How does media influence audiences on topics such as teen pregnancies? Television programs such as 16 and Pregnant and The Life of an American Teenager, and movies including Juno, showcase teen girls in situations where their lives have resulted from either faulty protection or unprotected sex at young ages.
In many cases the girls portrayed are average girls in a variety of social positions and socioeconomic circumstances, but the fact of the matter is that teen pregnancy rates have increased at significant rates in 26 states. Nearly one-third of all teenage girls will get pregnant in their teenage years.
The increase and glorification of teen pregnancy through media outlets has resulted in an increase in cultural acceptance. But is this acceptance unrealistic? Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, explains these portrayals as largely fiction. Brown states that Juno is atypical, particularly in the support system during a time of crisis. Even for reality shows such as 16 and Pregnant it’s easier to be supportive of an unfortunate circumstance when the cameras are shining on you.
Bristol Palin, now a teen mother who has been highly publicized during the vice presidential campaign of her mother Sarah Palin, has gone so far as to star in an anti-teen pregnancy public service ad, “Pause Before You Play.” As a publicized portion of the increasing teen pregnancy statistic, Palin’s ad attempts to discourage the carelessness leading to unplanned teen pregnancy while admitting to her own faults and privileges for her peers to see.