Is Generation Z the “prude generation”? A recent study indicates that a significant number of teenagers and young adults believe that there is an excessive portrayal of sexual content on television. Scholars have unearthed that the majority of young individuals prefer narratives centered on friendships and non-romantic relationships, often referred to as “nomance.”
Half of Gen Z doesn’t like romance TV programs
Approximately 50% of individuals aged 13 to 24 express the opinion that the portrayal of romance in media is excessive, with an equivalent proportion believing that television and movies can do without explicit sexual content. According to research conducted by the University College of Los Angeles (UCLA), romantic clichés were rated as the fourth most disliked television stereotypes among teenagers.
Many young people are becoming disillusioned with the idea of romantic relationships as necessary for happiness. They are also tired of the cliché of male and female protagonists always ending up together in stories, which challenges the traditional “Happily Ever After” narrative.
Contemporary teenage favorites like “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” brought renewed vigor to the love triangle theme. However, its ubiquity has led to a decline in enthusiasm among today’s youth. In contrast, 39% of the current generation express a preference for the inclusion of asexual and aromantic characters in their stories. Furthermore, a significant majority favor consuming content through binge-watching rather than adhering to weekly episode releases.
Young adults have less sexual activity than their parents
According to UCLA Professor Yalda Uhls, the latest trends are linked to a growing “epidemic of loneliness” among young adults. Research indicates that young adults have less sexual activity compared to their parents at the same age, and many of them prefer being single.
Professor Uhls emphasizes that while adolescents may want less sex portrayed in media and desire more diverse and meaningful relationships depicted in the content they consume. Young people are experiencing a loneliness epidemic and seek relatable content in the media. Instead of using sex and romance as a quick way to connect characters, Hollywood should acknowledge that adolescents desire stories that encompass a wide range of relationships.