'16 and Pregnant' in the classroom
It's another thing altogether to wonder whether they belong in the classroom.
Last year the Kaiser Family Foundation worked with MTV, which produces and airs both shows, and the D.C.-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy to make copies of the first season of "16 and Pregnant" and discussion guides available for use in teaching teenagers and young adults about the perils of teen pregnancy. Intended for use by community groups, some teachers and schools have availed themselves of the kits (which you can order, for free, here) for classroom use, according to Amy Kramer, director of entertainment media for the National Campaign.
There are those who argue that shows such as these glorify teen pregnancy. But I'm with Kramer, who says, "If anything, this show ["16 and Pregnant" is the best birth control I've ever seen."
The debate over glamorizing teen pregnancy has been in high gear since then-16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears announced she was expecting in December 2007. Spears was supplanted as poster girl for teen pregnancy by Bristol Palin, whose recent selection as a "Dancing with the Stars" contestant has raised questions as to whether her life as a teen mom may appear unrealistically rosy to impressionable young women.
But anybody who's watched "Teen Mom" or "16 and Pregnant" knows they don't paint a pretty picture of teen pregnancy. Here, for instance, is what the current episode of "Teen Mom" is about:
Maci questions whether her boyfriend Kyle is ready to date a teen mom and be a real part of her son's life, while Farrah tries speed dating. Amber works toward her GED until she realizes that finishing high school with a baby is harder than she expected....
And here's a summary of a "16 and Pregnant" episode:
Lizzie has two loves in life: her boyfriend Skylar and her passion for playing music. When her pregnancy forces her to drop out of high school and the marching band, Lizzie looks to her boyfriend Skylar for support...until she discovers he hasn't always been faithful. Without music or Skylar in her life, Lizzie's world looks a lot less perfect.
If I were a teenage girl, I wouldn't find that glamorous at all.
I happen to live with a teenage girl -- my almost-17-year-old daughter. I asked her whether such shows should be aired in health class (where her school teaches sex education). She was all for it. "It would engage everyone in the class," she said, noting that by mid-high-school, kids are yawning their way through sex ed. "Plus, everyone has already made up their mind about what they're going to do" regarding sex, she says.
Out of the mouths of babes.
I know you have an opinion about this. Please make it known by voting in today's poll and commenting, below.
Jennifer LaRue Huget
September 2, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Life's Big Questions , Pregnancy , Sex , Teens
Save & Share: Previous: Does mental activity prevent dementia?
Next: Is that right? Beware bed bug remedies
Posted by: SweetieJ | September 2, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: di89 | September 2, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MzFitz | September 2, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 424me | September 2, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 424me | September 2, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: saturn_og | September 2, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: alance | September 2, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 3, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: momof20yo | September 3, 2010 5:33 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | September 3, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ariesgirl4 | September 3, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.