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Impact of 16 and Pregnant on Teen Pregnancy Rates

Teen pregnancy rates drop because of tv shows like MTV’s ’16 and Pregnant’

When tv shows such as MTV’s ’16 and Pregnant’ first began airing on tv most people believed that the show would encourage teenage pregnancy, but they were mistaken. The show actually made teen pregnancy rates drop instead. Shows such as this one has proven itself to actually proven to prevent teen pregnancy instead of encouraging it.

Studies have shown that teen pregnancy rates have began to drop since the show has first begun airing on tv ,as well as more searches on how to receive birth control, and have also encouraged teenagers to start practicing safer sex. The show just might be the reason why teen pregnancy rates had dropped so dramatically ,coincidentally it occurred after the show actually began airing. To find out for sure scientists began a study to figure out what had been going on and they found that, “the show and its spinoffs actually had an educational effect, cutting the teen birth rate by six per cent, or more than 20,000 births, in 2010” (“Remote (birth) control”). This proves ’16 and Pregnant’ actually made a difference in people’s lives and let alone their futures. The teenagers who watched the show lives were changed, “Neither the boys nor girls who watched the episodes wanted to imitate the teens in the episodes they watched. In fact, nearly all teens (93%) who watched the show agreed (53% strongly agreed) with the statement: “I learned that teen parenthood is harder than I imagined from these episodes”(Suellentrop et al) , also an interview was conducted from a few people on the show and they asked, ” are teens influenced by what they see on TV” , and one of the interviewes replied with,”what teenagers are watching can make a really big difference in what they think and, ultimately, how they behave and really important life decisions” (Is ’16 and Pregnant’ An Effective Form Of Birth Control?). The young women and men that watched the show and who were interviewed could have been just like the other teenagers on ’16 and Pregnant’ but the shows presented them a better outlook on life and a safer one at that.This show alone has changed some people’s future and even dropped the teen pregnancy percentages. They helped the troubled young community make a difference in society and for the next generation to come.

The show has also been proven to teach teenagers that safer sex such as using contraception like birth control or condoms may be necessary to prevent themselves from becoming teen moms or fathers besides abstinence altogether. By using these helpful devices they are automatically less likely to get pregnant or get another person pregnant by high percentages. Researchers found that, “The show may actually encourage him or her to practice safer sex, according to a new study”(Jacque Wilson). Practicing safer sex not only helps to prevent teen pregnancies, but also protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that could lead to tissue scarring and permanent damage. The shows continue to teach the teenagers important lessons and help to, “create an opportunity to talk to teens about the risks of sex”(Suellentrop et al). This evidence is continuing to prove the effectiveness and the extra chances that this show provides for young boys and girls that could’ve possibly gone through a tougher time.This helps teens and their parents to also help in the prevention in the pregnancy problem. As parents usually wanted to be involved especially when it has to do with their kids futures as well as someone else’s.

’16 and Pregnant’ also started conversations about the show and teen pregnancy , and all over made teen pregnancy a less commonplace as well as made more teenagers change their point of views on the topic from a typical okay ordeal to one frowned upon and a less likely matter.They even began to talk themselves out of the idea of being a pregnant teenager was easy, the difficulty level changed their mind.Things continued to change because, “The more teens talked about the show, the less likely they were to think that teen pregnancy and teen parenthood are commonplace”(Suellentrop et al).The quote proves the changes that are happening and contributing to the dramatic pregnancy rates dropping.The scientists even showed that the teenagers perceptions were changing and they learned , ” more about how watching and discussing episodes of the popular MTV documentary-style reality show 16 and Pregnant influences teens’ perceptions of getting pregnant and becoming a parent at a young age”(Suellentrop et al). The scientists referred to how the teens changed their ideas about pregnancy because of the show .The show starts conversations that help to prevent and protect the mother of the teenagers getting pregnant at such a young age. Including maybe losing them altogether.

When teenagers decide to turn on tv shows like ’16 and Pregnant’ they decide to use safer sex, they also change their minds about teen pregnancy and its difficulty level, as well as contributing in other ways to help drop pregancy rates. The teenagers are now going to have a better life as well as lining up their futures kids to have better lives just by not getting pregnant as a teenager. Therefore concluding the research is proof that “16 and Pregnant’ does not glamorize pregnancy it shows real life situations that other teenagers can relate and connect to helping them protect themselves from mistakes, diseases, and other bad decisions that could have made along the way but now because of the show they are less likely to have to experience all those issues .


“Is ’16 and Pregnant’ An Effective Form Of Birth Control?” All Things Considered, 13 Jan. 2014. Student Resources in Context, Accessed 6 Feb. 2017.

“Remote (birth) control.” Maclean’s, 27 Jan. 2014, p. 8. Student Resources in Context, Accessed 6 Feb. 2017.

Suellentrop, Katherine, et al. “Reality Television Shows Reveal the Risks of Teen Pregnancy.” Teen Dating, edited by Louise I. Gerdes, Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 3 Feb. 2017. Originally published as “Evaluating the Impact of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant on Teen Viewers’ Attitudes About Teen Pregnancy,” Science Says, Oct. 2010.

Wilson, Jacque. “Study: MTV’s ’16 and Pregnant’ Led to Fewer Teen Births.” Health and Wellness Resource Center. CNN Newsource Sales, Inc., 13 Jan. 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

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