Friday, March 5, 2010

Teenage Pregnancy...Glamorous?

Teenage pregnancy has recently been the new “hot” topic of the mass media everywhere from movies to families of high governmental status and everything in between. It seems lately that the media is ‘glorifying’ and ‘normalizing’ teenage pregnancy by making it a widely accepted subject. The media makes teen pregnancy look easy, but what isn’t shown are the actual hardships and struggles of a child raising a child.
Another issue about teenage pregnancy in the media is that it rarely mentions the use of contraceptives or STD testing. “‘It's the missing three C's: there's little commitment, no mention of contraception and rarely do we see negative consequences,’ says Jane Brown, a journalism professor at the University of North Carolina who runs the Teen Media Project. ‘What's missing in the media's sexual script is what happens before and after’... They also seem to be glamorizing unprotected sex. Every girl on the television show Teen Mom, admitted that they were engaging in unprotected sex at the time they became pregnant. Shouldn’t we be showing teens how to appropriately use contraceptives and get tested regularly for STD’s? It is shown that television shows such as 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom have brought the issue of teenage pregnancy to the viewers’ attention, who are mostly teens themselves, that teen pregnancy can happen, but if the girls on television can do it and have their own television show, so can they.
One of the major controversial pregnant teenagers was Bristol Palin who was 17 when she found out she was pregnant. The daughter of Alaska’s governor, Sarah Palin, who spoke openly and highly about her abstinence-only sex education plan, took the U.S by surprise when she announced that she was pregnant. The same goes for Nickelodeon star Jamie Lynn Spears, the little sister of pop singer, Britney Spears, who found out she was pregnant at the age of 16. The second controversial issue surrounding pregnant teens is the “Pregnancy Pact”, which was a pact, made by 18 girls in Gloucester to get pregnant together. This was a major story on the news and in the media for weeks and was still mentioned months after. Lifetime even turned it into a hit movie. Please view the MSNBC for more information:

What are your thoughts on this report?

This new “hot baby fad” is striking our nation and it doesn’t seem to be dying down at anytime soon. It seems that many people in the United States have become more accepting of teen pregnancy, but it all depends on the different cultures. Different people in different cultures view teen pregnancy in different ways, and that’s okay, but is this “fad” going to last? How far will the media go to make a buck? Will teen pregnancy become a viscous cycle?

Jayson, Sharon. Does ‘Juno’ Show Strength or Glorify Teen Pregnancy? USA Today 2008 May 27.

Kilff, Sarah. Teenage Pregnancy, Hollywood Style. Newsweek Exclusive. 2008 Jul 23.

Lowen, Linda. Teen Pregnancy in Pop Culture—Media Images of Teen Pregnancy in pop Culture.

Please enjoy the following video clips:

This video clip is an interview of a pregnant teen and her hardships.

Becca Jo, Charda, Courtney, Hiroyo, Rebecca


  1. There are many points that I absolutely agree with in this post. The show 16 and Pregnant absolutely makes it appear easy for girls to have themselves featured on an episode if they are pregnant. However, there is a lack in the hardships of parenthood outside the one episode that is aired. The hours and commitment put into raising a child is not shown. There has to be a better method in raising children and teaching them the importance of contraceptions and prevention.

  2. I couldn’t agree more that the increased coverage of teen pregnancy in the media does not go into the different hardships that teen pregnancy can bring. I thought that the preview for mtv documentary Teen Mom highlighted these hardships a little more because it showed that teen pregnancy can make people no longer feel like a teenager anymore, make you feel extremely stressed and give you other mental health conditions, not guarantee that the father of the baby will stay around, and harm your relationship with your parents.

  3. Teen pregnancy is such a hot button issue right now. Everyone I know knows at least one person who got pregnant while they were a teenager. When I see the show 16 and pregnant or teen mom, I am always surprised. Yes, they show drama but at the same time they almost make light of a very difficult situation. The parents of the pregnant teen is usually looked at negatively because they are badgering the teen to grow up and be a mom. It makes it seem that once the baby is born (in 16 and pregnant) everything kinda turns out all right. Teen mom shows a little more about the hardships that teenage parents go through, but it is still unrealistic because it is a reality TV show.

    Teenagers are watching these shows and I feel like it is developing an "its ok" idea for them because so many other kids are doing it. Enough that there would be a TV show about it!

  4. It was good to see examples to put on this blog topic especially young Hollywood starlets getting pregnant. Couple years ago, when I heard the news about Nickelodeon star Jamie Lynn Spears was pregnant has shocked many people. They immediately had to stop the show and it really affected young girls and mothers. Before hearing that news, every girl who watched the show and agrees that she is “greatest role-model.” We should wonder if girls still trying to follow her footsteps…
    But overall, it’s good that media is putting out messages about teenage pregnancy but again, it will create other messages. It really depends on how the viewers’ belief and it is okay to ask themselves, what are the good choices to make in the future. I think young girls these days; need a lot of support systems and advices from their communities due to our society put peer pressure.

  5. I had some problem with my first pregnancy, i wanted to be pregnant and have my first baby, buy my husband had erectil dysfunction problem, so we decided to buy viagra and after that he turned very strong and could get powerful erection after this medical treatment. Thank to this i have two litle and beautiful girls.