’16 and Pregnant’ is usually the kind of MTV show that you watch when you’re disgustingly hungover on a Sunday and there’s nothing on TV except that marathon. Turns out though, it’s more than just a mindless or funny hangover cure.
A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research has shown that in the 18 months after the show’s premiere on TV, there was a 5.7% reduction in teen births in the U.S.
I think the researchers were just as shocked as we are to find that the ridiculous MTV show could actually impact social behaviour in a positive way. ’16 and Pregnant’ initially sparked controversy for supposedly ‘glamourising teen pregnancy’ but it turns out seeing 16 year olds gain weight, fight with their love-you-4ever-BFs and have their girls party without them has made young girls rethink those old thangs like contraception.
Well done, MTV.