Harmonizing to the National Center for Health Statistics. 86 per centum of female parents who give birth out-of-wedlock are adolescents. MTV’s show “16 & A ; Pregnant. ” which has merely been on air since June 2009. is already reflecting the rapid roar in adolescent gestation across assorted metropoliss in America. Since the early 1880ss MTV has been considered slightly of a cultural phenomenon for American striplings and its word picture of gender has a strong impact that continues to this twenty-four hours ( Holtzman 2000 ) .
Created by Morgan J. Freeman ( manager of adolescent shows Dawson’s Creek and Laguna Beach ) . the show “16 & A ; Pregnant” has been said to be guilty of worsening. normalizing and even lauding adolescent gestation. Possibly. it’s merely reflecting a current societal quandary happening amongst female young person. Each hebdomad a new episode revolves around a different miss fighting with the challenges of teenage gestation. The web presents these characters as “real” . plucked from the clasps of world. validated and “chosen” to stand for some kind of normalized or otherwise glamorized middle-class individuality of teenage maternity.
The show depicts women’s functions that are frequently typified to include traditional gendered norms of heterosexual relationships. matrimony. maternity and muliebrity. “16 & A ; Pregnant” serves as a platform to air what is seen as a stereotyped American civilization that is now steeping adolescent misss everyplace. The societal individualities MTV nowadayss reinforces those of traditional female functions and gender norms and efforts to set up a new theoretical account for pregnant teens in a modern age.
Merely by aerating the show. MTV is absorbing new thoughts of adolescent gestation into American society. Historically. there has ever been some kind of mute Christian tradition that has governed American women’s birth rights ; that one should non acquire pregnant out-of-wedlock. Today. nevertheless. adolescent gestation is so rampant that households are forced to cover with the state of affairs in a positive mode. frequently honouring the determination the kid has made in respects to maintaining and raising the newborn kid ( Gallagher 2009 ) .
In a 2004 study. the Parents Television Council reported that MTV is the most watched plan for those between the ages of 12 and 19. Surveies showed watching MTV created a more broad attitude toward pre-martial sex. Adolescents who watch MTV receive messages about sex that are likely to rock their ain behaviour. MTV is determining the individuality of the “teenage ma. ” a pregnant 16 twelvemonth old high school pupil whose uncertainness about maternity is due to the fact that she views her gestation as the effect of a selfish action that was finally ineluctable.
16 & A ; Pregnant” normalizes sexual behaviour that finally forces adolescent misss into the traditional gender function of the “grieving mother” . one who is forced to take attention of a babe while fighting to back up herself ( Schmidt 2009 ) . The first episode of “16 & A ; Pregnant” takes topographic point in Chattanooga. Tennessee and paperss the life of Maci who gets pregnant by her first fellow. Ryan. For Maci. acceptance and abortion were ne’er an option. she figured she made the determination to hold unprotected sex so now she must cover with the effects.
At one point during an statement in the show. Ryan yells out. “If we didn‘t have a child. we wouldn’t be together. ” and it’s clear from watching the that the two are still merely teens. Maci struggles to take attention of her newborn kid. who. one time born. requires changeless attending and trades with the convulsion of seeking to acquire Ryan involved in the relationship of paternity. The “teen mom” is now a stable individuality offered up on the MTV web to heterosexual female young person ; a kid who is forced to maturate and cover with grownup worlds as an recognized manner of life.
The show is directing a message that it is normal for adolescent misss to cover with such serious issues as: birth control. acceptance. abortion. matrimony. and fundss. farther cementing these issues into the female individuality at a immature age. Maci symbolizes that it is now acceptable for a 16 twelvemonth old miss to be a dedicated female parent in America. Episode two introduces Farrah. a cheerleader from Council Bluffs. Iowa who juggles school. work and cheer pattern. Her life becomes a batch more complicated when she finds out she is pregnant.
