Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
A new study of the effect of reality TV shows like MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” has found a connection between the shows, which depict the lives of teen mothers, and a “cautionary tale” effect that may actually contribute to lowered teen pregnancy rates. More from The New York Times:
A new economic study of Nielsen television ratings and birth records suggests that the show [17-year-old Kailyn Lowry] appeared in, “16 and Pregnant,” and its spinoffs may have prevented more than 20,000 births to teenage mothers in 2010.
The paper, to be released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 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.
“It’s thrilling,” said Sarah S. Brown, the chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a nonprofit group in Washington. “People just don’t understand how influential media is in the lives of young people.”
Each episode of “16 and Pregnant” follows a different teenager through her pregnancy, delivery and the first weeks of parenthood. Its “Teen Mom” spinoff series, the latest season of which debuts on Jan. 21, follows up with the mothers and their children. The depiction of both joy and hardship is unflinching, with angry parents, medical complications, lost sleep, financial difficulties and fights with absentee boyfriends.
The two shows are both among MTV’s most watched, with some episodes drawing more than three million viewers, many of them young women. But the shows also have critics who say they glamorize teenage parenthood — especially since many of the mothers have become celebrities as a result of the show.
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Image: Teen taking pregnancy test, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, November 7th, 2013
During an appearance on the OWN Networks’ “Where Are They Now?” program, former reality star Jon Gosselin shared that his eight children have faced “developmental issues” throughout their young lives. Kate Gosselin, Jon’s ex-wife and former co-star of their hit show “Jon and Kate Plus Eight,” is fighting back in online statements, claiming that her ex-husband’s claims have no merit. More from Today.com:
On the OWN show that aired Sunday, Jon, when talking about how being featured “Jon & Kate” impacted his family, said, “I saw my kids not growing up normally. … Developmentally, they have problems with their peers … with wants and needs, and manners and morals and what’s right and what’s wrong, of course. I think more so than someone who grows up off TV.”
Kate countered his claim in her blog post, writing, “Each and every one of our children has met and continues to exceed all physical, mental and emotional developmental milestones throughout their lives. Their normal development is regularly monitored by myself, their pediatrician and school staff, as is usual with any family.”
As for adding fuel to this most recent fire, Kate explained that she’s speaking out against her ex, who is working as a waiter, because, “I want to be able to point them to this statement so that they know that I publicly set the record 100 percent straight on this one, for their sake.”
But Kate has admitted to TODAY in the past that two of her children have had anger issues. “They were acting out, having behavior things,” she said in 2010, a year after her divorce from Jon.
The mom of eight is currently involved in a lawsuit against her ex, claiming that he hacked her phone and computer to gain access to information for an author who was writing a tell-all book about her.
Image: Kate Gosselin, via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
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Friday, March 22nd, 2013
Tamar Braxton, the singer and reality television star, is pregnant with her first child despite the fact that she and her husband, Vince Herbert, had been told to anticipate a long journey and medical interventions. More from PEOPLE.com:
“Vince and I [were] told we were going to have fertility problems — it was a lot of information — so we had to get comfortable with the fact that it happened on its own,” Braxton, 35, tells PEOPLE.
“We decided [not to announce the pregnancy] until we were both really okay with it — that’s why we waited.”
The memorable moment they found out their first child was on the way is one Braxton won’t ever forget.
“I just burst out laughing,” she recalls. ”It’s like, ‘What you talkin’ about, boo?’”
But now that the world knows, Braxton — who’s craving potato chips and cheddar cheese — is being bombarded with “unsolicited advice” — especially from her mother as well as her sister Toni.
“My sisters are making me feel more maternal because they’re crazy. They’re giving me advice on how to be a mother and be pregnant,” the mom-to-be says. “They always have a comment about my shoes, what am I wearing, what am I eating, you need to put your feet up and I’m just like, ‘I’m fine!’ They’re too much.”
Image: Tamar Braxton and Vince Herbert, via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
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Monday, October 15th, 2012
Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, a couple who wed after meeting on the reality TV show “The Bachelor,” is expecting a child in March, PEOPLE.com is reporting. The baby will be the first for the couple, though it will join Jason’s 7-year-old son Ty, who was born in a previous marriage.
“He’s been so excited to be a big brother,” Jason told PEOPLE, adding that the couple broke the happy news to Ty by playing a family game of Hangman in which the answer was, “Tyler is going to be a big brother.”
The couple married in February 2010–in front of television cameras–after Mesnick famously broke up with his initial “Bachelor” fiancee, Melissa Rycroft, in order to pursue a relationship with Maleney.
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Friday, August 10th, 2012
Jen Schefft, who first appeared on the 2003 season of the reality television series “The Bachelor” and then starred in her own 2005 season of “The Bachelorette,” has given birth to a daughter, her second with husband Joe Waterman. PEOPLE.com reports on the baby, who is named Charlotte Grace Waterman:
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Charlotte weighed in at 8 lbs., 3 oz. and joins big sister Mae Elizabeth, 20 months.
“She is a doll and we couldn’t be happier!” the former reality star, 36, writes….
The Chicago-based Schefft met Waterman, a trader, on a blind date in 2008 and the couple tied the knot in May 2009. They welcomed their first child on Nov. 13, 2010.