For this week’s assignment, I remembered a show that I’ve watched in the past. While I, personally, think it’s one of the dumbest shows on tv, I think it may have done some good. I’m not sure if it’s still on the air or not. It’s called 16 and pregnant. This show started out with teen girls who were already late in their pregnancies, and recapped how they got pregnant, by who, whether they were still with the boy who they conceived the child with. More than one of these girls ended up pregnant after a one night stand, which makes it plain to see that parents are still having issues discussing the birds and bees with their kids, or they have the discussion and it just doesn’t sink in. I went to a small high school, when a girl got pregnant there, most of them ended up dropping out, I only remember one girl continuing on to finish high school. That girl is still with the boy who was the father of her first child and they have a few more kids now. Now, back to 16 and pregnant, every single one of these girls, and boys, had to deal with the stigma of being a teen parent. Some of them had the support of their families, most of them had to live with the disappointment that was plain to see from their parents. A few of them had younger siblings who had to deal with the rumors, with the snide comments their friends made to them about their sister or brother. All of them had to decide whether to go on with school or quit to stay home and take care of their baby. All of them tried to stay in school, a few of them gave up after only a few weeks, a few of them have gone on to college. A few of them have become notorious for their actions after the child was born, one has spent time in prison for domestic assault on the father of her daughter. Another deliberately made an adult video and released it just so she could continue being famous. More than a few of them have already gotten pregnant again, most of those are pregnant by a different man than who got them pregnant the first time, so they don’t seem to have learned their lesson.
I actually looked for statistics on what the effect of this show had on our younger generations and everything I found shows that it’s actually had a positive effect on our kids, that there are fewer teen pregnancies these days than before the show came on the air. I can’t remember exactly where I found these statistics, or when, or if it’s even true. I do know that in the school where my niece attends I’ve only heard of one teen pregnancy. From everything I’ve seen and read about the girl and her boyfriend, they had and still have a lot of support from both friends and family.
So, while I think is probably one of the worst shows that has been on the air in my lifetime, I’m sure it has had some sort of positive effect. I’m sure there are girls out there who think that the show glamorizes and makes pregnancy cool, so they rush out and try to get that way because it’s the thing to do. I hope there are more who watch that show and vow to never be those girls, vow to be the girl who makes it on her terms and her terms only. Boy, do I hope there are more girls with brains out there than girls who emulate what they see on tv.