Problems don't go away if you just ignore them and pretend they aren't there. This is turning out to be totally true with teen pregnancy - but on the positive side: people (popular media, online bloggers, teens, parents, educators) are TALKING about the real factors that affect teen pregnancy, and rates are DROPPING! Imagine that! The NY Times article this past week discussing Teen Mom 2 had my vote - it talks about how teen pregnancy shows aren't trying to make pregnancy seem cute/easy/true love+happy family@15 years old, unlike earlier portrayals of teen pregnancy in Juno and other really unrealistic films.
These shows are starting conversations. If you're sitting on the couch watching 16&Pregnant with your mom, it's going to be easier to start a conversation on getting to your local teen clinic for birth control or STI testing, or what she thinks about you becoming sexually active, than if you had to just bring it up out of the blue. And trust me, your parents would rather have that slightly difficult conversation than see you have to handle the BIG problems and challenges that the teen parents in Teen Mom 2 or 16 & Pregnant have to face.
Sometimes it seems like our culture is obsessed with putting a fake plastic happy face on all things pregnancy-related, from celeb "baby bumps" to glamorizing Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears. I'm glad, for one, that we are finally seeing what's really up with having a baby at 15, 16,17, etc... - it's NOT easy. As the National Campaign for Teen Pregnancy puts it:
"There is precisely nothing glamorous about the trials and tribulations of the young mothers featured on MTV's terrific shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. Don't believe me...watch an episode. Don't believe your own eyes...ask teens themselves. Fully 82% of those who have seen 16 and Pregnant think the show helps teens better understand the challenges of teen pregnancy and parenthood and how to avoid it, according to a recent survey from The National Campaign."
What do you think? Has watching these shows changed your mind on using birth control or talking to your partner about how to prevent pregnancy? Tell me what you think! Comments below:)