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Teen Pregnancy in The Media Essay

Understanding the theories of persuasion, motivation, and influence will put you in life’s driver’s seat. Why? Because everything you want, or will want, in life comes from these three simple concepts. The power of persuasion is of extraordinary and critical importance in today’s world. Nearly every human encounter includes an attempt to gain influence or to persuade others to our way of thinking. Regardless of age, profession, religion, or philosophical beliefs, people are always trying to persuade each other. One’s ability to persuade meant great social prestige in the ancient Greek world.

It was Aristotle who first introduced persuasion as a skill that could be learned. The first book ever written on persuasion was his The Art of Rhetoric. Aristotle taught that rhetoric was an art form that could be approached systematically by a formula for all persuasive attempts. Aristotle’s most famous contribution to persuasion was his three means of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos. He argued that the most effective persuasive attempts contain all three concepts. I apply these three concepts daily, whether I am communicating with someone or if I am watching TV or listening to the radio.

The media is notorious for using ethos, pathos, and logos when trying to persuade viewers to either buy something or to simply watch a new show. One show in particular that I was persuaded to watch is MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. In this project I will talk about how shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom apply Aristotle’s concepts of ethos, pathos, and logos in an attempt to decrease teen pregnancy in America. I remember when I was in high school and Jamie Lynn Spears’ pregnancy was a lead story in the news.

Her pregnancy was such a big deal because she was only 16 at the time and on top of that her sister was a pop star. I remember hearing so many negative comments about her, which I found dramatic because where I come from I saw pregnant teens often. In fact, I’m the product of a teenage pregnancy. Ever since Jamie Lynn Spears’ pregnancy went public I have always been interested in the teen pregnancy debate on whether or not teen pregnancy should be made public. With that being said, MTV’s shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom have been called one of the best public service campaigns to prevent teen pregnancy.

I decided to write about the influence of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom on societal views and trends, particularly because there’s an important ongoing public debate over whether or not these shows are glamorizing young motherhood. The cast members, as well as many high school girls in America, reject the idea that any peer would or should be envious of a teen mom’s daily struggles, but there are those parents and teachers who worry that the girls’ presence in tabloids will encourage copycatting. MTV uses the art of persuasion to reach out to their audience.

The show tries to emphasize that there is nothing glamorous about missing the prom to stay home with a newborn baby or sacrificing a high school education to raise a child. Research by the National Campaign found that among teens that watch 16 and Pregnant, 82 percent believe that show helps teens better understand the challenges of teen pregnancy and parenthood and how to avoid it. Although the National Campaign seems to be a reliable source, I still question whether or not this show is effectively persuading our nation.

The main research questions for this project are “How do shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant use ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade viewers not to get pregnant as teens? ” I also want to research if these strategies effective at persuading teens and young adults, or do these shows glamorize teen pregnancy. I will analyze the show from a rhetorical perspective. I want to know if MTV producers are in fact glamorizing teen pregnancy or are they using their credibility to create awareness. MTV has a long history taking sexual health issues head-on through campaigns such as documentary shows.

These shows are well put together, logical, and they use authentic footage to engage pathos in campaigns. I plan on answering the questions I have about this national topic by conducting a survey and researching other national surveys that have been done. I would like to conduct a survey amongst my peers on campus to collect data to see if I have similar results as the National Campaign. I also plan on looking at scholarly journals written by high school teachers and college professors. High school teachers are in contact with these students every day and I feel that their opinions and critiques are credible.

I know that conducting my own survey and reviewing scholarly journals will help guide me to answering the research questions that I have. Many of us wonder why we behave in the way we do, or why we say the things we do. Although many of us attribute our beliefs and ideas to parental or peer influence, the most significant models and mentors for most adolescents as they develop may, in fact, be characters or “celebreality” depicted through popular television programs. Throughout our youth, we are frequently exposed to television.

We watch it for entertainment, education, or simply to alleviate boredom. As we watch, we internalize many of its messages and images and learn from what we see. Many young children dress up and act out roles of their favorite Disney characters. However, there are young children now who want to play the roles of teen moms from MTV’s Teen Mom show. I recently witnessed my two younger cousins, ages nine and eleven, “act” like they were teen moms by putting to small pillows in their shirts and proceeded to call each other “Maci” and “Farrah”.

