At first glance, MTV “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” seem like a great episodic public service announcement about the trials and challenges of teen pregnancy. In theory, it should deter viewers from becoming parents at a young age, but a recent study reveals it makes teenage mommyhood look appealing.

The Indiana University study reveals that heavy viewing leads teenagers to believe that young parents have an “enviable quality of life.” The disconnect happens because the “Teen Mom” subjects become pseudo celebrities and thus, garner a higher income, can afford healthcare and childcare and are able to finish school, not-to-mention they appear on talk shows and land the covers of magazines.

The reality of most teenage Moms, who never make it in front of MTV cameras, is much different. Let’s hope young viewers learn to make the distinction.

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  • MimiLuvs

    From my understanding, the study wasn’t based on “16 & Pregnant”. They were more focused on the show “Teen Mom”. According to the study, avid viewers of that particular series believe that the young girls have an “enviable quality of life”.
    IMO, I loathe the show “16 & Pregnant” and its spin-off series. I believe that it is exploitation that is disguise as being “educational”.

  • Tina

    I read an article that explained that the Natl. Bureau of Economic Research study which claims that 16 & Pregnant contributed to a drop in teen births used data from 2009-10 and only focused on the show 16 & Pregnant to avoid mucking up their data by including social media references to Teen Mom, while the second study included Teen Mom and used later data. The article explained that 16 & Pregnant may have been a deterrent in the early years before the “Teen Mom” group went on to become pseudo celebreties.

    Really, 16 & Pregnant & Teen Mom made my grown behind think twice about having a child. Anyone who finds a shed of glamour in the lives those girls are living is nuts.

    • Leo the Yardie Chick

      The first paragraph sounds like that NYT article I mentioned. I knew my screw face as I read it was justified.

      “Really, 16 & Pregnant & Teen Mom made my grown behind think twice about having a child. Anyone who finds a shed of glamour in the lives those girls are living is nuts.”

      Exactly. I’ve seen my mother struggle to raise and maintain me, and she had me at the ripe old age of 25. So imagine if she had been 15 when I was born? As someone else said, critical thinking skills are not being applied by anyone who believes that.

  • Shelbie

    I am doing a speech for my class in college and my speech has to be persuasive. I decided to do a speech as to why shows like “16 and pregnant” and “Teen Mom” need to be discontinued. I was 14 when I got pregnant with my 1st child, 15 when I had him. I’m now 22, have my own home, working a full time job and in college part time. I find these shows absolutely disgusting and ridiculous. They “glamorize” teen pregnancy and quite frankly, I think they encourage teens to have babies because they make money for having their personal life, basically have everything handed to them and as one of you guys said in a post, have their faces plastered to cover pages of magazines. But it’s sad because all of the magazines that I have found for my research on my speech their about how their having fights with their “baby daddy’s” and drugs and all this other stuff. I read in a couple articles that these shows are showing that teen pregnancy has dropped since the airings of these shows, so their going to continue on with it. Really? How about we take parents of the teens responsible for lack of parenting and education and somewhat, a part of school systems. What happened to the good ol’ days that students were required to carry around a baby doll that you had to take of like a real child to educate on what it’s like to have a real newborn? Oh no, today, we just rely on bullsh*t reality TV shows. Why isn’t it plastered to the front cover of “seventeen” magazine that “so and so was up all night because her baby wouldn’t sleep” instead of “So and so is now on drugs!” Really? This is what teen pregnancy is all about? No wonder why MOST teen moms are terrible parents. Lack of education and watching TV shows like 16 and pregnant and Teen Mom. Thank god I never watched these shows. I had lack of parenting education from my own parents but looking back, I’m damn proud of where I’m at now.