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Teenage Pregnancy and the Media Essay

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There is a great debate on whether or not mass media has an influence on teenage pregnancy. A study done by the RAND Corporation shows that teens are twice as likely to have sex or engage in sexual acts if they see similar sexual behavior in the media. Many objects in the media that involve sex target teens. Reality TV shows and teen dramas often portray the "cool kids" as the ones who are having sex (Chandra).Today’s teens are highly influenced by what they see in the media and this can change their behavior and choices. Some will argue that the media doesn’t influence teenagers, but how can we be sure of that? Today, the media portray teen pregnancy in movies, television shows, magazines, music, news reports, and books. The problems caused by the media in relation to teenage pregnancy can be solved through education, elimination of the glamorization of teen pregnancy, and realistic depictions of parenting.
In the 1970’s there was a discovery of the epidemic of teenage pregnancy. The problem of teenage pregnancy in the US spread like wildfire (“Teenage Pregnancy...”). Even though the teenage pregnancy rate increased, you didn’t see pictures of the pregnant teens around the media. The only way that it was spread through the media was through reports in newspapers. Unlike today, the media didn’t turn it into something positive. Unless you were married, being a pregnant teen was considered a deviant act. Now, you see pregnant teenagers on magazine covers, in television shows, on billboards, and all over the internet. Back then, it was normal for a couple to get married after high school and to conceive children (“Teenage Pregnancy”). Females today are more independent and don’t rely on men to make money to support them. Therefore,...


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... mix of media and teens has resulted in an increase in teenage pregnancy which can be fixed.



Works Cited

Chandra, Anita. Exposure to Sex on TV May Increase the Chance of Teen Pregnancy. Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corp., 2008. Print.
Cherry, Andrew L., Mary E. Dillon, and Douglas Rugh. Teenage pregnancy: A Global View. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2001. Print.
"Teen Mom 2 | Post-Reunion Interviews | MTV." New Music Videos, Reality TV Shows, Celebrity News, Top Stories | MTV. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2011.
"Teen Pregnancy - Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society." Internet FAQ Archives - Online Education - faqs.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2011.
Vianna, Natasha. "Does the Media Promote Innate Behavior? | Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy." Alliance News | Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. N.p., 16 Feb. 2011. Web. 2 May 2011.


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