A new study conducted by Indiana University reveals that young fans of MTV’s TEEN MOM and 16 AND PREGNANT are actually envious of its badly behaved stars.
“Heavy viewers of TEEN MOM reality programs were more likely to think that teen moms have a lot of time to themselves, can easily find child care so that they can go to work or school and can complete high school than were lighter viewers of such shows,” co-authors Nicole Martins and Robin Jensen wrote.
“Our data call into question the content of teen mom reality programming. Heavy viewing of teen mom reality programming positively predicted unrealistic perceptions of what it is like to be a teen mother.”
Per Yahoo! Shine:
“It’s possible that MTV wanted to cast these teens as a cautionary tale of teen pregnancy, but the shows have created the opposite effect,” study co-author Robin E. Jensen, assistant professor of communication at the University of Utah, tells Yahoo Shine. “The teens are exploited, yet that’s overshadowed by their high salaries and media attention, so the takeaway for teenagers is positive.” And while there’s no evidence of a direct cause-and-effect between watching these shows and the teen pregnancy rate (which is actually on the decline), Jensen says the show has probably made an impact.
What could possibly be enviable about the lives of single, teenage mothers? Let’s see. Janelle Evans, 21, mother of a 16-month-old son has battled a heroin addiction and has multiple arrests under her belt. In 2010, she lost custody of her son, and she is currently pregnant with her second child. Farrah Abraham, a 22-year-old with a 3-year-old daughter, made a sex tape with porn star James Deen and is now starring on VH1’s “Couples Therapy.” And Amber Portwood, 24, mother of a 4-year-old daughter, was arrested for domestic violence in 2010 after beating her child’s father in front of the little girl. She recently admitted to Us Weekly that she was high on drugs for most of the filming.
Clearly there is no reason someone can’t be a single mother and a role model — but that combination is hard to find among the 47 MTV moms.
Want to learn more about 16 AND PREGNANT, TEEN MOM and their unique place in television history? Pick up a copy of TEEN MOM CONFIDENTIAL: SECRETS & SCANDALS FROM MTV’S MOST CONTROVERSIAL SERIES today.
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