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Teenage Pregnancy and the Media Essay

Teenage pregnancy in the media influences young girls that it is okay to have children at a young age. The media glamorizes teen pregnancy and makes ordinary pregnant girls famous for the problem they have created. The different programs on television may show you that the teens struggle, but it also shows you how the girls get attention from everyone. They are being glamorized for something that isn’t good. Also, some young girls don’t always get the attention they want, so they do something dramatic for everyone to notice them or talk about them. Television programs like The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, and movies like The Pregnancy Pact, and Juno are all programs that glamorize teen pregnancy and make it seem like having a child at a young age is not at all a bad thing. They each show how the teen deals with the problem and still goes on with their life. Knocked Up is another movie that shows an unmarried woman who gets pregnant and it’s not a huge problem.

Today, teens are often not very educated in school about sex, abstinence and using a birth control method, therefore seeing these shows on television influence them to have sex, become pregnant, and become a parent at a very young age. Most of the teens that end up pregnant don’t have a good relationship with their parents and they won’t receive the support they need. They also won’t have the chance to finish high school or go to college and most of them will end up poor in our society. There needs to be a solution to the problem with teens getting pregnant because the problem can affect the entire society. Teenage pregnancy is all linked with poor achievement, bad relationships with family, lifetime in poverty, suicide, and committing crimes. Most teens will never be happy because they won’t be financially stable enough to care for a young child by themselves. There are many causes to teen pregnancy that most are not aware of.

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The lack of good education about sex, not using contraceptives, and more sexuality on television are all major factors that have to do with the increasing teenage pregnancy. Television shows and movies are showing sex as if it was just another activity to participate in. The shows and movies show no value or the consequences of what can happen. What about sexually transmitted diseases? This gives teens the wrong idea about sex and also encourages them to participate and have unprotected sex, because the shows and movies don’t show them using contraceptives. Most teens don’t think that it can happen to them. They don’t think that they will end up getting pregnant or get a sexually transmitted disease but it can, and what they see on television influences them. Teens are not capable or realizing what is right and what is wrong. They perceive things the wrong way. In the article called “Thug Culture is a Cancer Destroying Black America,” by Cynthia Tucker, it explains that rap music about sex, drugs, and alcohol influence teens to do the same things that they listen to in their songs.

They are influenced to do bad things and this is a perfect example of how seeing teenage pregnancy in the media can give them the wrong perception. In society today, there are more shows about sex and teen pregnancy than there has been ever before. It shows teens and young adolescents that “everyone’s doing it” and that they should do it too. They show young girls getting pregnant by their boyfriends and how the teens weren’t informed about using birth control contraceptives. There are many controversies over sex education being taught in school. Should it or should it not be taught in school? With sex being a part of every movie in our society sex needs to be taught in school even if parents don’t agree. Whether parents like it or not teens are going to find out about sex and be curious, so it’s better to inform them the right way instead of them going out and having sex without knowing what could happen to them.

The best prevention for teen pregnancy is education, and access to contraception. Since there are more shows and movies that are linked with teenage pregnancy and sex, the more teens seem to be getting pregnant. In the movie the Pregnancy Pact, which was inspired by a true story, eighteen girls from the same high school between the ages 15 to 18 all plan to get pregnant at the same time. They all wanted to have children at the same time and some girls seemed more upset when they weren’t pregnant than when they were. What made them want to do this? Some people blame the media for movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed women getting pregnant. Is this true? The movie Juno shows a young girl who decides to have sex with her teenage boyfriend and she ends up getting pregnant.

The movie doesn’t show anything about the consequences and acts like it was another ordinary problem that the young girl had to give the baby up for adoption. It didn’t show the meaning of how hard it was for her to give up the baby or if she was even sad. She didn’t deal with horrible morning sickness, stretch marks, or swelling. It also shows that it’s okay for teens to have unprotected sex because they can just give the baby up for adoption. It glamorizes her as being pregnant when young teens should not be. Knocked Up is a comedy about how a young successful woman gets pregnant by an unsuccessful man she meets at a bar. Again they treat it as if it was another daily problem like getting stuck in traffic and being late. These movies don’t show how this problem can be prevented by staying abstinent or using birth control methods and contraceptives. The shows show no contraceptives, no commitments, and no negative consequences, when they need to.

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