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Teen Pregnancy 21 Essay

1052 words - 5 pages

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Jessie Black
Professor Neal-Gillim


6 February 2011

TV Influencing Teen Pregnancy

In today’s society there are many television shows that involve the challenges of being teen parents. Such shows are 16 and pregnant, Teen Mom, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. These shows are very popular and viewed by teenagers all over the world. But are these shows really showing teenagers the challenges of being a teen parent or are they influencing teen pregnancy? Many people debate whether or not these television shows are really preventing teen pregnancy. Researchers were beginning to realize the rates of teen pregnancy were increasing and wondered if ...view middle of the document...

Television shows involve drama and reality whereas a sex education class is just a simple lecture. Also, without these shows adults are probably unlikely to make any progress in educating teenagers about sex. Teenagers in today’s society are far more likely to learn about sex and pregnancy through the media than school or from their elders. Most teenagers would rather watch an entertaining TV show than sit and listen to a boring lecture.
Although television shows may reach out to teenagers more than a sex education class, television shows do not discuss how a teen parent feels about having a child or if they regret having sex at such a young age. These shows only show what it is like to have a baby and be a teenager at the same time. Sex education class discusses all of the challenges and struggles that come with being a teen parent such as money issues, balancing school, and raising a child right. Whereas, TV shows only discuss the sacrifices of normal teenage activities and what they have to give up.
Even though these television shows glamorize teen pregnancy, many people still believe that these shows actually do the exact opposite. Some people believe such shows involving teen parenthood and sex prevent teen pregnancy. A new report from the National Campaign notes that 82 percent say, “16 and Pregnant helps them understand
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the challenges of teen pregnancy and parenthood and why they should avoid it.” Also, Bill Albert, spokesman for National Campaign said, “some critics say these shows glamorize teen pregnancy but our survey data shows that is not the case-- that not only do they not glamorize it, but teens who have seen it suggest it makes the realities of teen parenthood more real to them.” Bill states that these television shows make teen parenthood more real to them. From real life experience throughout these shows, teenagers receive a more realistic image of what it would be like to be a teen parent. Albert is strongly supportive with this idea that teenagers see what it is really like to be a teen parent from such shows. He believes that after...

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