Study: Teen Mom Prevents Pregnancy

Photo: NMBPD

A recent Indiana University study suggests that the MTV-financed lifestyles of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom's celebrity alumna convince teenagers that being an unwed teen parent is easier than it truly is. But maybe not easy enough to try themselves. The National Bureau of Economic Research released a paper today arguing that 16 and Pregnant and its spinoffs “may have prevented more than 20,000 births to teenage mothers in 2010,” the New York Times reports. Researchers looked at birth records and Nielsen ratings, and found that the rate of teen pregnancy declined faster in areas where teenagers watched more MTV. They stressed that there was no way to know whether the show influenced individuals’ behavior, but there was one promising clue: Social media postings and Internet searches about contraception spike sharply whenever the show is broadcast.