What Gen Z wants on TV is more nuanced than just less sex

A still from popular Gen Z show Heartstopper
A still from popular Gen Z show Heartstopper

A still from popular Gen Z show Heartstopper

Over the past few years, a new moral panic has swept the nation. Teens just aren’t getting down and dirty like their parents used to in the good old days! Very real concerns about climate and economic crises notwithstanding, young people are statistically having less sex and fewer children than ever before. They’re also, as a number of outlets have bluntly reported, turning their prudish pitchforks on one of the last great American pastimes: sex on screen.

Except, that’s not the whole story. While it’s true that a large number of teens—44.3% to be exact—think “romance in media is overused,” what Gen Z seems to really want is for their favorite TV shows and movies to explore a larger diversity of types of relationships, as opposed to outright nixing the sex scenes.

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S0, yes, in a vacuum, teens may want less sex on TV, but it’s clear that what they really want is simply a more expansive media landscape where everyone can find some character or storyline they personally identify with. It seems like the kids are gonna be alright, after all.

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