MTV Is Not The Enemy

23 01 2011

Lately it seems that every time there is a spike in this or that small town’s teen pregnancy rate, the finger is pointed at MTV– instead of the poor quality of this nation’s sexual education program’s.

With the Gloucester, MA “Pregnancy Pact” not yet out of memory, CNN covers a story out of Memphis, TN in which 90 students at Frayser High have (or are about to) become parents.

On the heels of the Frayser story came a sparkling gem of insight from Kim Kardashian’s personal blog, “…shows like ‘Teen Mom’ are all of a sudden making teen pregnancy seem cool in the eyes of young girls. The kids from these shows are all over the news, even on the covers of magazines, and have become almost like celebrities, but girls, these are not people you should idolize!”

Amber Portwood, whose story has been featured on both “16 & Pregnant” and [it’s spin-off] “Teen Mom,” beat me to the punch with her response to this glaring hypocrisy.  “She [Kardashian] made a sex tape when she was younger and she wants to bash the girls on ‘Teen Mom’?” Portwood told E! News.

The statistics on teen pregnancy available through the CDC and The Candie’s Foundation websites are startling, and sort of indisputable, but as a viewer of the MTV programming in question- I can attest to the lessons learned from watching harsh realities that all of the girls are living.

Although the evidence suggests the rate of live births to women under 19 are the highest they’ve been in a decade, I have a hard time believing that any teenage girl- regardless of maturity, economical status, and family history- would want to live the lives of the “Teen Mom’s”: Maci, Farrah, Catelynn, and Amber or Leah, Kailyn, Chelsea and Jenelle.
I tune in (guiltily) each week and no matter how it sounds- I am thankful for what I have, and what I don’t. Whatever happened to me that day that may have been stressful or expensive, is not nearly as difficult to face as what these girls have done to themselves. 

Is there entertainment value to the trials and tribulations of teen motherhood as shown by MTV? Of course. They wouldn’t bother filming if there weren’t 2.5million people watching every week!
I totally realize and acknowledge that there are tricks and bending of truths to any reality show, but “Teen Mom” isn’t “The Hills”- you can’t really script a story for these girls to follow. They’re a little busy with their babies to fake custody issues and near poverty!

I commend MTV for opening the eyes of the ever younger sexually active America, and for encouraging them to educate themselves- as it is clear that our schools and (many) parents cannot or will not.
Their decision to pair up with longtime host of “Love Line” and established practicioner Dr. Drew Pinsky was a stroke of genius. He is medically knowledgable, compassionate, and understanding of the contemporary social climate.




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