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Gen Z Turns Off Sex Scenes — They Want This Instead

Photo from Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

Gen Z Turns Off Sex Scenes — They Want This Instead

By Movieguide® Contributor

A new study by Talker Research found that 43% of Gen Zers turn off a movie when they encounter a sex scene.

“Over one in four of those polled (27%) believe that sex scenes and nudity have ‘no place’ in movies and TV now — baby boomers were found to be the most likely to feel this way (35%),” the Talker report said. “Forty-three percent of those polled believe that sex scenes are either always or mostly unnecessary and don’t add enjoyment or story enhancement — Gen Z was the most likely generation to agree with this sentiment.”

“Barely one in ten” believe that sex scenes add to the story or enhance their experience as a viewer.

Women are twice as likely to turn off a movie when there’s a sex scene as men are. Just over half (51%) of women think sex scenes still have a place in movies, and 63% of men do.

In May, the Economist reported movies today have 40% fewer sex scenes than in 2000. The steepest drop was in the action movie genre, which saw sex scenes decrease by 70%. However, though sex scenes are fewer, they are more graphic than they were years ago.

But the Talker study and Economist article only mention movies, not shows. Recent series — like BRIDGERTON, THE IDOL, GAME OF THRONES, HOUSE OF DRAGONS and many others — have had a lot of pornographic nudity.

UCLA performed a study last year that found 47.5% of Gen Z think sex scenes in shows and movies are not needed. Over half said they wanted to see more content centered on platonic friendships and 44.3% said they want to see less romance on screen.

The top five categories of content they reported wanting to see are:

  • Hopeful, uplifting content with people beating the odds.
  • People with lives like my own.
  • Action and/or fight scenes (may include guns and violence).
  • Superheroes
  • Friendships and social groups (popular, unpopular, etc.).

Gen Z is right on the money when it comes to the top category. It’s proven that uplifting content is what sells tickets at the box office compared to other genres.

Movieguide® reported last week:

2024’s top movies at the box office all promote strong morals and boast uplifting plots, while more perverted movies, even when they have a strong backing, have sunk.

Having been in theaters for two weeks, INSIDE OUT 2’s total domestic gross has crossed $400 million, a better showing than last year’s top movie – BARBIE – at this point in the movie’s cycle. DUNE: PART TWO, in second place, boasts a similarly edifying storyline, with a story of good versus evil and the struggle for freedom. Its strong release at the beginning of March was the main catalyst for the healthy box office heading into the major summer months and nine out of the top 10 movies of the year owe some of their success to the momentum it generated.

The rest of the top five – GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIREKUNG FU PANDA 4 and KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – each follow suit, with an uplifting, morally strong plot being a common thread throughout each of the movies. In total, these five movies alone have accounted for just under $1.1 billion, roughly a third of the year’s total box office earnings.


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