The ’16 & Pregnant’ and ‘Teen Mom’ spinoffs have done more than keep us entertained with constant baby and boyfriend drama: a new study credits the franchise for preventing about 20,000 teen pregnancies because girls gained a new platform to talk about birth control.
MTV’s 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom have come under fire for glamorizing teen pregnancy, but a new study from University of Maryland and Wellesley College found that the shows actually make it easier for teenage girls to educate themselves about birth control and pregnancy prevention. The study discovered that the show even led to a 5.7% reduction in teen births in the 18 months after the premiere of 16 and Pregnant in June 2009.
’16 & Pregnant’ Prevents Teen Pregnancies: Study Shows Teen Birth Rate Decline
Seeing the incredible struggles young new moms face on 16 & Pregnant and other reality shows has encouraged young women to reach out for more information on birth control and pregnancy prevention.
About 20,000 teen pregnancies were prevented in the 18 months after the show’s initial air, according to statistics released from a Teen Mom study from University of Maryland and Wellesley College.
“This new research shows that, rather than glamorizing teen pregnancy and parenting as some have suggested, 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom are more sobering than salacious,” said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, in a statement. “One of the nation’s great success stories of the past two decades has been the historic declines in teen pregnancy and childbearing.”
’16 & Pregnant’ Encourages Young Women To Talk About Birth Control
So what’s to thank for the decline in unplanned teen pregnancies? “MTV and other media outlets have undoubtedly increased attention to the risks and reality of teen pregnancy and parenthood and, as this research shows, have likely played an important role in the nation’s remarkable progress,” Brown explained. “Indeed, reality series like these two MTV shows and other constructive programs should be seen as key parts of 21st century sex education.”
Way to go, ladies who are using 16 & Pregnant as a conversation starter about birth control!
What do YOU think, HollyMoms? Are you shocked by this new study?
— Kristine Hope Kowalski