I’m a huge fan of this show and have done quite a few posts here on it. While some of it is for strictly entertainment value, there’s the other side which thinks that this show is monumental in helping to spread awareness and provide education to young teens out there who are having sex. Most teens and even tweens out there (my 12 year old as an example) do not look at the lives of these teen parents and say, whoa that looks like it’s way fun and cool! Even while I find some entertainment and education in the show myself, I can’t help but look at the position of these young people and feel their pain and struggle. After the first season, I came to the conclusion that the only thing harder on earth than being a parent is being a teen one!
So while the show has been a controversial one and even still made headlines a few weeks ago about “glamorizing” teen pregnancy (have any of the people writing that stuff really ever taken time to watch the show?) there is finally data supporting the opposite which is that teen pregnancy is down right now and many are giving credit to the show. A report released Dec. 21st, 2010 by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reported that 82% of teens say that by watching the show they have a better understanding of the struggles and challenges that teen parents face.
I think most pregnancies stem from a notion of it couldn’t happen to them or with a romanticized notion about what having a child is like. Shows like this give examples of young teens that can be related to who help to make it more real and a real consequence of unprotected sex. I definitely see where it blows the myth of the couple having a child and staying together right out of the water. They all usually follow the same pattern of deterioration after the pregnancy. The only one that has been somewhat successful was the couple who gave up their child for adoption, however their experience has been the most heart wrenching. After seeing what they went through, who would want to experience that?
So bravo to MTV (who is supposed to be dropping the “music” from their title) for continuing to air these shows which bring these “real” issues and their “reality” to light.