New Study Finds Gen Z Wants Fewer Sex Scenes In TV Shows, Movies

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A new poll found that Gen Z isn’t very interested in steamy sex scenes in their entertainment.

The survey of 1,500 respondents was conducted by researchers at UCLA. It found that almost half of Gen Zers aged 13 to 24 (47.5%) said sex “isn’t needed” for most TV shows and movies. A significant amount (44%) also said romance is “overused” as a plot device.

So what do they want instead? A majority of the respondents (51.5%) say they would like to see more stories about platonic friendship.

“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,” study co-author Dr. Yalda T. Uhls said in a statement.

“We know that young people are suffering an epidemic of loneliness and they’re seeking modeling in the art they consume. While some storytellers use sex and romance as a shortcut to character connection, it’s important for Hollywood to recognize that adolescents want stories that reflect the full spectrum of relationships,” Uhls continued, also mentioning the current trend of adolescents having less sex than previous generations and staying single longer.


The study also asked about other facets of entertainment material. Researchers found that most participants (56%) preferred original content to franchise projects or remakes of pre-existing content. There was also a notable change from last year’s study results. While in 2022, respondents preferred seeing stories about “lives unlike my own,” in 2023, that changed, with most wanting to see “lives like my own.”

In 2023, more study participants wanted to see a “white man” as the hero, while in 2022, the top answer was “black man.”

“As a member of Gen Z myself, I wasn’t surprised by some of what we’re seeing this year,” Stephanie Rivas-Lara, study author and youth engagement manager at CSS, said of the results. “There has been a wide-ranging discourse among young people about the meaning of community in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the isolation that came with it.”

“Adolescents are looking to media as a ‘third place’ where they can connect and have a sense of belonging — and with frightening headlines about climate change, pandemics and global destabilization, it makes sense they are gravitating towards what’s most familiar in those spaces,” she said.

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