“We know that young people are suffering an epidemic of loneliness and they’re seeking modeling in the art they consume," Dr. Yalda T. Uhls, founder and director of CSS and co-author of the study said.
Gen Z prefer films and TV that focus on platonic friendships rather than romance.iStockphoto by Getty Images
"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."
Uhls also referenced the fact that young people nowadays are having less sex than their parents did at their age.
Stephanie Rivas-Lara, CSS youth engagement manager and a first author on the study (and a fellow Zoomer) provided some context as to why her generation are seeking friendship over romance in their entertainment.
“As a member of gen Z myself, I wasn’t surprised by some of what we’re seeing this year,” Rivas-Lara told IndieWire.
“There has been a wide-ranging discourse among young people about the meaning of community in the aftermath of Covid and the isolation that came with it.
She added: "Adolescents 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.”
Meanwhile in the battle between old and new, 56 per cent of respondents said they prefer original content over franchises, remakes or adaptations.