Teenage pregnancy is more than a myth – it is a reality. One-third of women giving birth in the U.S. became pregnant before age 20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Teenage pregnancy has even become a TV staple. Teen Mom is a new show on MTV, picking up where 16 and Pregnant left off and putting the life and experience of having a baby as a teenager on display.
This show is the first among reality shows to educate people on real-life situations.
The first season is comprised of four young women with varying situations dealing with their pregnancies.
Although it is entertaining, it also educates viewers of situations to avoid. Teen Mom captures almost every situation that teen girls are warned about when dealing with pregnancy.
Pregnancy is usually a crisis for the pregnant girl. She may become overwhelmed by guilt, anxiety and about the future. Some fathers are not involved and the mother is usually left to raise the baby alone.
“Hopefully, some girls won’t get the wrong idea and think, if they get pregnant it will lead to a reality show,” said Ermide Fils-Aime, 21, a third-year broadcast student from Ft. Lauderdale.
Teen Mom is shedding a negative point of view for a positive reaction. These are real-life situations that many teenagers are coping with across the country.
It is possible this show will have enough impact to keep teen pregnancy from rising once again; despite a decline in teen pregnancies from 1991 to 2005, the number appears to have risen again in 2006, according to the CDC.
When teens see the hardship of being a teenage parent, they will see that a baby is not something to play with.
There is one mother in the show that chose to give her baby up for adoption. This idea is supported in most cases. An estimated five percent of teenage mothers place their infants for adoption, according to encyclopedia.adoption.com.
Adolescents who choose adoption have a better chance of completing high school, finding employment and less likely to end up on welfare.
This may lead to the misconception that it is OK to become pregnant as long as the baby is given up for adoption.
That overlooks the many hardships pregnancy involves whether it is financial, psychological or physical.