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.