Essay on Mtv's 16 & Pregnant Glorifies Teen Pregnancy

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According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 86 percent of mothers who give birth out-of-wedlock are teenagers. MTV’s show “16 & Pregnant,” which has only been on air since June 2009, is already reflecting the rapid boom in teenage pregnancy across various cities in America. Since the early eighties MTV has been considered somewhat of a cultural phenomenon for American adolescents and its depiction of gender has a strong impact that continues to this day (Holtzman 2000). Created by Morgan J. Freeman (director of teen shows Dawson’s Creek and Laguna Beach), the show “16 & Pregnant” has been said to be guilty of exacerbating, normalizing and even glorifying teen pregnancy. Perhaps, it’s just reflecting a current social dilemma…show more content…
Her life becomes a lot more complicated when she finds out she is pregnant. Farrah’s best friend turns on her spreading nasty rumors, forcing Farrah to finish school online. Farrah's ex-boyfriend, also the baby's father, begins to harass her after he finds out she is pregnant which leads her to change her number. “I would have never lost my virginity to someone I believed would treat me like this,” Farrah exclaims about her ex-boyfriend. Farrah struggles with single motherhood and has to deal with a judgmental parent who looks down upon her decisions. Episode two again reinforces traditional American cultural beliefs of female gender roles by portraying the woman as the single mother, ultimately responsible for the child, showing the girl dealing with emotional problems while trying to hold the family together, tasks and situations often associated with femininity. These images become engrained on a young viewers minds and being sixteen and pregnant becomes just another fad for young girls to consider. “MTV has a long history of reflecting the lives of our viewers with compelling reality stories," says Tony DiSanto, MTV's president of programming. The program’s featured girls come from rural Mid-Western or Southern states, usually from small, working-class towns, in attempt to appeal to teenage girls of the same background. The implicit message at the

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