It is a joke to think that teenagers today have the mentality that they could be famous if they were to get pregnant. That is according to gossip magazines of course, but could there be truth to this statement? MTV has made it a popularity contest by showing shows like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom”. MTV should know better, considering their primary audience is teens. MTV sells the TV show as a “cautionary tale” to discourage teens from getting pregnant, however critics are now saying that it has the opposite effect according to palyvoice.com. But then the question would be, can you show the statistics if you are going to claim that pregnancies among teens as risen since the shows aired. I will revisit that point later. The shows glorify the pregnant teenagers and the already teen moms. They fail to show the reality of their lives. Even though it is supposed to be a reality show, they do not show the ins and outs of teen pregnancy and the aftermath. They nearly make it look glamorous to teens because what do teens want to do more anything? Well I would say it would have to be to grow up, and this show shows teens growing up, moving out, and getting jobs. Now, the opportunity of growing up and moving out has been made simple for them. Well, why not just get pregnant and grow up already. It was not too long ago that we all wanted to grow up in a hurry. According to palyvoice.com, “Doctor Logan Levkoff, a teen development expert, says that even though MTV illustrates the harsh consequences of teen pregnancy, there are many pregnant teens in pop culture that can really influence American teenage girls.” Therefore, the girls on this show can have a huge impact on the acts of teens who watch the shows. The lifestyle of these teens on the shows is much different than how it is for most teen moms. Most teen moms are not paid for endorsements and to be on covers of magazines such as the teen moms is the shows. Doctor Logan stated, “The way we bring people into fame for really not doing anything has created a culture where it is exciting to be a pregnant teen and the fact of the matter is that most teens that are pregnant do not have the same experience that the girls on those shows have.” Michelle Hankins, who runs a Young Moms support in Rome, GA said to ABC News that, “There is no fear and shame in teen pregnancy anymore, Seeing all these teen moms in the media, it makes them less fearful. It’s desensitized them, there’s just an immunity to the shock value of it.” Jenelle Evans started her reality stardom on the show “Sixteen and Pregnant” then later starred in the show “Teen Mom 2” after she had become a mom. According to ABC News, “Three friends of Jenelle Evans, one of the stars of Teen Mom 2, have recently become pregnant themselves.” When the news had hit the stands that three of Evans friends had gotten pregnant they were immediately labeled the “copycat moms”. Because the girls on these shows have so much fame, earn a six figure income, become models and end up on the covers of magazines the news of the newly pregnant teens could not be mistaken for an accident. There is something obviously wrong here. Even if birthrates are down, that does not mean that the pregnancy rate is. The show has encouraged some teens to get pregnant with thoughts of fame and fortune in their future. It has been rumored that these pregnancies did occur because of that chance but the newly pregnant teens deny all the allocations against them as being the “copycat moms”. ABC News also stated that teens on the show earn a six figure income. Now, add that to all the tabloid attention and fame and speculation can tell you exactly why three of Evans friends got pregnant. Teenage birthrates have dropped in the United States significantly in the past few years. This would make you wonder why it is then so many critics are saying that these shows are making the rates for teen pregnancy rise. Well, I do not think that it is necessarily raising pregnancy rates but I do think that it is glamorizing teen pregnancy. According to CBS news the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that, “The average teen birth rate decreased 9 percent from 2009 to 2010, reaching an all-time low of 34.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19. That's a 44 percent drop from 1991 to 2010. There were less teenage mothers in 2010 than any year since 1946”. CBS also reported that, “According to the CDC, there are nine times as many teen mothers in America than in other developed countries. That's not the only bad news. A CDC study showed that only 50 percent of teen moms will get a high school diploma by the age of 22, HealthPop reported”. Knowing that only 50% will earn their high school diploma should tell the viewers of these shows that it is not as easy to graduate and go to college as they make it seem. CDC awards the use of more condoms and birth control pills as the main source of the decrease, they do not say the decrease is due to shows like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom 2”.
Another example of a teen pregnancy show is called “The True Life of the American Teenager”. In this show you could say that the ABC Family channel is trying to discourage teen pregnancies as well. This show though does not open your eyes to the reality of teen pregnancy and teen parenthood. It is just as bad as “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant”. All of these shows should be stopped from airing on television. Teen birth rates may be down but do not confuse that with teen pregnancies. These shows only show teenagers that they can get pregnant, get famous and get rich. This is why three of Evans friends got pregnant.