The following article, Gen Z Rejects Romance: Study Shows Young People Want Less Sex On TV, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Gen Z thinks there’s too much sex on TV, according to a new study.
Researchers discovered most young people would rather watch friendships and platonic relationships, or ‘nomance.’
Nearly half of the 13- to 24-year-olds felt romance is over-used on screen, and a similar amount thought tele and films don’t need to show sexual content at all.
Romantic tropes ranked number four on teens’ most-hated TV stereotypes, according to the University College of Los Angeles (UCLA) study.
The data could spell the downfall of traditional ‘Happily Ever After’ tales – youngsters are fed up with shows presenting relationships as necessary to happiness, bored of love triangles, and fed up with male and female leads always hooking up in the end.
Teen classics “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” supercharged the love triangle trope, but it’s become so common that the new generation has soured on it.
Instead, 39 percent of today’s youngsters were keen to see more asexual and aromantic characters represented.
The vast majority preferred to binge-watch all this content too, rather than waiting a week for an episode.
UCLA Professor Yalda Uhls, linked the new trends with the “epidemic of loneliness”, adding research shows they’re having less sex than their parents did at their age and many prefer single life.
She said: “While it’s true that teens want less sex on TV and in movies, what the survey is really saying is that teens want more and different kinds of relationships reflected in the media they watch.
“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.”
This year, teens wanted familiar content: last year their favorite topic was “lives unlike my own”, but this year that came in at number nine.
Meanwhile, “lives like my own” soared to number two.
They picked MrBeast’s YouTube channel as the most authentic media – it has 200 million subscribers and is run by the biggest YouTuber on the planet, Jimmy Donaldson, who packs his channel with side-by-side wealth comparison videos such as ‘$1 vs $100,000,000 House!’
Next up for most authentic media were TV shows “Stranger Things” and “Heartstopper”, the film “Barbie”, and series “The Summer I Turned Pretty”.
They consistently and overwhelmingly chose TikTok as the most authentic media platform.
The adolescents also preferred original content: 56 percent picked original movies and TV shows over remakes, franchises or shows based on books, comics, or graphic novels.
UCLSA’s Stephanie Rivas-Lara, youth engagement manager for the study, said: “As a member of Gen Z myself, I wasn’t surprised by some of what we’re seeing this year.
“There has been a wide-ranging discourse among teens about the meaning of community in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the isolation that came with it.
“Teens 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.”
Though this may be the year of familiarity, superhero movies still ranked fourth.
Teens chose “White Man” as their ideal hero this year, but in 2022 they picked “Black Man.”
Slightly older participants picked “Black Woman” as their chosen hero.
Most teens continue to select “White Man” as their villain.
Twice as many adolescents would pick all-in-one binge releases to weekly drops – 50.5 percent expressed a strong or slight preference for devouring a whole show, 25.5 percent lent towards weekly episode drops.
The comprehensive annual report surveyed 1,500 people aged 10-24, in line with the National Academy of Sciences’ definition of adolescence.
Each age bracket had 100 teens, and the overall cohort closely reflected the US 2020 census in race and gender.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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