A survey of 1,500 Gen Z-ers has found that more than half of them want to see more content focused on friendship and less on, well, getting it on.
Titled "Teens and Screens," this new survey conducted by researchers based out of the University of California Los Angeles included findings that won't be surprising to anyone who's ever witnessed the online trend among Gen Z, or those roughly between the ages of ten and 24, of decrying sexual situations in film and on television.
The survey, which was done on behalf of UCLA's Center for Scholars and Storytellers (CSS), found that 51.5 percent of respondents want more content on platonic relationships depicted in the media they consume, a trend the researchers labeled "nomance."
"When there's media with too much sex, me and my friends often feel uncomfortable," Ana, one of the survey respondents, said in a UCLA video about the study.
Joseph, a 20-year-old survey participant, added that when sex scenes happen in media they watch together, they feel they have to "awkwardly bear through it."
"It's not that young people aren't interested in TV, movies, and other media with sexual content," Uhls explained, "it's that they want to see more and different types of relationships."
The CSS founder admitted that because the survey didn't ask any questions about pornography consumption, it's tough to "say for sure" whether porn plays a role in their disinterest in seeing sex on screen.
"One theory could be that the prevalence of porn could be a reason why they feel they want to see less sexual content in traditional media," Uhls told NPR.
In an essay about their research, the CSS team wrote that the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have shifted entertainment priorities for Zoomers, who were at very formative ages during lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.
"Young people are feeling a lack of close friendships, a separation from their community, and a sense that their digital citizen identity has superseded their sense of belonging in the real world," researchers Stephanie Rivas-Lara and Hiral Kotecha, both Gen Z themselves, wrote.
Still, there are similarities shared between generations that make Gen Z's interest shift away from sexy content feel less paradigmatic.
"The core essence of kids and teens will always be the same – from camaraderie to curiosity and a sense of adventure – and it appears that somewhere along the way, this may have been forgotten in storytelling," the researchers concluded.
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