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MTV’s “Teen Mom” Series is Helping Cause a Decline in Teen Pregnancy

Jaclyn Hughes

Every once in a while, reality television does something really good for society. Such is the case for the MTV reality show, “Teen Mom”. When the show initially came out, it received mixed reviews. Some felt that it was promoting or glamourizing teenage pregnancy. Suggesting that perhaps giving these young women a platform to make a lot of money and become famous for getting pregnant as a high schooler is not the best role models for girls. However, it without question has shed some light on the topic, and as studies are showing, has done wonders for a decline in teen moms.

The folks at the McKinsey Global Institute have recently revealed that a study performed in 2014 showed a huge increase in kids researching and Googling birth control and abortion, which resulted in a 5.7% reduction in teen motherhood. This all occurred within just 18 months of the show’s debut. The show’s premise is to follow the day to day routine of teenage girls through their pregnancies, then through their lives once they gave birth. The audience went from not only its targeted group of young women between the ages of 13-20, to reach viewers of Moms watching the show with their daughters as well. It’s been successfully on the air since 2009, having created a popular spin off “Teen Mom 2”, that shows the same girls from previous seasons as moms with their now, older children.

Fortune website reveals that the show may have given a platform for these girls to become celebrities overnight, but it also showed a lot of the realities that young parents have to survive. Trying to get their high school diplomas and attend college classes for instance proved to be a struggle with babies in their laps. Some of the moms experienced relationship challenges, and even drug addictions. It’s been a busy transition for all of the ladies, and some of them have truly displayed maturity and got themselves careers and an education. All in all, the MTV series has definitely dawned some realistic portrayals of what it’s like to become a young mom.

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