Babies Having Babies

March 21, 2013
By , Palatine, IL
With the expressive media mainstreaming the glamorized version of teen pregnancies, it has stimulated controversy in the news that MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and spin off show, Teen Mom sends the wrong message to young women. That message is that it is socially acceptable to become pregnant as a teenager.

Generally, the television series depicts that teen pregnancy can be very stressful on the lives of the teens who conceive a child. However, the problem is, that the viewers can perceive the show in two different ways. They can see the limits that a child puts on a teenager, or, see how great motherhood is. The latter, which glamorizes pregnancy, could lead teens to try and get pregnant. Is this television show promoting the idea of teen pregnancy?

It has been suggested that teen girls have attempted to impregnate themselves hoping that they will get casted in the third season of 16 and Pregnant. With such ridiculous attempts, MTV should reconsider producing a third season. It has been rumored that Jennifer Del Rio, an expecting mother in the second season, purposely told her boyfriend not to use protection because she wanted to be filmed for the show. Earning an upwards of 60,000 dollars an episode, the mothers who have been followed, are now celebrities among the MTV audience. The whole idea of adolescent motherhood has been glorified.

It is reported that the initial hope for the show was to convey to teens the difficulties and hardships of being a teen parent. This should lead teenagers away from having sex and ultimately getting pregnant. Although this may be what was intended, the glorification of the subject has sparked controversy. This show could lead teen girls down the path of early motherhood because they watch as cameras follow young mothers, and while the viewers attentively watch, they become intrigued with the idea of having a baby.

It can be dangerous to a young mother, as her body is not fully developed, physically or emotionally. Many of these children cannot be taken care of to the high standards of today’s society, and the parents are less likely to stay together. All of these contribute to the downside of having a baby at such a young age.

MTV should be careful about the way they express pregnancy to their viewers. There is a disclaimer at the end of every show that reminds teens that pregnancy is one hundred percent preventable. The producers give a link for more information about teen pregnancy and prevention. These small things may help, but the overall picture gives off the wrong message. Yes, teenagers know that they should protect themselves and prevent pregnancies, but 16 and Pregnant could give them the idea that it is doable and acceptable to society.

MTV should keep in mind that the majority of their audience watching these shows are in their teen years. They should make a bigger emphasis on the fact that teen pregnancy is not desirable and is not a positive choice. They should chose to stop production of the third season.

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