The general view of the MTV shows "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" is that they are train wreck television in all its tacky, dramatic and salacious glory.
MTV said it wants to show the gritty reality of teen pregnancy, and that these shows serve as a warning to other young teens. Television shows need to be watchable, and garner enough interest to bring viewers back every week. But what MTV actually does to get these viewers is to fill these shows with high drama, sex, violence and story lines that would shame a soap opera.
From make-ups to break-ups to domestic violence and loss of custody, "Teen Mom" has it all. And because of this, five good reasons emerge why these shows serve as nothing more than an invitation to be a star – as long as you’re a pregnant teenager with a back story to rival the characters from Beverly Hills, 90210.
Many teens who watch "16 and Pregnant" end up thinking that these girls and boys have difficult lives that offer no appeal. But ironically, having spoken to many teens on this topic, it’s clear that the kids who feel this way are the same kids would probably wouldn’t end up as teen parents anyway. These kids don’t look up to the teen moms, they use them as warning signs. If this is cool, they’ll take a pass. But the demographics most in danger of getting pregnant--young girls from poor and broken families, having a history of abuse or neglect or having had a teen mom themselves--are the ones inspired by this show. Not inspired to choose a different way of life, but to copy these girls and have a baby. Girls are trying to get pregnant in order to be on the show. This is simply a fact. Pregnancy has suddenly become a career opportunity. Girls talk about how famous the teen moms are, and how it must be great to be on TV and have their faces plastered on the covers of magazines. Because that’s the real reality of this “documentary” – it’s inspires others to follow suit, the very opposite of what MTV claims to want.
MTV asks that teens apply to the show as soon as they’re pregnant because, obviously, “time is of the essence”.