Don’t idolize shows about teen moms

IUS Horizon

Many people in society think shows like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” glamorize teen pregnancy to young girls.

“It seems that shows like ‘Teen Mom’ are all of a sudden making teen pregnancy seem cool in the eyes of young girls,” Kim Kardashian said. “The kids from these shows are all over the news, even on the covers of magazines, and have become almost like celebrities — but girls — these are not people you should idolize.”

Maybe these reality shows are helping in the discouragement of teen sex instead of promoting it. The lives of these girls are plastered on television, magazine covers and the Internet.

The obvious intent of MTV is to put shows such as these on television and not show how wonderful and pampered these single-teenage moms’ lives are.

Instead, they want to show how truly difficult every day is whether or not they kept their baby or put it up for adoption.

Depending on how gullible the young girls are that watch the show, the audience can weigh in on if she thinks it’s cool to have a baby at 16.

I would hope most girls would understand the tremendous responsibility that comes with taking care of someone who is completely helpless.

Personally, I know a lot of girls who got pregnant at a young age, and, by the time they graduated high school, they were already pregnant with their second child.

What kind of life is that to worry about raising a child or two during what is supposed to be the best time of your life? The decision to raise these children when they are still children themselves is an extremely hard decision to make.

These girls have to rely on the finances of their parents to buy themselves clothes and food — let alone to provide for another human being.

According to Janet Curry, a Columbia University economist, 750,000 American girls ranging from 15 to 19 are likely to become pregnant this year, and single mothers have the highest poverty rates of any demographic group.

In a report by the Guttmacher Institute in 2004, the government spent $9.1 billion in relation to teen pregnancy for girls 17 and under. These costs include health care, child welfare, incarceration and lower tax revenue.

It’s obvious a lot of money goes into making sure these babies are taken care of properly, although, many children are still neglected despite aid from the government.

I am not saying teenage girls should have abortions, and I am not even saying these babies should necessarily be put up for adoption.

Think about it though. If you can’t afford to put a roof over your head and provide food, running water, clothing and diapers, then face it — you have no business trying to raise a baby.

Now, I know this is not true for all young parents. Some have every intention on raising their baby the correct way and providing for him or her.

If you know you can give your baby everything it needs and then some, I say more power to you, but — if you can’t — there are so many loving families out there who can’t have children that would love to adopt one.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said 57,000 children were adopted in 2009.

So how does the community as a whole decrease the rate of teen pregnancy? Well, for starters, teach abstinence, and, if that doesn’t work, then the idea of contraceptives is a must.

An article on the March of Dimes website said only 40 percent of teenagers who have children before age 18 go on to graduate from high school, compared to 75 percent of teens from similar social and economic backgrounds who do not give birth until ages 20 or 21.

All I am trying to say is — if you are going to have sex, please do so responsibly and use contraceptives. If by chance you get pregnant, really think about every option you have thoroughly because ultimately you hold someone else’s life in your hands.

By JOLIE STONE

Photo Editor

stonejl@umail.iu.edu