Since MTV introduced Teen Mom in December 2009, it exploded and became a national sensation with record-breaking numbers. The Teen Mom show brought many good things with it, according to a study, it has caused a downfall in teen pregnancies.
According to a study titled: “Media Influences on Social Outcomes: The Impact of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant on Teen Childbearing,” MTV’s Teen mom caused a 5.7 percent (%) decrease in teen pregnancies, following 18 months after its premiere. This research/study was conducted by The National Bureau of Economic Research. By the words of Melissa Kearney and Philip Levine, this study helped them draw a conclusion and realize that the show had a positive impact, primarily on the youth.
The paper details show the whole point of the study: “This paper explores how specific media images affect adolescent attitudes and outcomes. The specific context examined is the widely viewed MTV franchise, 16 and Pregnant, a series of reality TV shows including the Teen Mom sequels, which follow the lives of pregnant teenagers during the end of their pregnancy and early days of motherhood. We investigate whether the show influenced teens’ interest in contraceptive use or abortion and whether it ultimately altered teen childbearing outcomes. We use data from Google Trends and Twitter to document changes in searches and tweets resulting from the show, Nielsen ratings data to capture geographic variation in viewership, and Vital Statistics birth data to measure changes in teen birth rates. We find that 16 and Pregnant led to more searches and tweets regarding birth control and abortion, and ultimately led to a 5.7 percent reduction in teen births in the 18 months following its introduction. This accounts for around one-third of the overall decline in teen births in the United States during that period.”
One of the main MTV producers, Morgan J. Freeman tweeted out a message on Twitter saying that: “we document what is happening. we are not parents. we are not police. we do open up powerful discourse about many many things. that is good.”
Read the full study here:Link
we document what is happening. we are not parents. we are not police. we do open up powerful discourse about many many things. that is good.
— Morgan J. Freeman (@mjfree) June 9, 2016
The 47-year-old father of one explained that MTV films everything from a neutral aspect, “we’re not police,” he added.
According to MTV, these 5 myths about Teen Moms are most common.
1) Teen Moms don’t really like their children
This is only partially correct, most Teen Moms claim that they would be better of if they didn’t get pregnant so early, but it doesn’t mean that they dislike their kids.
2) There’s an increase in Teen pregnancies
There are frightening statistics about Teen pregnancies in the U.S, according to the studies, 1 in 4 teenage girls conceive a child (before 20) years of age. It’s important to note that teen pregnancies are on a downfall which amounts to more than 50% in the last 20 years. The research material indicates that shows like MTV’s Teen Mom had helped in reaching this downfall, although teens in the USA have double pregnancy rates compared to the teens in Canada or Japan, which has nearly 10 times lower pregnancy rates.
3) Teen Moms change a lot of partners
Being pregnant isn’t a result of changing partners or having a lot of them, it’s the result of not using birth control efficiently. This myth isn’t true at all.
4) Teen Moms have their parents pay for everything
Everybody thinks that teens who get pregnant don’t have to do anything, only a part of this appears to be true. The stats show that 62% of teen moms don’t graduate from high school, which makes everything harder. Although their family is there for them, they can’t support them forever.
5) Teen pregnancies are an inner-city issue
Studies show that teen pregnancies are nearly 1/3 higher in rural areas compared to urban areas, cities, and suburbs. Even Chelsea Houska said on one occasion that there’s nothing to do in her small town except to have sex.
This myth definitely has a base to support it, teens in rural areas are more likely to get pregnant before reaching full maturity.