[Disclaimer: Blue links are references to my claims in this blog post]
Maybe it was the explosion of exposure to this topic that made me think the rates of teenage pregnancy were out of control high, but THIS NEWS is very comforting. According to multiple studies on the rates of teenage pregnancy, the results are showing that this country has not seen numbers this low since the 1940’s. States are making a significant improvement in decresing their teenage birth rates.
Shows like 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and The Secret Life of an American Teenager seemed to show a side of teenagers that was raw, uncensored, and maybe a little unsettling to us. I know that the more I saw this lifestyle publicized and glorified, the more I thought younger adolescents would be looking up to these teens. I may be protruding my bias here a little, so I’ll try to keep it on the DL. News media started taking notice, and began to investigate this phenomena occurring in American Culture all of a sudden. The results of the segment were shocking and very “real.”
I remember asking my sister Robyn why she watched shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. Her response was, (paraphrased) “I don’t feel like the show is glorifying the lifestyle as much as it is showing the viewer how real having a baby is, and how unprepared a teenager really is when it all goes down.” Naturally, I had my own biases, and I didn’t buy it. Somewhere inside of me, I knew that there would be radical teenagers seeking attention by getting pregnant in hopes of getting onto the show.
Still…it turns out that my sister was right afterall. With the results coming in, news of the record low pregnancy rates have hit news briefs, radio talk shows, and internet articles. I will not go so far as to say that the shows have “helped” lower pregnancy rates and that the shows were a “good” thing to show viewers, but I cannot deny the data and I cannot ignore the results.