When They initially put the pillows in their shirts, I had no idea what they were doing, however, when they called each other those names, I immediately knew what they were doing. It was so unexpected and caught me off guard, and made me question: first, why the heck are these babies watching Teen Mom; And secondly, is this how young girls are “playing” now? Although some may see this as simple playtime, how much of the messages from television remain with children as they grow?

Television shows such as Teen Mom or 16 and Pregnant depict the “real” life, sometimes concluding with the all too familiar, “happily ever after. ” Do these shows set unattainable real life expectations for the viewer? Such television shows highlight moments of interest, leaving out intricate details regarding emotions and relationships between the teen moms and their situation. MTV edits theses shows to depict what they want the audience to see and believe what is going on, but everything is not shown.

The episodes are 30 minutes long, and life is much more complex and elaborate. Media representations of life are confusing for many viewers. When we observe television stars behaving in a particular way, we assume that comparable actions in our lives will result in similar consequences. The Neilson Company reported that television consumption in the United States in the 2008- 2009 season reached an all time high. Americans spend approximately four hours and 49 minutes watching television every day (Media Literacy Clearinghouse, 2009).

Spending this much time watching television is bound to affect us. When television programs begin to impact our behaviors more deeply does the influence of our parents or teachers, it is time to take a deeper look into this phenomenon and discover its real implications. Throughout this study, I will discuss the use of persuasion in television shows such as Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. This study will focus on the effects of ethos, pathos, and logos used by MTV, and how their persuasion is affecting today’s youth by airing these programs.

In this section I am going to outline the theories guiding my questions. y. Cultivation Analysis Theory examines the relationship between extent of television viewing and conception of reality. The theory is based on work developed by George Gerbner which began in the 1970’s. The more people see false representations of life and relationships on television, the more they accept it as reality. Viewers will consequently believe in a greater incidence of the overrepresented portrayals, which will subsequently affect their behavior (Eisend, 2006).

Cultivation theory explains the importance of viewers’ thoughtful examination of media messages before accepting them as truth. The influence of media representations of reality is powerful in the development of self image and world understanding. In relation to the growing number of teen pregnancy, recent studies show that the amount of sexual content on television has been considerable and increasing over the years (Eyal & Finnerty, 2009). Television and media messages contribute significantly to individuals’ thoughts and behaviors.

It comes as no surprise to see that, “research has established that exposure to sexual content in entertainment programming can contribute to a young person’s sexual socialization and that adolescents turn to magazines and television as central sources of information about sex and contraception” (Eyal & Finnerty, 2009). These studies have discovered that sexual behavior depicted on television typically occurs between unmarried individuals and that many of the risks related to this behavior ( like unplanned pregnancy) are rarely seen as consequences (Eyal & Finnerty, 2009).

As stated previously, when these actions are rewarded or justified (on shows such as Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant), individuals, specifically teens, will be more likely to engage in the behavior themselves. One of the most generally accepted theories used to explain the influence of media on individuals is social cognitive theory. Although there is some debate regarding the full influence of the media on viewers, it is known that humans learn from observation. According to Albert Bandura, things people experience in their environments affect their behavior and values.

When they see behavior that is rewarded or praised, they are likely to exhibit the behavior themselves through operant learning (Bandura, 1994). It has been questioned repeatedly if MTV’s shows Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant glamorize teen pregnancy or are they using persuasive techniques to influence young viewers to make safe sex decisions. However, Bandura suggests that if we witness a particular behavior on television, we are likely to imitate that behavior in our own lives. When teens watch these television shows, they are influenced to either imitate the behavior or learn from it.

MTV’s purpose of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom is to persuade young viewers that teen pregnancy is not a fairytale life, but yet MTV shows an edited version of these pregnant teens’ daily life. After the teens’ stories are told on 16 and Pregnant, their lives are followed on Teen Mom where they usually have a house, a car, and what teens want the most: freedom. When teenagers watch this show, yes they are seeing some hardships of being a parent at a young age, but they are also seeing that the teens on the show are “grown” and are making it with a child more than struggling.

However, the younger viewers are oblivious to fact that these teens are getting paid from being on the show, and that is the money that they are using to live more comfortable on Teen Mom than they were on 16 and Pregnant. Older teens realize that these girls on television are being paid, so they can perceive getting pregnant as a teen and being on one of these shows as an outlet to get money, disregarding the fact that they will have a child. Television has the ability to model the beliefs of individuals due to the situations and characters’ believed similarities to real life.

