Channel 4's Hollyoaks has been named TV's most violent soap with threatening scenes occurring in excess of five times more regularly than EastEnders, according to a study by media regulator Ofcom.
The programme, aimed at teens and young adults, has seen the number of violent scenes increase considerably in recent years and last year it was censured by Ofcom.
Hollyoaks has risen from 2.1 violent scenes per hour in 2001/2 to 11.5 scenes per hour last year. At the same time EastEnders has seen a dramatic fall from 6.1 to 2.1 over the same period.
Loading article content
ITV's Coronation Street has remained largely steady at 3, while Emmerdale was another programme which had seen an increase during those years, from 2.5 to 4.
The new research comes just days after one broadcaster was given a substantial fine by the regulator for screening graphic depictions of "extreme violence" including torture, a child murder and dismemberment of a corpse before the watershed.
Investigation Discovery was given a £100,000 penalty for screening eight episodes of its documentary series Deadly Women during daytime schedules.
For the new Ofcom study, researchers looked at 282 episodes of the four soaps and found that more than half of all the violent scenes they recorded were in Hollyoaks.
The C4 show also accounted for all of what were classed as "strong violence", much of them coming from two storylines.
Almost three-quarters (73per cent) of the scenes classed as violent were made up of threats and intimidation or incidents such as pushing, prodding and tripping.
Fists were used in only 5per cent of the incidents - slightly fewer than the slaps which made up 6per cent - and the shooting of firearms made up less than 1per cent.
In its report Ofcom said: "The conclusion must be that the amount of violence logged in a soap appears to be largely determined by the storylines running at a particular time."