Gen Z is shaking up the entertainment scene with a fresh perspective. They've had enough of steamy romances and sexy scenes in movies and TV shows. According to a recent study, they're much more interested in stories centered around friendships than passionate love affairs.
Around 47.5% of those born between 1996 and 2012 believe that sizzling content isn't necessary for a compelling narrative.
This marks a significant departure from shows like 'Euphoria' and 'The Idol,' which pull out all the stops.
Here's the scoop: 51.5% of today's teenagers are embracing a different approach.
They're placing a higher value on friendships and non-romantic connections. As for romance? Well, 44.3% find it a bit passé in today's media landscape.
So, instead, a solid 39% say: "Let's see more aromantic and asexual characters on screen!" Take O from 'Sex Education' on Netflix, portrayed by Thaddea Graham, for example.
This asexual student sex therapist is making waves and perfectly aligns with the values of our generation, as per a report from UCLA's 'Teens and Screens.'
According to Dr. Yalda T. Uhls, who is the founder and director of CSS and also one of the study's co-authors, "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."
"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 recognise that adolescents want stories that reflect the full spectrum of relationships."
These findings highlight a significant shift in Gen Z's approach to relationships. A remarkable 56% of individuals have observed more of their peers opting to remain single.
Surprisingly, 44% of them would prefer cleaning the toilet over embarking on an online date. These insights are derived from the 'Singles in America 2023' study conducted by Harris Insights and Analytics.
Furthermore, younger generations are engaging in fewer intimate encounters than in the past.
In a 2022 study funded by Love Honey, it was discovered that one in four people aged 18 to 24 in the United States still maintain their virginity. This data underscores the evolving landscape of modern dating.
On a different note, prominent actors like Aidan Turner, known for his role in 'Poldark,' have openly shared their discomfort with filming intimate scenes, particularly in the absence of widespread use of intimacy coordinators.
Reflecting on a previous on-set experience, Aidan shared his thoughts with Metro.co.uk: "It was awkward in some moments. Not always, but directors, I found in my experience, weren't always great at doing [sex scenes.]"
Sir Michael Caine, at the age of 90, also shared his relief at no longer having to shoot intimate scenes. In an interview with the Daily Mail, he stated: "Thank God I'm 90 and don't play lovers anymore is all I can say."
In the most recent season of "You," Penn Badgley shared that he had a conversation with showrunner Sera Gamble about reducing the number of intimate scenes.
"It was not easy. It was easy because of Sera's response, and I felt relieved. But technically speaking, if I thought I'd had the ability to set that boundary earlier, I would have," he told GQ.
A 23-year-old speaking anonymously to UCLA pointed out that the media's emphasis on romance often suggests that being in a relationship is the key to happiness.
"The main [stereotype] I always see is a person who comes from nothing, falls in love and gets everything they always wanted. I feel sometimes it sets a mindset [for the] younger generation that all they need is a significant other to be happy...," she said.
Another individual chimed in "enemies to lovers, trope is so boring."
Netflix, are you listening?