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One of the hottest trends going around the 21st century is teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy has become so popular that MTV has an entire reality show based on teen pregnancy. 16 and Pregnant is a television show based on high school teens who are between 4 ½ – 8 months pregnant (Wikipedia). The show spotlights the mother’s hardships and difficulties throughout the pregnancy. Many of the mothers choose to keep their child, but some place the baby up for adoption for their own well-being. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate of females from ages 15-19 has decreased from the year 1990-2016 (Wikipedia).
African Americans are the leading race in teen pregnancy. One of the biggest questions about this television show, 16 and Pregnant, is: “does it impact the newer generation?” The show impedes teenager’s goals and shows the altercations of mothers and fathers. The show also talks about how expensive a baby can be and the consequences of having a baby at such a young age.
Lastly, the show talks about how teen pregnancy has a bad influence on teenagers and how it is a great example of growing up.
The television show 16 and pregnant impedes teenager’s goals by making the mother put her entire life on hold for the baby. The mother has to make a drastic decision to either stay in school or drop out because she is not able to balance them both. Approximately 38 percent of teenage mothers drop out of school because they feel they are unable to continue their education while trying to raise a baby (NCSL).
One of the biggest effects of having a child at a young age would definitely come from social media. Having a child so young can also impede a mother’s goal by making her feel very insecure. It can make them feel so depressed that they probably will not be able to carry the baby full term causing them to either have a premature birth or a miscarriage. Being a teen mom can also cause the mother to lose friends. The mother will lose many close friends because they are too immature to support the friend.
The second way the television show 16 and pregnant has a huge impact on the newer generation is by broadcasting the altercations between mothers and fathers. The mother and father might argue throughput the entire pregnancy because the father will start to deny the baby. The father will deny the baby because he does not feel he is mature enough to raise a child. The result of the father denying the baby will cause the family to be torn apart. Statistics show that more than 12 million single mothers in the United States as of 2017 (Single Mother Guide). Growing up without a father can have a child feeling unwanted and worthless. This can cause the child to grow up with so much hatred in their life because they will feel the father left because of them. The maternal parents will more than likely be angry with the mother because no one wants a pregnant daughter. The daughter will feel as if she has no one to turn to; consequently, this causes them to no longer want to carry the child. All children need a mother’s love.
Another way the television show 16 and pregnant impacts the newer generation is by not including how expensive a baby can be. The mother is not old enough to receive food stamps or any other government assistance so she just has to settle for “WIC” or ‘Women, Infants, and Children”. WIC is a government program that helps mothers buy many necessities such as fruit and baby formula. A can of baby formula can cost almost $20 and a baby needs at least 8-10 bottles a month. In most states, a mother must be at least 21 to even receive food stamps resulting in the mother having to work crazy hours in order to make ends meet. A mother has to change a child’s car seat every 2-3 years because the baby will not stay small forever. Daycares also play a major role in a mother’s life because if the mother chooses to stay in school she will not be able to take the child everywhere with her. Daycare prices range from almost $150-300 a week for child care not including if the mother is working late shifts.
The television show 16 and Pregnant also shows the consequences of having a child so young can mean that the baby can be born with a disability, like underdeveloped organs, or exposed to infant mortality. One mother on the television series, Leah Messer, became a mother at such a young age. Leah gave birth to twins at the age of 16 causing one of her daughters, Aliannah, to be born rare disorder known as “Titin Muscular Dystrophy.” The baby girl was in and out of the hospital her entire childhood, causing her mother to become very depressed. Another consequence would have to be that now the mother is not only taking care of herself but also another human being. She will have to be very careful to never fail herself because now she has a child looking up to her.
Lastly the television series 16 and Pregnant impact the newer generation by teaching them how to grow up. The mothers have to cut a lot of things out because they have a baby. They can no longer party with friends or just be a “normal teenager”. The mother is also looked down upon because she has chosen to keep her baby instead of giving it away or have an abortion. Also now that she has a child the mother will have to pay bills, causing her to more than likely have to live paycheck to paycheck. Children can be a burden, but it is up to the mother to make them change their life for the better. Self-motivation is extremely important because it will help provide a new direction and purpose in your life.
In conclusion, I feel the television series 16 and Pregnant, does, in fact, impact the newer generation because it shows the hardships a teenager has to go through when raising a child. Though the show has a great purpose, it tells teens that if they get pregnant that maybe they will get famous. It also tells teens that it is okay to have a child. I also believe the show does a great job educating teens on pregnancy but it should not focus on all the drama that comes with a child.
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