Through the imitation of and identification with people on television, viewers exhibit behavior similar to the characters in their own lives. While watching television programs, viewers learn about through social cognition. Another theory that aims to describe the effect of media on young viewers is the early window theory. This theory examines how children are allowed to see the world and its various aspects before they possess the skill set to adequately understand and act in it.

According to this theory, children learn at early ages about gender roles and their function within society. Not only are children exposed to various portrayals of reality, but these portrayals can “encourage expectations of others… Portrayals in television and other media of highly attractive persons may encourage dissatisfaction [with] or lowered evaluations of attractiveness of those of the pertinent sex in real life” (Comstock, 1991). These portrayals can influence the behavior of children regarding personal body image and the image of others’ bodies as well.

The early window seeks to explain the implications of television on the lives of youthful viewers. In relation to the narrative I shared about my two younger cousins, children may not normally be exposed to certain experiences or emotions, but because of television during the time of growth, children are shown elements of reality meant for their later years. My cousins know what it means to be pregnant, a baby is inside of a woman’s stomach. How the baby got there is still questionable to them. However, they are blind to the controversy about to teen pregnancy.

In their eyes, an seventeen or eighteen year old is grown, which why they did not understand why I told them to stop mocking Maci and Farrah. During their youth, they are exposed to television shows like Teen Mom and 16 and pregnant, and they are exposed to adult situations and emotions that no child or teenager should have to witness, or better yet understand, at an early age. Little research has been conducted to better understand how media might also have positive effects by, for example, decreasing risky sexual behavior and promoting healthier decisions among teens.

Given that teens’ use of media has increased over the past decade, and that the amount of sexual content in the media has also increased, it is reasonable to explore whether Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant might be used to help prevent teen pregnancy. My research question asks, how do shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant use ethos, pathos and logos to persuade viewers not to get pregnant as teens? I conducted a survey to evaluate if these strategies, like MTV shows, are effective at persuading teens and young adults.

My survey was composed of 10 questions. Five out of the 10 questions were context questions, and five questions were demographic questions. A total of 10 teens participated and completed the survey. The average age of the participants was 15. 6 years, ranging from 13 to 18 years old. All of the participants were female (100%). Five of the participants were Caucasian and five were African American. Six out of the ten of the participants reported having had sex. Two of the participants are teenage mothers.

My survey was designed to learn more about how watching and discussing episodes of Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant influences teens’ perceptions of getting pregnant and becoming a parent at a young age. My results also shed light on teens’ perceptions of the shows Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant, in particular, and their views about how media might influence teens’ decisions about sex more generally. Television and other media alone do not cause, and cannot prevent, teen pregnancy. However, entertainment media can reach millions of teens with important messages about teen pregnancy.

It is necessary to consider that there is a distinction between this survey I conducted, which attempts to understand teens’ views about teen pregnancy as a result of watching MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant—versus an impact evaluation of a prevention program whose sole purpose is to reduce teen pregnancy. While evidence based teen pregnancy prevention programs are guided by specific theories and have the explicit goal of changing behavior to reduce risk of teen pregnancy, television shows such as Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are created for entertainment with the goal of attracting viewers and keeping them engaged.

The teens in this study enjoyed watching and discussing the 16 and Pregnant episodes and thought that the show was realistic. Neither the boys nor girls who watched the episodes wanted to imitate the teens in the episodes they watched. In fact, nearly all of my teen participants (93%) that watched the show agreed (53% strongly agreed) with the statement: “I learned that teen parenthood is harder than I imagined from these episodes. ” When asked if these shows glamorized teen pregnancy five (50%) of my participants strongly disagreed, two (20%) disagreed, and three (30%) selected neutral.

As I stated before, some of society believe that these shows “glamorizes” teen pregnancy, the findings from this survey show my teen participants do not share that view. In addition, teens that saw and discussed the episodes reported that they enjoyed watching and talking about the show and that they learned something new from doing so. The more they liked it, the more likely they were to have negative views about teen pregnancy. Teens were eager to recommend the show to others; 90% of participants agreed (60% of those strongly agreed) with the statement: “I think all teenagers should watch a show like this.

