Over the past few years, reality TV has become a trend which has received positive and negative comments. From reality shows that address common issues to over dramatic shows, parents are not very great fans of it. If you are an individual who watches reality shows, you can relate when your parents either tell you what’s the point in watching it, or ground you from watching the shows. Though in a recent study, two extremely famous shows titled “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” may actually be beneficial for teens to watch.
The MTV show “16 & Pregnant” is the idea that follows the lives of pregnant teenage girls in high school which may actually be helping drop the teen pregnancy rate in the U.S to the lowest in 70 years! Since 2009, the birth rate of 15 to 19 year olds fell to 39.1% per 1,000 teens. This means that since 2009, there is a 6% decline in teen pregnancy which after a 2 year steady increase in teen birthrate in 2006 and 2007, the rate of teen pregnancy has dropped remarkably. In history, there has not been a significant 6 percent decrease in teen pregnancy since 1962!
After the shocking revelations of a Teen “Pregnancy Pact” in Massachusetts, this news is quite surprising for parents who forbid their teens to watch shows like these. “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” documents the lives of soon to be mothers as they try to be teens but also care for a child. It shows the hardships they face and the struggles associated with being a parent at a young age. Some of them are single parents, whereas others are in a relationship with another and have to balance their relationship with the responsibilities of a parent. Could it be that by helping educate teenagers of the real challenges of pregnancy, that teenagers are now not risking pregnancy? Well according to a study, teenagers are not avoiding having sex, but are taking better precautions into preventing pregnancy. In most cases boys are now using condoms more frequently or girls are focused on using birth control properly.
In a organized survey to that examines the impact of watching “ 16 & Pregnant” and “ Teen Mom” has on teens, 87 percent of teens felt that the show really helped educate them to the real struggles of teen pregnancy. On the opposite side, 17 percent of teens felt that the show glorified teen pregnancy. And this is one of the primary concerns parents have on letting their kids watching reality shows. Some of the stars of reality shows could receive around 280 thousand a year for being a part of shows, and in some cases, teenagers are very gullible, and believe that if they get pregnancy, they won’t have to work. Parents feel that pregnancy shows excite teen pregnancy making it seem fun and an easy way to get money, when the reality is that it’s far from easy.
Pregnancy shows such as “16 & Pregnant” or “Teen Mom” may not be the primary reason for the extreme drop in pregnancy in the U.S, but it’s safe to say, that shows like this are having some impact on pregnancy. Since 87% of teens felt that these shows helped educate them in the revelations of teen pregnancy, it must be working.