Teenage Pregnancy And The Media Essay

1689 words - 7 pages

There is a great debate on whether or not mass media has an influence on teenage pregnancy. A study done by the RAND Corporation shows that teens are twice as likely to have sex or engage in sexual acts if they see similar sexual behavior in the media. Many objects in the media that involve sex target teens. Reality TV shows and teen dramas often portray the "cool kids" as the ones who are having sex (Chandra).Today’s teens are highly influenced by what they see in the media and this can change their behavior and choices. Some will argue that the media doesn’t influence teenagers, but how can we be sure of that? Today, the media portray teen pregnancy in movies, television shows, magazines, ...view middle of the document...

By eliminating the glamorous lifestyles of teenage parents, we will help teens face the reality that being a parent is ultimately difficult. The teen parents should help send out the message that it is hard to live life as a teenage parent and that television shows don’t fully depict the hardships that come along with raising children. Instead of having shows that glamorize pregnancy, we should have shows that educate teens on the real facts of being pregnant. Too many shows out there demonstrate how teen moms have help from their parents, baby’s father, and their friends. By showing teens that such outcomes are rare, and the truth is most of them don’t have the cash flow that celebrities have, they’ll end up struggling and facing the fact that raising children is complicated. Many of the teen moms have parents and nannies to help care for their children and this wouldn’t be the case for most teens. Cases such as Jamie Lynn Spears show how a teenager can be put into the spotlight while making pregnancy seem fun and cool. Teens want to replicate celebrities if they see that they are living a fun lifestyle. Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol Palin, was on the cover of many magazines during her pregnancy. After the pregnancy, she participated in the show, “Dancing with the Stars.” This leads teens to believe that being a mom might make it easier to open up doors to new opportunities. By showing less pregnant teenagers in the media, we will reduce the risks of having teenagers believe that they can live a glamorous lifestyle that a celebrity lives.
We need to show teens the realistic depictions of being a pregnant teen and young parent. There are stereotypes, rumors, and labeling theories that come along with being a pregnant teenager. If a girl becomes pregnant during high school, they are stereotyped as being “fast girls.” Many rumors start to spread whenever a girl becomes pregnant. “Who’s the baby’s father? Did she trick him into getting pregnant? Was she sleeping around?” Dealing with the judgment and gossip is very complicated to overcome while being pregnant. Most teens become overwhelmed with the many emotions that are associated with pregnancy. There is a huge amount of pressure in dealing with it. Teens have to prepare for the physical, mental, and emotional changes, not to mention the eventual homecoming of the baby. Most teens don’t have their own health insurance and don’t realize the cost of the medical bills. Caring for a baby is also very expensive. Who will work to pay for these things? Without a high school diploma, most teens only make minimum wage. By showing teens the real representation of being a pregnant teenager, they will truly realize how intricate it is to be a teen parent.
Removing the glamorization of pregnancy and replacing ideal portrayals with real ones isn’t enough; teens need education. Peer input can be a helpful in enlightening teens on the effects of pregnancy. Have them discuss the repercussions of pregnancy...

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