Does Reality TV Encourage Teen Pregnancy?
Despite the fact that the birth rate among U.S. girls aged 15 to 19 fell to 39.1 births per 1,000 teens in 2009, it seems that the attention paid to teen pregnancies in the news is only increasing.
Many feel that reality shows about teen pregnancy, supposedly created to help teens realize the difficult consequences of unsafe sexual activity, actually work to glamorize the idea of having a baby while still, well, a baby.
MTV shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant create a media frenzy around high-school aged girls who become pregnant unexpectedly. The teen-aged stars of these shows reportedly earn an average of $65,000 per season, while famous unwed-teen Bristol Palin receives more than $265,000 per year for her work with the Candies Foundation. Those figures are in stark contrast to the earnings of the average teen mom, which are around $23,000 per year.
Read more telling differences between the realities of teenage pregnancy and parenthood and the life of these reality stars in the graphic below.
Image Credit: Flickr – polinasergeeva