” Many (80%) said they would recommend that friends participate in the discussion, too. The results of this survey support the idea that teens are interested in watching and discussing reality television shows about teen pregnancy, and that messages about the realities of teen pregnancy and parenting in these shows can influence teens’ attitudes about the challenges of teen parenthood. Given the popularity of these shows, their messages clearly reach a large number of teens. Although I collected plenty of useful data, there were some limitations to my survey. First, I only surveyed female participants.

It would have been interesting to have male opinions with this survey to analyze if they shared the same attitudes about these shows as my female participants did. MTV is a universal television station that has a female and male demographic. Unlike Lifetime and Oxygen, channels that have a majority of female viewers, MTV targets male and female viewers and it could be likely that many males watch this show because they enjoy watching MTV in general. Second, my survey only consisted of teenage participants. Initially, I wanted to survey teenagers and high school teachers.

High school teachers are in contact with teens everyday and would have a credible opinion. However, I decided to just ask teenagers because I wanted to keep the focus on them. This topic as a whole is about teenage pregnancy so I wanted to know how teenagers felt about these shows and if they thought these shows glamorized teen pregnancy. The last limitation is that my survey questions did not really discuss what teens learned and could have been better. My survey asked questions that produced answers about their attitudes toward the show, but it did not ask questions in regards to what they specifically learned.

I asked my participants if they felt the show glamorized teen pregnancy, however my survey was constructed on a Likert-Type Scale so they only had the option of on selecting one of the following: “Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree. ” It would have been a good idea to leave that question open and ask them to explain their answer that way I could have collected data about what they learned specifically and why exactly they thought that these shows did or did not glamorize teen pregnancy.

Initially I hypothesized that these shows glamorize teen pregnancy, and the shows would increase teens’ desire to want to become pregnant because these shows edit out some of the struggles. However, I seem to be wrong based on my survey results. Nearly all of my participants either have watched these shows, and a little over half of them said they learned that parenthood is harder than they thought after watching these shows. When presented with the statement that the shows glamorize teen pregnancy seven out of my ten participants disagreed, and the other three participants selected the neutral choice.

That concludes that more than half of my participants have opposing views from what I hypothesized. Although three of the participants chose “neutral” as their answer they did not fully agree or disagree with the statement. Therefore, a majority of the participants proved my hypothesis to be wrong. My hypothesis may have been incorrect, but my research question about how do shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant uses ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade viewers still remains. Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant, allow teens to see what the responsibility of having a baby is.

It shows the lives of four girls who got pregnant at age 16. Many of them struggle not only with their pregnancy, but also with the acceptance of the parents or even their own boyfriend. The style and the language they use are very realistic making the series even more interesting to teens these days. The show gets its point of view out by making the viewers, mostly teen girls, feel what the girls in the show are feeling, using ethos, pathos and logos very well. Ethos means to convince an audience of the speaker’s credibility or character.

Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant use ethos to show the young audience that the show is a credible source and is worth listening too. For example, the show often takes place in a hospital, obviously, and doctors are shown giving the teen parents medical advice and expertise. This establishes credibility to the viewers because doctors are associated with being smart which would make them credible, theoretically. I noticed from watching the shows that they will introduce the doctors and what hospital the doctors practice at. I feel like they present where the doctor practices to make the situations even more credible.

Ethos can be developed by choosing language that is appropriate for the audience and topic (also means choosing proper level of vocabulary), sounding fair or unbiased, introducing expertise, and by using correct grammar. The doctors use simple language for the teen moms and viewers to understand, they also tell it “straight like it is” to the young parents about any risks or complications (sounding unbiased and fair), and they also speak articulately and use correct grammar, all to contribute credibility and appeal to the audience.

Once these shows prove their credibility, the audience is more likely to develop an emotional connection to the girls on these shows. Pathos means to persuade an audience by appealing to their emotions. Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant use pathos to evoke sympathy from an audience; to get them to feel what the girls on the show feel. A common use of pathos would be to draw pity from an audience. For example, one of the teens on this show, Farrah, lost her boyfriend in a crash while she was pregnant.

Farrah is portrayed on the show as the girl struggling emotionally because her baby’s father is not there to support her during her pregnancy like the other girls on the show. Farrah has her family that supports her, but she doesn’t have her boyfriend. The death of her boyfriend is the emotional appeal to connect with the young audience. Teens value their boyfriends, sometimes a little more than their families at that age. So when young viewers see that she doesn’t have her boyfriend around anymore, they feel sad and pity her because dealing with a boyfriend’s death as a teen is just as eye opening as dealing with pregnancy at an early age.

