We’ve all watched MTV shows like 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom. On these shows teen moms expose their vulnerabilities dealing with the responsibilities of motherhood at a young age. As a teen, dealing with being a first time mom can be especially hard when trying to balance school, social life and a baby. Priorities change and teen moms often find that being responsible for another human being is intimidating and scary.
Controversies have risen over whether these shows should be aired. Some critics have expressed that these shows will send the message that being pregnant as a teen is beneficial because one can become the next television sensation, while others have expressed that these shows help teens in the real world see the struggles of teen moms.
The latter opinion proves to be the most accurate. Some improvements illustrate that “the teen pregnancy rate has halved since its peak in 1990, declining in all 50 states and among all racial and ethnic groups.” Due to this decrease the average age of first time moms have increased significantly. This result can be partially attributed to these television shows and the “Bill Albert with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.” As more teens are educated on unplanned pregnancy and as contraception methods improve, more women wait to have children at a later stage in their life.
This change is significant because having a child while one is still a child herself poses great obstacles. When women wait to have children in a later stage, they are better equipped to care for a child.