When the Bloomberg administration unveiled its teen pregnancy prevention campaign last March, it was met with immediate backlash. Now the city has updated the campaign website, but the site doesn’t abandon all of the problematic language featured in the previous campaign.
Researchers and the general public may be unable to agree on teen pregnancy shows’ contributions to society, but what we all can agree on is that these MTV shows present tired tropes about teen moms that are harmful for young girls.
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.
What happens when sensationalism becomes real life? At what point does the statistic that 1 in 4 young women are victims of abuse become too real to air on television?