Glorification Of Teen Pregnancy

Glorification Of Teen Pregnancy


In 2009, a popular reality television series was released in hopes of discouraging teen pregnancy, this being known as 16 and Pregnant. This series then later resulted in many shows being created just like it.

As the MTV series started to get popular, parents and educators questioned what the show was actually trying to do. Was it promoting or discouraging this lifestyle to teen girls?

In my opinion, these reality TV shows are doing just the opposite of what they were intended to do when first created. The families that these shows follow aren’t living the average life. Yes, they might have some hardships like every normal person, but it’s not comparable to what an average teen in America will face if they were to get pregnant at this age.

First of all, the show now follows young adults who aren’t even teenagers anymore. Calling the show Teen Mom is a misnomer. These moms are now more experienced and some have multiple children. It’s going to be different than when they were 16 years old. The struggles are going to be different.

Secondly, I don’t know any teen moms making a six-figure salary; it’s just not accurate. Although money doesn’t buy everything, it inevitably has a positive influence on life.

In 2014 Indiana University conducted a study and surveyed 185 high school students that frequently watched 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. In this study, it showed that these students had an unrealistic perception of what it was like to be a teen mom. It was believed that “teen moms have a lot of time to themselves, could easily find child care, will complete school, have affordable access to health care, finish college and live on their own.”

However, I don’t believe this is the case at all. Many teen parents in America struggle financially, struggle to finish school, miss out on the average teenage life, and may not even have a support system.

On the show, Teen Mom 2, one of the stars, Janelle Evans, had three friends that purposely got pregnant within a year of their friend starring on the popular series. It was said they wanted to follow in Evans’ footsteps and attract media attention. If these girls see this as a way to get attention, my guess is that many other teens will use this as an opportunity to get some recognition as well.

Many of the girls featured in the reality shows become popular. This then creates role models for younger girls. I’m not saying it’s bad to look up to teen moms, and I don’t think they’re bad people. However, these girls got famous for the sole reason of having a child young. This then results in young girls around the world thinking that since this celebrity did it so should they.

Altogether, I believe that these reality TV shows portray many mixed emotions and send out mixed messages. The programs do show some of the hardships that young parents will face if they end up in this situation, but other times it is very much glorified.

Personally, I don’t think that every teenager that watches these shows are going to go and have a kid, but I don’t think they are at all discouraging the idea. These reality shows are not what they were intended to be.

What the shows are trying to show off as being a typical “teen mom” life is very degrading to teen parents in the world and glamorizes a difficult situation that they have to face every day. In my eyes, shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom are just more overdramatic, trashy reality shows that aren’t sharing the whole truth.