It seems like everywhere we turn today, Teen Pregnancy is there. Reality Television, celebrities having babies as teens, and the teen birth rate rising for the past few years before recently plateauing out. But Time Magazine took the time to explain how many teens today feel about teen pregnancy, and parenting.
While many of us have been thinking that these reality television shows are pushing teens in the direction of unsafe sex, and teen pregnancy and parenting, others seem to have a strong opinion on it, even going as far as saying these shows help to prevent teens from making the same mistakes as their peers featured on the shows.
Chief program officer at MTV, Bill Albert was quoted in the Time Magazine piece as saying:
“while MTV is not in the teen pregnancy prevention business, we firmly believe they have developed two shows that are probably among the most powerful interventions you’re likely to see.”
As a parent, and adult, I seem to agree to a certain extend with Mr. Albert. If you have been watching in recent weeks, and even in the season finale of the Teen Mom program, glamor is nothing these girls have going on in their life. Custody battles, delayed graduation from high school, assault charges and child services investigations, and single motherhood is nothing most teens would want any part of.
Although there are the teens out there who will assume that it will never happen to them!
A powerful survey included in the article shows a strong opinion about teen parenting among teens that viewed the show:
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and Durham, N.C., research firm iRT divided 162 teens in Boys and Girls Clubs in North Carolina into groups that watched three episodes of “16 and Pregnant” and groups that didn’t. Separately, 1,008 teens answered a national public opinion poll. Both groups indicated that watching the show made the idea of pregnancy and parenting more real to them. Among the group of teens who watched the show, 82% said the program helped them better understand the challenges of teen pregnancy and early parenthood and how to avoid getting into such a situation; 15% said they thought the show glamorized teen parenthood.
Reassuring to know since so many think that these television shows are going to increase our teen pregnancy and parenting rates instead of help reverse them. Because we certainly don’t need anymore Amber’s in the world!