UCLA Study Finds Teens Want to See Less Romance & More Friendship on Film and TV

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Storytellers in Hollywood often rely on romantic tropes to keep the story going, but it seems they’ll have to change their ways. According to UCLA’s new study, the younger audience feels romance is too prominent in film and TV, and they’d prefer seeing more content about friendships and platonic relationships.

The Center for Scholars & Storytellers at UCLA recently conducted a Teens & Screens report, and the results were pretty telling. 47.5% of teens and young adults aged 13-24 said that romance and s-x are too prominent in TV shows and movies, with 44.3% saying that romance in media is overused.

The survey also showed that 51.5% of teens and young adults want to see more content focused on friendships and platonic relationships. Many of the respondents also expressed a desire to see themselves represented on screen, with “lives like my own” ranking as the second most popular topic among adolescents.

Dr. Yalda T. Uhls, the co-author of the study who serves as an adjunct professor in UCLA’s psychology department, said that young people are seeking modeling in the art they consume because they’re suffering an epidemic of loneliness.

“While some storytellers use s-x 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,” said Uhls in a statement shared by Deadline.