Is Media Glamorizing Teen Pregnancy?
New Research of Teens Suggests the Answer is No
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teen pregnancy has garnered significant attention in the entertainment media over the past two years -- from MTV's popular shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom to recent cover stories in major magazines. Some have criticized these efforts for glamorizing teen pregnancy. New research with teens suggests that teens do not share that view.
According to a new public opinion poll of young people (ages 12-19) commissioned by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, most teens (79% of girls and 67% of boys) agree that when a TV show or character they like deals with teen pregnancy, it makes them think more about their own risk of getting pregnant or causing a pregnancy and how to avoid it.
Other findings from the nationally-representative telephone poll of 1,008 young people conducted by Social Science Research Solutions ( www.ssrs.com) include:
- Among those young people who have watched MTV's 16 and Pregnant, 82% think the show helps teens better understand the challenges of teen pregnancy and parenthood and how to avoid it.
- 76% of young people say that what they see in the media about sex, love, and relationships can be a good way to start conversations with adults.
- About half (48%) say they have discussed these topics with their parents because of something they have seen in the media.
- 16 and Pregnant got young people talking and thinking about teen pregnancy -- 40% of those in the treatment group said they talked about the show with a parent, 63% discussed with a friend, and 37% discussed with a sibling.
- 93% of those who watched the episode agreed (53% strongly agreed) with the statement: "I learned that teen parenthood is harder than I imagined from these episodes."
- 83% said they learned new things from the discussion of the episodes.
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