16 AND PREGNANT, the Mtv reality show about teenage mothers and the difficulties they face when bringing up young children, has been credited for helping lower the rate of teenage pregnancies in the US, reports the Associated Press. The show illustrated the often rocky-road that teenagers face during motherhood and the series seems to have had an effect across America, according to experts.
According to a new government study, US teen birth-rates plunged dramatically in 2009 after a continual increase between the years 2005 and 2007. Although the report cites the recession as being one explanation for the decline, it also recognises the role that the popular culture and reality television has played. Bill Albert, spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy notes, "Entertainment media is one of the nation's favorite punching bags, but we have to acknowledge that when we're talking about teen pregnancies media can be and often is a force for good, and that is particularly true when it comes to shows like '16 and Pregnant".
The issue of teenage pregnancy received a huge amount of attention after Bristol Palin, the daughter of Sarah Palin, gave birth to a baby boy in December 2008 when she 18-years-old.