The show edits Farrah’s episodes to really emphasize the fact that she has to raise her daughter on her own, but receives a lot of support from her family. Another use of pathos would be to inspire anger from an audience, perhaps in order to prompt action. Pathos is the Greek word for both “suffering” and “experience. ” I saw a lot of this use of pathos in Caitlyn’s episodes. Caitlyn and her boyfriend decided to place their daughter up for adoption. They are the only couple on the show to do this. The show edits Caitlyn’s episodes to depict her experience of carrying her baby, selecting an adopted

family, giving birth, and the emotional suffering she has after she gives her baby away. Although Caitlyn’s experience and suffering would appeal to the audience’s emotions to feel pity, I can also see how it could inspire anger from the audience. There is no doubt in my mind that there are some teens that have negative views about adoption because many teens don’t understand adoption and only think of it as “giving your baby away to strangers. ” However, there may be some teens that have morals and religious beliefs that make them negatively view adoption.

Needless to say, Caitlyn giving her baby away could spark questions amongst some young viewers like, “Why would she give her baby away?? I would never do that! ” Many of times, an ill-educated mind would ask questions like this because they are unaware of statistics and logical reasoning to certain actions. Logos means to convince an audience by use of logic or reason. To use logos would be to cite facts and statistics, historical and literal analogies, and citing certain authorities on a subject. In Caitlyn’s case, MTV allows her to share on the show why she decided to give her daughter up for adoption.

She explains that she is living in an unstable household that she does not want her daughter to grow up in. After each episode, MTV also provides statistics on teenage pregnancy in the United States, and how many teens follow through with the adoption option. I also observed while watching 16 and Pregnant that MTV makes a conscious effort to define terminology on the screen for the viewers. Some of the teens on the show will have an epidural during their delivery or their child would be born with jaundice, and terms like “epidural” and “jaundice” would appear on the screen with short, easy to read definitions.

I’m not sure if MTV does this to scare teens or if they do this to inform them so they will have a better understanding of what is going on. Logos can be developed by using advanced and abstract language, citing facts (which is very important in my opinion), and by constructing logical arguments. According to Aristotle, rhetoric is the ability, in each particular case, to see the available means of persuasion. He described three types of rhetorical appeal: ethos, pathos, and logos.

In order for shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom to be effective strategies to decrease teen pregnancy, MTV producers needed to understand these three terms. Judging by my survey results, these producers are knowledgeable and understand that the proper use of ethos, pathos and logos is necessary. The media is notorious for using ethos, pathos, and logos when trying to persuade viewers to either buy something or to simply watch a new show. I was persuaded to watch MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant when I was in high school.

I simply wanted to know more about the persuasive appeals these shows used and if these shows glamorized teen pregnancy. This project allowed me to research Aristotle’s concept of ethos, pathos, and logos, and how these shows are effective strategies to persuade young viewers not to become pregnant. My main research questions for this research project was “How do shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant use ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade viewers not to get pregnant? ” And “Are these shows effective strategies for persuading teens and young adults?

” I hypothesized that these shows glamorize teen pregnancy, and I wanted to further my research to learn more about this controversial topic. I initially planned on constructing a survey and reviewing scholarly journals regarding theories to help guide me to answering my research questions. I began my research by identifying theories that would help me approach this topic. I created my theoretical framework using three theories that I selected based on their ideologies of the media’s influence on behaviors. Media representations of life are confusing for many viewers.

When we observe television stars behaving in a particular way, we assume that comparable actions in our lives will result in similar consequences. With that being said, my theoretical framework focused on Cultivation Analysis, Social Cognitive Theory, and the Early Window Theory. Cultivation Analysis Theory examines the relationship between extent of television viewing and conception of reality. In relation to the growing number of teen pregnancies, recent studies show that the amount of sexual content on television has been considerable and increasing over the years (Eyal & Finnerty, 2009).

