Teen Pregnancy Facts

March 8, 2012
There are so many hardships one is faced with when dealing with a teen pregnancy. T.V. shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom touch on a few of the problems one could encounter, but what do these shows really do? Glamorize or open our eyes? Even Dr. Phil says that “today’s pop culture celebrates teen pregnancy, with the stars of shows like MTV's Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant glamorized on the cover of magazines.” One article, called 16 and Pregnant: Bad or Good?, commented on one of the stars of the show, 16 and Pregnant, saying, “16 and Pregnant reality ‘star’ Josh Smith says the mother of his child, Jennifer Del Rio, plotted to get pregnant just so she could be on the MTV reality show, according to court documents.” How is that helping the teen pregnancy dilemma?
MTV watches young women and their yet to be born children along with, in some cases, the fathers. But are these shows really helping warn teenage girls of the difficulties of teen pregnancy? “There are more pregnant teens in pop culture than ever before. They are on the cover of magazines, getting paid, getting endorsement deals, and becoming calendar models,” Dr. Logan Levkoff, a sexologist, said, in an interview with ABC News. “Even if MTV shows all the hardships, they’re still being supported in so many ways. 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 who are pregnant do not have the same experience that the girls on those shows have.” There are also many problems with pregnancy at a young age that teens don’t even realize. Risk factors of adolescent pregnancy include problems with the baby and mother due to the lack of nutrition or prenatal care during pregnancy, poor education for the mother, and a hard life for the children after birth. Is there a solution to this massive problem?
Lack of nutrition and/or prenatal care can cause a variety of different problems, some major, with the baby and even the mother. According to Robin E. Weiss, LCCE, “The biggest risk for teen mothers is delaying prenatal care” or not receiving any at all. And because the body of a teen is still growing, the mother will need to take in more nutrition to meet the needs of the unborn and her. A baby born to an adolescent mother could face complications such as low-birth-weight, which means the baby’s organ might not be fully developed and can lead to the failure of major organs like the lungs or bleeding in the brain. Taking this in to being a big part of teen pregnancy you would think that the creators of these MTV reality television shows would promote health and care more than drama. But the people behind these shows are more worried about their ratings than the effect they might have on the minds of today’s teenage society.
With minds in mind, the education a teenage mother receives after she finds out she’s pregnant is, in most cases, little to none. Teen pregnancy is the number one reason why teen girls drop out of high school. And according to Dr. Phil’s article, The Real Teen Mom: Alarming Statistics, “Only one-third of adolescent mothers will graduate high school, and only slightly over 1 percent of those will earn a college degree before they turn 30.” Because of this lack of education, these mothers face difficulties trying to earn enough money to provide for their children and most of these mothers are more likely to be dependent on welfare. MTV does show that some of these teenagers struggle with money and staying in school or even going as far as actually dropping out. Hopefully this raises awareness to teens that children should be postponed until they’ve at least finished high school. Unfortunately, not all teenagers like to wait, not thinking about what will become of the child they might end up raising.
Raising a child when young will not only be a problem for the mother, but also for the child. Teens may think they are ready for the challenge, but little do they know children born to teenage parents are more likely to have emotional and mental problems as they grow older. In an article, called Teen Births, the author explains that “one study found that children of teen mothers did worse in math and reading scores, language and communication skills, social skills, and physical and emotional well-being than children of mothers ages 20 and older.” And according to TeenHelp.com, daughters of a teenage mother are 22% more likely to become pregnant as an adolescent than her peers and a son of a teenage mother is 13% more likely to end up in prison. Most minor-born children grow up with problems in all areas from medical to social to behavioral and everything in between. Of course, MTV will show the emotional stress the poor young mother has to endure, but you never see what happens to the child as he or she grows up (if not put up for adoption). You never find out what can become of a teen raised child.
If shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are trying to educate teens so that they will either practice safer sex, or just not have any, then they should think a little more about how they are presenting their show. For these shows to be educational, the producers need to pick and choose what they show to their audience a little more carefully because there are some teens that think they can become television stars by getting pregnant at a life damaging time. The baby is the most affected by this sort of poor planning, not many people understand the effects of teen pregnancy on a baby. Most teenagers who end up pregnant and think they can take on this task don’t realize how much they will be hurting this child for the rest of their life. Teens should know that getting pregnant at such a young age can cause so many major problems for everyone involved, voluntarily or involuntarily.

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Cheer4life315 said...
Jan. 26, 2015 at 10:53 am
this article is very helpful! i am writing an argumentative essay on this topic and the article must have cites and it has plenty. this author did a great job writing this.
TubaLady This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 24, 2013 at 10:18 am
This article is really good! i'm doing a debate for Social Issues Forum and it really helped. :)
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