Essay about The Phenonmeon of Teen Mom

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Teen Mom II is the second incarnation of MTV's number one rated reality series 16 and Pregnant. The show documents the lives of four teenage mothers as they struggle to cope with the burden of childrearing in a financially demanding society while trying to navigate through the journey of adolescence. Once catering to a music oriented teenage consumer, MTV has reinvented itself as a teen reality television powerhouse, with many of its reality shows, including Teen Mom II, consistently dominating in the ratings. Although advertisers eagerly race to gain the attention of the much sought after 18-49 demographic, critics question the stereotypes that may be reinforced through the television program and the negative sociological effects, the…show more content…
In episode seven of the series, “Switching Gears,” teen mom Kailyn, is desperate to attain some sort of independence from her baby fathers family and decides to move out on her own. When she makes her announcement, Jo the father of her baby, responds with cruel messages filled with vicious and horrid words by way of text message. He states, using many four-letter words, how he regrets having a child with her. The behaviors portrayed in Teen Mom II while horrendous, makes for great television. Martin Kaplan, media professor at the University of Southern California school of Communication, states “the appeal of these shows is that the producers and casting directors have figured out we have reptile brains, and that there is stuff that we can’t resist because of the species we are.” While the entertainment factor can’t be denied, the stereotypes reinforced by Teen Mom II and the effects it may have on viewers cannot be dismissed. A study done by Margaret J.Hefner and Jamie Comstak titled Compliance Gaining on Prime Time Family Programing states “individual’s stereotypes, role learning, aggression and world views can be influenced by observing life on television.” Shows like Teen Mom II that are dedicated to featuring the difficulty teens face while raising a

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