Why MTV’s ‘16 and Pregnant’ May Have Saved the World

by 5 years ago

Yes, these shows, which make having a baby as a teen seem as fun as being flogged, have made teens think twice before fucking without rubbers. From The New York Times: 

 A new economic study of Nielsen television ratings and birth records suggests that the show she appeared in, “16 and Pregnant,” and its spinoffs may have prevented more than 20,000 births to teenage mothers in 2010.

This is a good thing, because teenagers make terrible parents (always walking around the mall instead of raising their baby), and having a child at a young age puts the kid and parent at much greater risks of a whole host of social problems.

“Only 40 percent of teenage mothers ever graduate high school; two-thirds of families begun by an unmarried teen mother are poor,” said one review of the [show] by the Media Research Center, a conservative group. 

So, MTV is literally changing the world for good. The show, it seems, has helped teens have more frank and open conversations about the risks of sex (which is you know, how sex ed should be taught). 

The … economists showed that social-media postings about contraception and Internet searches on the topic spiked sharply whenever the show was being broadcast.

Despite the criticism of the program and the mothers it depicts, teenagers who have seen it said it helped demonstrate how hard being a young parent could be, and began a conversation about how a teenager might end up in that circumstance.

This is good. This is what we want. Even though it feels weird to be lauding Teen Mom.