Veronica Claussen, Dakota Valley High School, North Sioux City, SD
Does exposing the trials of teen pregnancy promote teenage sexual exploration, or encourage it? It’s a debate that started raging after the appearance of MTV’s reality show, Teen Mom. This series and the show, 16 and Pregnant, show the hardships of getting pregnant at a young age.
Freshman, Brooke Olson, thinks that these shows send mixed messages to all the viewers.
“Teen Mom shows that they [the teen moms on the show] can get a lot of money from it and become famous, but it also shows how hard it can be with relationships and school when someone gets pregnant as a teenager,” said Olson.
MTV conceived of the teenage mother shows in 2008 after Britney Spears’ sister got pregnant at 16 and Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol got pregnant at 17. The idea was to start a national conversation on the teen pregnancy issue.
“This show doesn’t preach; it doesn’t teach,” said MTV vice-president Liz Gately. “It just shows it can happen to you, and that there are often unforeseen consequences to being sexually active at a young age.”
However, considering some of the teen mom’s on the show pull down a salary of $280,000, a portion of the viewing audience believes the show encourages girls to get pregnant so they can get on the show and get rich.
“I think it is to make them feel more superior to other girls. It shows more of the joys of having a baby than the bad stuff,” said Bauler.
This shows that some people think that Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant glorify teen pregnancy.
A local girl named Tawna Hudson got pregnant at the age of 15. She lost many of her close friends and even some her family pushed her away. It took a while for her mom to accept the fact that her daughter got pregnant at a young age, but now her mom is supportive. Getting pregnant affected her life just like on Teen Mom, so she sees the show as pretty realistic.
“It made me grow up faster than I should of, but it made me see life in a whole new aspect. It has complicated a lot of things, but it showed me the strength I really have, and has made me more of an independent woman,” said Hudson.
Getting pregnant at a young age is not easy to deal with. It isn’t only hard for the girl who is pregnant, but it puts a lot of stress on the father of the child and their parents. Teen pregnancy has affected many lives throughout the country. It can ruin chances of being able to finish high school or going to college. Failing to finish high school itself can make someone’s life a lot harder than it needs to be. Supporters of these shows hope these messages get out to the audience.
Sixteen and Pregnant will be starting its fourth season on March 27, and so far producers have had 35 girls that have been on the show and many more who want to be.
In my opinion, I think this shows that people are trying to get pregnant to get money and fame on the show, and I think that’s sad.the original article from hsj.org, written by Veronica Claussen