Mtv's 16 & Pregnant Glorifies Teen Pregnancy Essay

1560 Words Mar 29th, 2012 7 Pages
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 86 percent of mothers who give birth out-of-wedlock are teenagers. MTV’s show “16 & Pregnant,” which has only been on air since June 2009, is already reflecting the rapid boom in teenage pregnancy across various cities in America. Since the early eighties MTV has been considered somewhat of a cultural phenomenon for American adolescents and its depiction of gender has a strong impact that continues to this day (Holtzman 2000). Created by Morgan J. Freeman (director of teen shows Dawson’s Creek and Laguna Beach), the show “16 & Pregnant” has been said to be guilty of exacerbating, normalizing and even glorifying teen pregnancy. Perhaps, it’s just reflecting a current social dilemma …show more content…
The show reinforces the stereotype that a woman is at least a good mother, if not anything else and displaces the identity of “teen mom” onto middle American teenage girls. “16 and Pregnant” seems to, above all, incite viewers to working-class voyeurism, given how many clichés of lower-income American life are exploited. It could be possible that other MTV shows, are themselves, responsible for increases in teenage pregnancy. Shows such as “The Hills” and “The Real World” both portray the loose sexual morals of a younger generation, which eventually leads to an adoption of those ideals from the show’s younger viewers. Researchers at the Rand Corp. say they have documented for the first time how such exposure to sexual content on TV can influence teen pregnancy rates. They found that teens exposed to the most sexual content on TV are twice as likely as teens watching less of this material to become pregnant before they reach age twenty. This means that if teenagers think having sex is the “norm” they will continue to engage in it. “The relationship between exposure of this kind of content on TV and the risk of later pregnancy is fairly strong," says Anita Chandra, a behavioral scientist. “Even if it were diminished by other contributing factors, the association still holds” (Bellafante 2009). So, is it in fact MTV who is responsible for the

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