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Does 16 and Pregnant Promote or Prevent Pregnancy? Essay

Many have seen or heard of the television series “16 and Pregnant.” In 2009 this series began with the intention to show teens how difficult it is to be a parent. While “16 and Pregnant” has been playing for many years now, the debate has been sparked whether the show promotes or prevents pregnancy.

Many people think that “16 and Pregnant” promotes pregnancy. The show makes being a parent look more glamorous then difficult. They make it look easier and even more “fun” to be a teenage parent.

Many teenagers who watch the show see girls becoming more and more famous. The girls start other shows or even end up in magazines. When young people see this it makes them think that they could become famous if they have a child. The show gives teenagers false hope that they will also get to be on a TV show if they have a baby at a young age.

As the show goes on you see the teen parents with new houses, cars, and even new wardrobe and style. The “16 and Pregnant” stars get paid at least $75,000 a season depending on their contract. When teenagers see all the new things that they could have they get the idea that getting pregnant could reward them with many new things.

The stars say they can’t finish school, and get a job because of the difficulty of caring for a child interferes with their time to do so. With the salary that they have they don’t have to worry much about getting a job. Teenagers might not want to have to work so they will think that if they get pregnant they won’t have to worry about it. When teenagers see the stars in magazines they will want to get pregnant so they could also be in magazines and on multiple shows.

I believe that “16 and Pregnant” prevents pregnancy. The show is mostly accurate in showing how parenting is. It shows the actual difficulties of being a parent or having to deal with the decision of adoption. The young parents have to come to unwanted agreements with their child’s other parent and deal with custody through courts. It also shows how babies and children actually act and how difficult it is to take care of a child. There has been an increase in the use of birth control and a drop in the amount of teenage births. “Social networking posts including the words ‘birth control’ increased by 23 percent.”(Kristof) Internet searches on birth control also increased.

Regions where the show is watched more had “more of a drop in teen births” and there is overall “20,000 fewer teen births each year.”(Kristof) Those who say “16 and Pregnant” promotes pregnancy can agree that there has been an increase in the use of birth control. Also they can agree that there has been a decrease in teen pregnancy cases. Although these are true, there could be a different factor correlated to the increase in use of birth control. With an increase in the use of birth control there has been less cases of teen pregnancy. Many schools have sex education which helps teenagers understand the use of contraception. This could be a factor of the increase in birth control. Also, after watching “16 and Pregnant” many teenagers may have been persuaded to start using contraception. The increase of contraception use is preventing more teenagers from becoming pregnant.

Reference

Kristof, Nicholas. “TV Lowers Birthrate (Seriously).” The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 Mar. 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.


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