A new paper suggests that MTV’s 16 and Pregnant franchise has helped reduced the teen birth rate by almost 6 percent. Before we start celebrating, however, let’s remember that the show is stereotypical and exploitative and that the ends don’t always justify the means.
Sexual Health Roundup: A Brooklyn high school agrees to distribute condoms at the prom though the company sponsoring it found no other takers; a study finds that whether you see MTV’s 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom as cautionary tales or unfortunate glamorizations has to do with what your parents taught you about sex; and another study out of the Netherlands finds that Tipper Gore was right—young people who listen to loud music engage in other risky behaviors.
In the last few weeks, I learned that Bristol Palin was on the pill and all of the stars of 16 and Pregnant used condoms. I find this slightly curious because, as we know, all of them ended up parents before they graduated from high school. If I didn’t know any better, I would start to wonder if contraception just doesn’t work. But since I do know better, I am instead left wondering if the media is letting our most famous teen get one over on us and in the process perpetuating myths and misunderstandings about birth control.