LOS ANGELES (KRON) — Kids watch the MTV show “16 & Pregnant” and decide teenage parenthood isn’t so great after all.
That’s the conclusion of a new study which suggests the show and its spinoffs prevented more than 20,000 births to teenage mothers in 2010.
The study from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds the shows appear to be contributing to a long-term decline in teenage birth rates.
“It’s thrilling,” said Sarah S. Brown, the chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in a written statement. “People just don’t understand how influential media is in the lives of young people.”
The show follows a teenager through pregnancy, delivery, and the first weeks after the baby’s birth. A spinoff show “Teen Mom” continues in the months and years to follow.
Conservatives have long criticized the shows as glamorizing teen pregnancy but the study’s authors say it appears the programs have the opposite effect.
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