My Posts

Gen Z Want Less Screen S*x on TV: Enough Is Enough!

By Orgesta Tolaj


20 November 2023

gen z want less screen sex on tv

© Markus Spiske Unsplash & Anna Shvets / Pexels

Who would have thought that Gen Z would be making such a reasonable request? While sex used to sell quite a heap until a while ago, it seems times are changing for good. According to a new study, Gen Z are claiming they want to see less screen sex on their TVs. But, what are they looking for instead? And how come times have come to this? Here is what the study had to say.

Study Suggests Gen Z Want Less Sex on Screen

A recent study found that almost half of Generation Z individuals (47.5%) believe that depicting intimate scenes in TV shows and movies is irrelevant to the overall plot. Additionally, 51.5% of Gen Z respondents expressed a preference for more stories focusing on platonic friendships.

Researchers surveyed 1,500 participants aged 10 to 24. They aimed to reflect the racial and gender distribution reported in a previous census. The study tried to understand the perspectives and preferences of adolescents regarding the media they regularly consume.

What Did the Research Focus on?

Yalda Uhls, representative of the study, emphasized that the younger generation is facing a significant challenge of loneliness. They are actively seeking relatable narratives in the media they engage with. While acknowledging that some storytellers use romantic relationships as a convenient means to establish character connections, Uhls stressed the importance for Hollywood to understand that adolescents are eager for narratives that encompass a broader spectrum of relationships.

© Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

This desire extends beyond merely depicting diverse romantic relationships; young viewers are particularly interested in seeing authentic connections among characters. According to Stephanie Rivas-Lara, the first author of the study, there is an ongoing and extensive discourse among young people about the meaning of community. This is especially true in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation it brought about.

What Are Adolescents Saying?

Adolescents conveyed discontent with certain stereotypes, particularly the assumption that male-female friendships inevitably lead to romantic involvement. A 17-year-old Black boy from Georgia expressed frustration with the scarcity of platonic relationships in American cinema. He stated that not every friendship between a boy and a girl has to turn romantic. Similarly, a 16-year-old white girl from the western US voiced her dissatisfaction. She emphasized the importance of acknowledging that people can simply be friends without romantic implications.

The recent study’s results align with broader research indicating a decline in sexual activity among Generation Z. According to a 2021 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30% of teens reported having sex at least once, a decrease from 38% in 2019 and over 50% in previous decades. This decline, the most significant ever recorded by the survey, involved over 17,000 adolescent students and has been conducted biennially since 1990.

Other Data That Supports the Fact That Gen Z Wants Less Screen Sex

Recent data from the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey indicates that in 2021, 30% of males aged 18 to 25 in Generation Z reported abstaining from sex in the previous year, with one in four females in the same age group reporting a similar experience. Another study from UCLA revealed a decline in the proportion of young adults reporting two or more sexual partners, decreasing from 23% in 2011 to 10% in 2021.

© freestocks / Unsplash

The study’s co-authors, Stephanie Rivas-Lara and Hiral Kotecha, who are part of Generation Z, emphasized the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their generation. They pointed out that the pandemic-induced isolation contributed to Gen Z prioritizing friendships, citing clinical studies on the “friendship recession” and the loneliness epidemic highlighted by the US surgeon general, Vivek Murthy. According to the Cigna Group, young people today are twice as likely to report feeling lonely compared to those over 65. The authors noted that while their study’s finding of more emphasis on friendship than romance felt headline-worthy in the research context, as young individuals, it resonated with their ongoing conversations about community and the prevalent theme of loneliness in their generation.

Do you agree with Gen Z asking for less screen sex and more platonic and romantic relationships instead?

You might also want to read: Sweden Wants to Include S*x Championships as a Competitive Sport

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!