MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom shows helped lead to about a one-third decline in teen births in the 18 months following the debut in 2009 of the shows, according to new research from Wellesley College and University of Maryland economists. The researchers examined related social media chatter among other data in coming to their conclusions.
The study, “Media Influences on Social Outcomes: The Impact of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant on Teen Childbearing,” has been published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
According to the researchers, the U.S. teen birth rate ranks high among developed countries, although it has been declining dramatically over the past 20 years and is now at a historic low.
Meanwhile, The Swellesley Report finds it’s been out of the loop on these MTV shows, as these reality programs have done well ratings-wise.