Sunday, May 1, 2011

Issues Regarding MTV's "16 and Pregnant"

John Marine | 5/01/2011 10:04:00 PM | | | | | | |
One of MTV's latest hit reality TV series is "16 and Pregnant." This is a show basically chronicling the lives of teenage girls whom are dealing with being pregnant. It has given me an opportunity to think a bit more critically about some of the issues involving this show. I believe (don't know for sure) "16 and Pregnant" is a spinoff of "Teen Mom." I will be sure to express myself in my own way as I have done for 700+ blog posts here on "John's Blog Space."

NOTE: This blog post pertains to the show "16 and Pregnant" and is not a spinoff of my "Young and Pregnant" blog post.

WARNING: This blog post concerns a subject matter and themes that may not be suitable for all audiences. Read at your own discretion.

--- Young and Pregnant: Retrospective ---
Before I talk about this show, let me offer some brief insight from my past blog post, "Young and Pregnant." These issues will lead up to me eventually talking about MTV's "16 and Pregnant" show.

I think back to The Maury Show in thinking about episodes where teenage girls are hellbent on being pregnant. I think most about one girl (I think her name was Nicole) who was 15 at the time. Her and her boyfriend, Cruz, were reluctant and willing to have their baby. Cruz was even reluctant to get a job at Chuck E. Cheese's to help financially support the baby. Also, I think back to many other teenage girls who were seriously wanting to become mothers at such young ages. Some of them on Maury end up going to Baby Boot Camp. This is where teens reluctant to have children face the harsh reality of being a mother. Many of these wannabe teen moms fail at taking care of babies from other mothers. If you can't take care of one baby from one parent, how can you take care of children that YOU have?

Something else I think back on was back in the 10th Grade, where I met a girl in my P.E. class at Milby High School here in Houston (this was the 1998-1999 school year for me). I talked to her a bit as she was the only pregnant girl in my class. I had to wonder what exercises she could do and things like that. As my high school times were going to Hell, I ended up in alternative school with more girls in my age range that were either pregnant or have given birth. It led me to wonder how girls within the age range of 13 to 18 could even be pregnant. The feeling was mostly surreal knowing how teenage girls can be pregnant and still be in grade school.

The biggest problem is that being pregnant at a young age really takes away from the sort of freedom you have as a young girl. Instead of hanging out with friends or going out to the mall shopping, you have the responsibility of becoming a mother to your child or children. In addition to school, you have to worry about being a parent while also going to school. EXTRA responsibility on your behalf. Why responsibility? Simple- taking care of children is a lifelong process. There is nothing "cute" about having a child. Wanting to be a mother is a serious responsibility that shouldn't be taken carelessly or haphazardly. It isn't like playing with baby dolls. Think about it- you are giving birth to, and having to manage and raise a child. You have to go through nine months while also staying fit and healthy for both yourself and your baby. After that, you will have to realize that being a parent is a lifelong task. Again- NOTHING "cute" about getting pregnant or wanting to have a child.

There are too many responsibilities to take into account, and you have only one precious life (including the one precious life your child/children will have). Making some poor decisions early in your life may haunt you for the rest of your life. Giving birth to and taking care of a child (or children) is not something most teenage girls still in grade school want to deal with. That's why something like being pregnant early in your life is just too much responsibility for a young girl to have. You should be focused more on school and enjoying your youth rather than concern yourself with being a mother, especially at a young age. Don't put extra responsibility on yourself (as well as your parents) by wanting to be a teen mom. Get school out of the way (graduate), THEN worry about marriage and motherhood.

With this out of the way, let's begin the main point of this blog post.

--- "16 and Pregnant" and its Issues ---
16 and Pregnant
^ from: (best picture I could find) - Being young and pregnant can be tremendously difficult in going through life while also nursing and providing for a baby.

The first question most people (especially older adults) would wonder is why a teen girl between the ages of 13 and 18 even have unprotected sex. Such parents would be furious at their teen daughters for them to be pregnant while still in Middle School or High School. Here are two more issues that I have with this whole deal:

Issue 1: Why Have Sex Before Age 18?

Unprotected sex at a young age will bring almost ANY parent into an uproar. The first order of business is to even envision that a teenage schoolgirl is pregnant. As we grow older, we begin to think about issues that will affect us later in life. One such aspect involves becoming a parent.

Issue 2: Accepting Being Pregnant as a Teenage Girl.

A big reason why this is such a huge issue is the fact that a girl still in Middle and High School should NOT be having children. While that is true, unprotected sex among teenagers still is a gripping issue. Having such unprotected sex lends itself to the possibilities of being pregnant. If the girl somehow gets knocked up, life changes forever, not just for the pregnant teen girl, but also for the possible teenage boy father.

Those are the two primary issues that come to mind for me with this show.

--- Stepping Up ---
It is important that the teen parents and their respective parents will have to step up to take care of a child or children. Accepting responsibility and living up to responsibility are both key elements in being successful as teen parents. Some parents are understanding and want to help their daughter make the parenting process a bit easier. Some, however, will only offer so much or hardly any support. Stepping up being parents is a responsibility for not only the teen daughter, but also the father of the child (or children).

--- A Harsh Reminder ---
Of all the themes involving teen pregnancy and having sex, it goes to show the potential aftershock of trying to randomly having unprotected sex with as multiple females as possible. It may sound cool for guys to basically have sex with whatever females they want and with as many as they want, but you run the risk of possibly getting someone else pregnant. That scorned female may want to go after you in Maury fashion by pinning a baby or babies on you. Especially if you are with some girl and you have sex with another woman, you may end up having to accept responsibility in being a father figure to a love child.

Don't have unprotected sex with others without considering the consequences of engaging in intercourse. Think ahead to prevent any future problems from occurring or arising. You have the decision to NOT have unprotected sex with a female as much as you have a choice to have unprotected sex with a female.

So think before you have sex. REALLY think.

As if it isn't obvious, you can read my related blog post, "Young and Pregnant" here on John's Blog Space, for more of my thoughts on being pregnant at a young age. Thank you for reading! If you're a fan of the show, why not Become a Fan of (Like) "16 and Pregnant's" Facebook fan page? If you're a fan of me and my online work, why not show your support by doing any (or all) of the following:

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John B. Marine said...

My big issue with "16 and Pregnant" is that it doesn't discourage the issue enough.  More like, "hey, we'll help you, no big deal, you get your TV time," but that's it.  I really don't like anything on MTV so it's no surprise I find this show ridiculous.

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