Friday, January 15, 2010

Teen Parent Shows… Good or bad?

Before I jump into this question, I would like to introduce myself. I am Annie Neimand, a new intern at the Los Angeles office! Woo! I have been given allowance to use my feminist eye to write, and sometimes rant, about questionable things in our society. So as my first blog… drum roll please...I have decided to ask the question: Are shows like MTV’s Teen Mom, The CW’s Life Unexpected, and ABC Family’s The Secret Life of an American Teen, good or bad for American teens?

I can’t help but feel somewhat stoked that there are shows discussing teen pregnancy, but I somehow feel like they are rooting for some team other than mine. I am of course progressively pro-choice and pro sex-ed, but these shows don’t seem to tackle any of those things. In fact it seems to be creating a whole different side, a side that capitalizes on and glamorizes teen mommies! Oy!

These shows, which are centered on young women making ‘choices’ about their lives and families, don’t discuss abortion or even highlight it as an option. They show girls either keeping their babies or opting for adoption.
Note: they seem to portray adoption as a choice you will eventually feel incredibly regretful of. Hmm…

Furthermore, I feel like these shows should look at why these girls got pregnant in the first place, and why they decided to keep it. For instance, maybe teen A didn’t know about contraception, or maybe teen B didn’t have a clinic or a parent to turn to. I think these factors would make the show be and mean something more than another teen drama.

You know, I would like to see an undercover show where they expose abstinence-only education or the anti-choice rhetoric as a culprit in the teen mom scenario, or at the very least MTV can give Abstinence-only the moon man it deserves.

So after reading my clearly unbiased bit, do you think this is a step forward or backward for the pro-choice/sex-ed platform? Do you think these issues belong together? What do you think?

If you have any ideas or questions for me you can email me at

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