Review of TV Shows: 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom

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In July of 2009, MTV aired a new reality show on their network, 16 and Pregnant. The concept of the show was to tape the journey of pregnant teenagers throughout their pregnancy and the first few months of being a teen mom. They wanted to show viewers the struggles and hardships these girls faced. The show got such good ratings that they produced a spinoff, Teen Mom. Teen Mom follows four of the girls from 16 and Pregnant as they embark on motherhood. MTV aimed for this show to bring awareness of how hard it is to be a teen mom and the struggles the teens and their babies have to face. The real question is does 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom correctly get the message across or do these shows glamorize teen pregnancy?

Teen pregnancy has always been an issue in the world, especially in the United States. The United States has the highest amount of teen pregnancies in the world. Every year 750,000 teens become pregnant. Eight two percent of these pregnancies are unplanned. Teen pregnancy rates had been declining between 1991 and 2005 but are beginning to rise again. The rate has gone up around three percent.

Becoming a teen mom is a struggle because most teens do not have a degree, or a steady job. More than two thirds of teen mothers will not graduate high school. MTV planned for the reality show to watch the girls as they face these struggles. They show the moms trying to live on their own, try to continue their education, have a steady job, have a successful happy relationship with their baby’s fathers and overall be a good mom. Although the show had started with good intentions, it is questionable if the basis of the show has changed.
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