Television and media messages contribute significantly to individuals’ thoughts and behaviors. I was able to apply this theory to my research because I wanted to make a logical argument that when teens see these young moms on TV living a fancy life (owning a house, owning a car, partying, dating, etc. ) that they would believe that they could have a similar life. This theory allowed me to show that teens could easily misinterpret the scripted situations happening on Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant as a reality. I also learned that one of the most generally accepted theories used to explain the influence of media on

individuals is Social Cognitive Theory. According to Albert Bandura, when people see behavior that is rewarded or praised, they are likely to exhibit the behavior themselves through operant learning. I selected this theory to prove my hypothesis that if young viewers of these shows watched these girls develop a fancy life from 16 and Pregnant to Teen Mom then they would view this as the girls being praised and would be more likely to imitate behaviors to receive these rewards, which in this case would require pregnancy in order to receive the same “praise”.

Although there is some debate regarding the full influence of the media on viewers, it is known that humans learn from observation. This theory also provided insight to the possible results of my research question that asks how these shows use ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade young viewers. As stated, humans learn through observation, so being able to witness these teen parents’ experience on the show and to hear their stories has more potential to persuade them to get pregnant or not depending on how they observe the show.

The last theory that I used for my theoretical framework was the Early Window Theory. According to this theory, children are allowed to see the world and its various aspects before they possess the skill set to adequately understand and act in it. I decided to use this theory as part of my framework because I wanted to analyze the effects these shows have in regards to exposing teenagers to “adult situations” (like pregnancy). Teenagers get to a certain point where they are curious about sex and have questions. That is normal.

However, these shows are documentaries about young parents who are experiencing having a child out of wedlock and in some cases have complications with their birth or have to worry about going to court for child support. These documentaries are shown on MTV, which is a television channel geared towards a young audience. This young audience is exposed to these documentaries about pregnancy, and if they watch them then they are given the opportunity to learn about an aspect of life that they should not be exposed to or worried about until they are older and are able to adequately understand it all.

After developing my theoretical framework, I began to apply my methods for collecting data. I constructed a survey of ten questions. I surveyed ten female participants ranging in age from 13-18. I experienced limitations with my survey, like I only surveyed females and I only surveyed teenagers. The biggest limitation of my survey was that my questions were not the best. Based on my questions and the responses that I received I was unable to find out what exactly teens learned from the show.

However, I did find out my teen participants’ attitudes towards these shows and how these shows influence their attitudes. My survey results also proved my hypothesis that these shows glamorize teen pregnancy to be wrong. More than half of my survey participants disagreed that these shows glamorize teen pregnancy. I was initially surprised by the data I received from the survey. However, after giving my results deep thought, I have concluded that my results make sense. Why would teens feel that the show glamorizes teen pregnancy?

When I consider the ideas from my theoretical framework about how the media influences people’s conception of reality and that people learn through observation, I can safely assume that teens might believe that these girls on the show are living a normal life. Again, one of the downfalls of my survey is that I only surveyed teenage girls and my results reflected that. MTV shows the teen moms struggling sometimes, and other times they are living what seems to be a normal life. However, the struggle doesn’t out shine the normality.

Although I did not receive the results I wanted, the results I did analyze made sense considering my theoretical research and the age and gender demographics of my survey participants. In conclusion, this project as a whole helped me understand the art of persuasion in relation to the media. Shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant effectively use ethos, paths and logos to influence teens’ attitudes about pregnancy. My survey results reflect this effectiveness, and my teenage participants said they learned that parenthood is harder than they thought from watching these shows; and I agree.

The girls on these shows are not ready to have babies. They go through a lot of pain and also they get to miss out on high school memories. Being a mom is not an easy job for anyone. Many teens have at risk pregnancies because the body is not developed to carry a baby. MTV produces persuasive appeals on Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant to address certain facts and discuss how important it is for teens to understand the consequences of teen pregnancy. References Cosmstock, G. (1991). Television and the American Child. San Diego Academic. Bandura, A. (1994). Social Cognitive Theory of Mass Communication.

Hillside: In J. Bryant and D. Zillman Gerbner, G. (1998). Cultivation Analysis: An Overview. Mass Communication & Society, 175-194. Eisend, M. (2006). The influence of TV viewing on consumers’ body images and related consumption behavior. Springer Science + Business Media, 101-116 Eyal, K. , & Finnerty, K. (2009). The Portrayal of Sexual Intercourse on Television: How, Who, and With What Consequence? Mass Communication and Society, 143-170. Media Literacy Clearinghouse. (2009). Media Use Statistics. Retrieved November 2009, from the Media Literacy Clearinghouse: http://www. frankwbaker. com/mediause. htm


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