The media impact on adolescents should be taken seriously because the growing adolescent brain does not perceive the dangerous influence of media and its consequences. Television shows like 16 and Pregnant, and its spin off Teen Mom have given adolescents different views on what it’s like to be a parent. Although it does show the struggles of raising a child, going to school, and having a job. It also shows how you can make an easy profit from just having a it. Over the two years of their debut, 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom has collected a significant amount of attention in the entertainment media.
A poll was commissioned stated ,” most teens (79% of girls and 67% of boys) agree that when a TV show or character they like dealing with teen pregnancy, it makes them think more about their own risk of getting pregnant or causing a pregnancy and how to avoid it “ (Source 1. ) Other findings from the nationally- representative telephone poll of 1,008 young people conducted by Social Science Research Solutions states that, among the young people who watch 16 and Pregnant, 82% think the show helps teens better understand the challenges of teen pregnancy and parenthood and how to avoid it. 6% of young people say that what they see in the media about sex, love, and relationships can be a good way to start conversation with adults (Source 1. )
About half say they have discussed these topics with their parents because of something they have seen in the media. The National Campaign commissioned a separate study to learn about how watching and discussing episodes of the reality show 16 and Pregnant influences teens’ perceptions of getting pregnant and becoming a parent at a young age (Source 1. )
Yes, watching and then discussing episodes of the documentary-style reality show may influence teens to participate in safe sex or to take a pledge of abstinence. MTV is also making teen pregnancy popular. The girls on the show are fighting with their family members, dealing with relationship issues, and taking care of their babies. The issues the mothers face are real and are greatly portrayed by MTV. Should the media be making a profit off of it? Most TV shows and movies about this issue, are about making it a joking matter and often try to make it entertaining.
They leave out the financial difficulties of having a baby. Most normal teens work part-time while in school, but being a parent prevents many teens from attending college, being that they have to work full- time. The loss of education being one of the many consequences of being a young parent. Many of these girls from show have either dropped out, gotten their G. E. D. , or have let the profit from the show pay for the things they need. Showing today’s youth that if you have a baby and get a spot on the show, you’ll greatly be taken care of.
Since the debut of 16 and Pregnant some say MTV is the reason for the drop in the U. S. birth rate. Fewer teens had babies in 2010 than they did in more than 50 years ago (Source 6. ) The birth rate reached an all time low of 34. 3 births per 1,000 mothers ages 15-19 in 2010. Making many researchers think MTV programs and other deceptions of teen pregnancy have made teens more aware of the risk of teen pregnancy (Source 6. ) A National Campaign asked teens about 16 and Pregnant, ages 12-19. 82% said the show helps them better understand the challenge of a teen mom. 8% of teens discussed with their parents about things they seen on the show with their parents.
All agree that the show made them realize parenthood as a teen is difficult (Source 6. ) “Media is a force for good, and is particularly true when it comes to shows like ‘16 and Pregnant,” says spokesman Bill Albert. Not only do they glamorize teen pregnancy, but to the teens who have seen it say they it makes reality of teen pregnancy more real. Giving teens a opportunity to start conversations about sex, contraceptives, and other forms of birth control.
Television is apart of the average teens media diet, exposure to some forms of entertainment is a corrupting influence on children (Source 4. ) Researchers at the RAND research organization say their three-year study was the first to link viewing of racy television programming with risky sexual behaviour by teens (Source 4. ) After recruiting adolescents aged 12 to 17 and surveying them about television viewing habits, sexual behavior, and pregnancy. From their findings that covered 718 teenagers, there was 91 pregnancies.
The top 10th of teens who watched scandalous programs were at the most risk of becoming pregnant or causing a pregnancy compared to the other 10th that watched fewer programs. Television lightly highlights the negative aspects of teen pregnancy and sex in general. So teens are rarely getting any information about pregnancy, sex, or sexually transmitted diseases. Televisions shows such as ‘16 and Pregnant’ and its spin off ‘ Teen Mom’ emphasizes on the consequences of poor decisions made by young teen girls.
The girls of the shows Maci Bookout, Jenelle Evans, and Amber Portwood, and Farrah Abraham have made their place in the spotlight being that they came from a desire of focus on figures outside of Hollywood. The show had brought in a new shipment of tabloid fodder. Women perceived as role models with can- do attitudes facing adversity. Are now stars with bad reputations, participate in bad behaviour including drugs, arrest, and violence. Qualities of which a woman shouldn’t have, especially with a child. The show has given these girls a fan base, girls who sympathize for them or feel like they can relate to them.
Relating with them on relationships, violence, drug abuse, and raising a child alone, Those type of things feed magazine articles, pushing the girls down the aisle of fame. They must keep the show real and avoid glamorizing it! Even as the stars fame grow greater. From red carpets, modeling gigs, and agents these girls are showing the young views that pregnancy gets you famous. Staying in the spotlight has become the main focus of the teen moms featured in the shows. Since the shows begun the young faces of the mothers have constantly been seen on one magazine weekly.
MTV made a way for these girls to make money with their children, other than showing young girls the consequences of teen pregnancy. Choosing to abuse their opportunities than to be a role model. Making them bigger than just a few hours on your tv, they’re now permanent components in the world of a celebrity. The show was supposed to show you the struggles of a mother, the consequences, and was made for the message of prevention. Instead it’s a reason for you and your family to watch the mayhem of others lives. The shows spin off, ‘Teen Mom’ is no longer about the children anymore.
It’s about the mothers, their confrontational relationships, and the drastic measures they take to stay in the spotlight. All the blame solely can’t be in the hands of MTV. Social media, school, and parents should provide all the fact adolescents need to know. Meaning not to just promote abstinence but to inform kids about safe sex. Watching the show can be a way of encouraging an open discussion with parents, even showing a few clips of ‘16 and Pregnant’ in class would be helpful. Yes, it again may show the struggles of a every day teen mom.
But it also glorifies teen pregnancy and places these teenage mothers in the spotlight of the media for good. Teen pregnancy is a very touchy subject, there will always be a need for shows such as ‘16 and Pregnant. ’ Hopefully MTV and media in general could have a different approach at it, and its clarification that the show is not meant to shine a light on teen parenthood. There is no easy answer for a teen problem such as teen pregnancy.
Just as easy as Media could be the reason for the dropping of the birth rate in the U. S. It could also easily be the blame for the influence and perception given to young teen girls today. There will be no easy to way to successfully stop teens from having babies, but there are ways to delay the time of them coming. The schools and community can offer accurate, appropriate, easy to comprehend sexual education courses. They could also help parents grown close enough bonds with their children to discuss sex, pregnancy, and different types of birth controls. If this topic is openly discussed and taken as seriously as it is, there would be no need to point the finger.