Farrah’s best friend turns on her distributing awful rumours. coercing Farrah to complete school online. Farrah’s ex-boyfriend. besides the baby’s male parent. begins to hassle her after he finds out she is pregnant which leads her to alter her figure. “I would hold ne’er lost my virginity to person I believed would handle me like this. ” Farrah exclaims about her ex-boyfriend. Farrah struggles with individual maternity and has to cover with a judgmental parent who looks down upon her determinations.
Episode two once more reinforces traditional American cultural eliefs of female gender functions by portraying the adult female as the individual female parent. finally responsible for the kid. demoing the miss covering with emotional jobs while seeking to keep the household together. undertakings and state of affairss frequently associated with muliebrity. These images become engrained on a immature viewing audiences heads and being 16 and pregnant becomes merely another craze for immature misss to see. “MTV has a long history of reflecting the lives of our viewing audiences with compelling world narratives. ” says Tony DiSanto. MTV’s president of scheduling.
The program’s featured misss come from rural Mid-Western or Southern provinces. normally from little. propertyless towns. in effort to appeal to teenage misss of the same background. The inexplicit message at the centre of the series’ category bias implies that propertyless misss from in-between America. should choose to hold a kid because it’s as good a route to character development as working on the high school yearbook ( Bellafante 2009 ) . The show reinforces the stereotype that a adult female is at least a good female parent. if non anything else and displaces the individuality of “teen mom” onto in-between American teenage misss.
16 and Pregnant” seems to. above all. incite viewing audiences to propertyless voyeurism. given how many platitudes of lower-income American life are exploited. It could be possible that other MTV shows. are themselves. responsible for additions in adolescent gestation. Shows such as “The Hills” and “The Real World” both portray the loose sexual ethical motives of a younger coevals. which finally leads to an acceptance of those ideals from the show’s younger viewing audiences. Research workers at the Rand Corp. say they have documented for the first clip how such exposure to sexual content on Television can act upon adolescent gestation rates.
They found that teens exposed to the most sexual content on Television are twice every bit likely as teens watching less of this stuff to go pregnant before they reach age 20. This means that if adolescents think holding sex is the “norm” they will go on to prosecute in it. “The relationship between exposure of this sort of content on Television and the hazard of ulterior gestation is reasonably strong. ” says Anita Chandra. a behavioural scientist. “Even if it were diminished by other lending factors. the association still holds” ( Bellafante 2009 ) .
So. is it in fact MTV who is esponsible for the copiousness of pregnant teens it is assisting to work? One thing for certain is that such a plan like “16 & A ; Pregnant” is backing and approving adolescent misss as hyper-sexed persons. So. why does a telecasting show have such an huge impact on the female individuality? Sociologist Chris Barker’s survey of British Asian girls’ telecasting sing patterns in the U. K. suggest that soap operas provide immature adult females with resources to discourse issues that may non be sanctioned within some of the spiritual and cultural infinites they inhabit ( N & A ; K 2008 ) .
Nayak and Kehily. writers of Gender Youth & A ; Culture ( 2008 ) . would reason that this theory could be applied to teenage misss and world telecasting shows in the U. S. By watching these shows the conceptualisation of “appropriate femininities” are derived. These shows allow immature misss to do moral and ethical judgements about what they see and refashion gender values to accommodate their ain individualities ( N & A ; K 2008 ) . The misss in “16 & A ; Pregnant” mostly conform to the values of normative muliebrity in their hunt for love affair. matrimony. and long term felicity with a male spouse
In the terminal. MTV is romanticizing the life of a adolescent female parent and cementing its individuality in a society where sex at a younger and younger age is already going the norm. “16 & A ; Pregnant” is perpetuating the standardization of traditional gender functions by portraying immature misss who have already been forced to take on such general impressions of muliebrity and female individuality. The immature. unwed ma has now become a new individuality for immature misss to draw a bead on to. Popular civilization and the ways in which it is consumed signifiers a cardinal site for the acquisition of gender individualities. and MTV is the designated instructor.