaps.