Since the start of 16 and Pregnant, and Teen Mom on MTV, the girls featured on the show have certainly been living in the public eye of the media, but it wasn’t until we met Amber Portwood, one of the original cast members, that we got a glimpse into the life of a teen mother who very well may end up as another teen parent statistic.
Something that MTV has been good at throughout the shows’ seasons is weeding out the cast members who may fall into “the statistics,” but it doesn’t change some of the numbers out there surrounding teen pregnancy and parenting.
What statistics am I talking about?
- 3/4 of a million teens between 15 and 19 become pregnant annually.
- Teen mothers account for 11% of the births annually.
- Teens who become parents are less likely to attend college or finish high school (2/3 will not finish high school).
- Only 77% of children born to teen parents will complete high school.
- Children of teen parents are more likely to be abused, neglected or abandoned.
While all teen mothers, and parents do not fall into a category like this, it seems as though Amber has become the poster child for not having a child as a teen. In fact teens polled cite the television show as a reason they would not want to be teen parents themselves.
While it is not clear if the television show has played a factor, the teen pregnancy rate has finally started to decrease since starting to rise around 2005.
As for Amber, we can only hope for the sake of her daughter Leah that she cleans up her act and turns her life around.