Study Finds There Are Fewer Teen Births Thanks To ‘Teen Mom’

Photo: (MTV/Michele Crowe)

Photo: (MTV/Michele Crowe)

16 and Pregnant” and the “Teen Mom” spinoffs might be mad dramz but their main real goal has always been to decrease teen pregnancy by showing how difficult teen parenthood is. And, in fact, a new study says that the shows are working.

The New York Times has released an article about the study, saying that it “makes the case that the controversial but popular programs reduced the teenage birthrate by nearly 6 percent, contributing to a long-term decline that accelerated during the recession.”

Oh and evidence says that in 2010 the franchise may have prevented some 20,000 teen births and counting!!!

Hamilton Project director Melissa S. Kearney and Wellesley College’s Phillip B. Levine studied Nielson television ratings and birth records. They discovered that, while teen pregnancy rates were decreasing all over, they were dropping more quickly where people were watching “16 and Pregnant” and shows like it. They were also able to demonstrate that when the shows aired, A LOT more people suddenly jumped onto their Internet to search for info on contraception.

“It’s a substantial and an important finding,” said Northwestern University’s Diane Schanzenbach, who had reviewed the study. In fact, the New York Times says, “The effect of ‘16 and Pregnant’ could account for about one-third of the decline [of teen births] during an 18-month period through 2010, the study found.”

Becoming a teen parent is 100 percent avoidable, and if watching “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” ever has you asking contraception Q’s, please check out It’s Your (Sex) Life for deets on protection and birth control.

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