New Research of Teens Suggests the Answer is No
(Washington, DC) - Teen pregnancy has garnered significant attention in the entertainment media
over the past two years--from MTV's popular shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom to
recent cover stories in major magazines.Some have criticized these efforts for glamorizing teen pregnancy.New research with teens suggests that teens
do not share that view.
According to a
new public opinion poll of young people (ages 12-19) commissioned by The National Campaign to Prevent
Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, most teens (79% of girls and 67% of boys)
agree that when a TV show or character they like deals with teen pregnancy, it
makes them think more about their own risk of getting pregnant or causing a
pregnancy and how to avoid it.
from the nationally-representative telephone poll of 1,008 young people
conducted by Social Science Research Solutions (www.ssrs.com)
those young people who have watched MTV’s 16
and Pregnant, 82% think the show helps teens better understand the
challenges of teen pregnancy and parenthood and how to avoid it.
young people say that what they see in the media about sex, love, and
relationships can be a good way to start conversations with adults.
half (48%) say they have discussed these topics with their parents because of
something they have seen in the media.
Campaign also commissioned a separate evaluation study designed to learn more
about how watching and discussing episodes of the documentary-style reality
show 16 and Pregnant influences
teens' perceptions of getting pregnant and becoming a parent at a young
age.In partnership with the Boys and
Girls Clubs of America, 18 clubs in one southern state participated in the
study.A total of 162 young people ages
10-19 participated and completed both the pre- and post-test
questionnaires.Teens in the treatment
groups viewed three episodes of 16 and
Pregnant and participated in group discussions about the show.Young people in the control group did not
view or discuss the programs afterwards but both groups completed pre- and
post-test questionnaires.The study was
conducted by the research firm innovation, Research, and Training, Inc. (iRT).Study findings include:
16 and Pregnant
got young people talking and thinking about
teen pregnancy-40% of those in the treatment group said they talked about the
show with a parent, 63% discussed with a friend, and 37% discussed with a
93% of those
who watched the episode agreed (53% strongly agreed) with the statement:"I learned that teen parenthood is harder
than I imagined from these episodes."
they learned new things from the discussion of the episodes.
Campaign has been collaborating with MTV on 16
and Pregnant by producing discussion guides for all 16 and Pregnant episodes and distributing thousands of 16 and Pregnant DVDs and discussion
guides to educators and youth–serving programs nationwide.MTV today announced it will air nine new,
one-hour episodes of the breakout docu-series 16
and Pregnant beginning on Tuesday, October 26 at 10pm ET/PT.With statistics showing that three in ten
girls in the U.S. will get pregnant before the age of 20, each episode will
take an intimate look inside the challenges of being a pregnant teenager.For more information on the show, please
About The National
Campaign: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families.Our
specific strategy is to prevent teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among
single, young adults.We support a combination of responsible values and
behavior by both men and women and responsible policies in both the public and
private sectors.If we are successful, child and family well-being will
Please visit http://www.TheNationalCampaign.org/
for more information.