If you FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER, you know that every Tuesday, I say the same thing:
16 & Pregnant is the best birth control known to man!
As it turns out, this time I may not have been too far off of the mark. For those that are unfamiliar, MTV’s 16 & Pregnant is a docu-series that follows teen girls who’ve become pregnant. The show was so popular, that they wound up producing a spin off, called Teen Mom, that followed the original subjects of 16 & Pregnant as they continued their journey in young motherhood.
New figures just released by the CDC reveal that the current teen birth rate is lower than it’s ever been, at least since the organization began keeping records in 1940.
Another report, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, found that 82% of teens surveyed say that watching MTV’s 16 & Pregnant helped them to understand all the work associated with parenthood, and why they should avoid having children before they’re stable and ready for the challenge.
While there are many more factors, including parental influence and the poor economy, it’s clear what an impact the media has on all of our lives. In this case it turned out to be something very positive. It’s a powerful tool…and hopefully more people will choose to use it to impact their community for the better.
I’m not a teenager anymore, but when I sit down to watch 16 & Pregnant, I thank God that I’m not a mother…even today. My friends know that the one thing that scares me more than anything is having a baby. I know that being responsible for a child will impede me from getting to my goals, and that was the only motivation I needed to keep me away from getting pregnant. In no way am I shaming those who’ve had children young, but I am grateful for the decisions that I made to keep myself from the added stress. I’m sure that most people can agree with me. One of the best things about the show on MTV, is that it does a good job of telling the raw stories of teen pregnancy, without glorifying it or making it look cool. I think that’s exactly what we needed to see.
MTV also announced recently that they would be airing a special about abortion on December 28th, after one of the most recent subjects of 16 & Pregnant finds herself expecting another child. I’m sure that will be a little controversial, but when has MTV shied away from pushing the envelope?