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This research is an investigation into whether the media in the UK represents young people accurately. The media have been constantly running stories about young people binge drinking, being involved in knife crime, gang culture and drug taking, amongst others. The daily mail has run headlines such as ‘British Teenagers are the Binge Drinking Champions of Europe’ (Hope, 2009), ‘The Face of Britain’s Knife Crime Scourge: Teenage Mutilated during Vicious Assault With Three-inch Blade’ (Daily Mail Reporter, 2009), ‘Inside Feral Britain: a Blood Chilling Journey into the Heart of Teenage Gang Culture’ (Malone, 2007). These stories give readers the impression that young people are violent, don’t have respect of other or the law moreover they don’t have respect for the society. This research will investigate whether media stereotype young people in this way or whether media reflect reality. This is done in the context of teenage pregnancy.
In the Daily Mail the article ‘Time to get tough on teenage mums’ by Katie Hampson (2006) is saying that teenagers think that they can get an attractive lifestyle by getting pregnant. This includes getting free council flats and finical rewards which is provided by the tax payer. Hampons also suggests that young mothers have different values to the rest of society. One example is that teenage mums go out night clubbing and are sexually promiscuous (Johnston, 2008). This provides readers with a stereotypical view of young mothers.
Research from sociology by Stan Cohen show the different type of stereotyping views that are used by the media. In his study he describes how the media are categorizing young people into groups which are ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’.
The government in the UK have said that they would try to lower the teenage pregnancy but nothing is been done about it. In the article Tony Shadow the health secretary quoted ‘it is unlikely that the government will meet its targets to have teenage pregnancies by 2010’.
In this article ‘How Labour is losing the Fight to cut teen pregnancies’, the media is saying that teenager’s pregnancy rate has risen over the decade by 12% over the past ten years. In 2004 the amount of teenage girls under the age of 18 who got pregnant was 39,545. Teenage pregnancy has become a large problem in the UK, so bad that the government are using the tax payer’s money to help these teenagers to get abortion etc. In this article it shows that the total amount that the tax payers are giving is £138 million. In this same article it tells us the amount that the NHS are spending on teenage pregnancy a year, the amount is £63 million this is ‘more than 1 million a day’.
What’s your gender?
* 70% of female did my questionnaire and 30% of male did my questionnaire.
How old are you?
The highest age group that did my questionnaire were between the age of 17 to 20 years old, the other 30% were 30+.
What is your ethnicity?
My results show that 50% were British, 20% were Pakistani, 10% were Asian, 10& were Black African and 10% were others.
How many teenage pregnancies to do think occur in the UK?
For this question I got an interesting result, 50% of people thought that there were 39,545 teenage pregnancies in the UK, 20% thought there were 40,00, another 20% thought there were 55, 345 and 10% thought there were 85,567 teenage pregnancies in the UK.
Where do you think most teenage mums are likely to live?...