A new study is revealing Gen Zers — those born between the late 1990s and early 2010s — are not interested in explicit sex scenes in the shows and movies they watch.
The survey, conducted by researchers at UCLA, found almost half (47.5%) of the 1,500 respondents, ranging in ages from 13-24 years old, said sex “isn’t needed” in most TV shows and films. And 44% even said romantic plots are an “overused” storyline in entertainment.
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A majority of survey-takers (51.5%) said they want more plots centered on plutonic friendships.
“While it’s true that adolescents want less sex on TV and in movies, what the survey is really saying is that they want more and different kinds of relationships reflected in the media they watch,” explained Dr. Yalda T. Uhls, one of the co-authors of the UCLA study.
Some of that, Uhls argued, is due to Gen Zers dealing with an “epidemic of loneliness.” As a result, they want to see content that reflects the stage of life in which they find themselves.
“While some storytellers use sex and romance as a shortcut to character connection,” she said, “it’s important for Hollywood to recognize that adolescents want stories that reflect the full spectrum of relationships.”
Fascinatingly, this new data comes as Hollywood has ramped up its sexualized content with shows like HBO’s “Euphoria” and “The Idol,” both of which are replete with sexually explicit scenes.
As Variety noted, the UCLA study referenced singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo, who recently told NME, “I don’t have the desire to. I remember walking out of ‘Barbie’ and being like, ‘Wow, it’s so long since I’ve seen a movie that is female-centered in a way that isn’t sexual or about her pain or her being traumatized.'”
You can read the full study here.
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