Teen Mom OG, which was renamed for the fifth season of Teen Mom, is an American reality TV series that originally premiered on Dec. 8, 2009 on MTV. The series was developed as the first spin-off of the reality TV series, 16 and Pregnant. The show aired four seasons before its initial conclusion on Oct. 9, 2012. The series chronicles the lives of four teen mothers, Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell, Farrah Abraham, and Amber Portwood, who were featured on the first season of parent show, 16 and Pregnant. The show documents their struggles with teen pregnancy, motherhood, and also details their other strained romantic as well as family relationships.
However, Teen Mom OG is reality TV, which is surrealistic, highly scripted, and embellished for dramatic purposes. The truth is, teen pregnancy remains a preventable problem, which can be curtailed via proper education and access to health care services, as well as birth control devices. Here are 10 real facts about teen pregnancy that viewers will not gather from watching Teen Mom OG.
Real Facts About Teen Pregnancy:
1. In the U.S., there are approximately 750,000 teen pregnancies every year, which averages out to about 2,000 a day. Meaning, approximately 30 percent of girls become pregnant at least once while in their teens. The majority of these girls are between 15 and 19-years-old when they become pregnant. While about 67 percent of all teen pregnancies occur among girls between 18-19 years old.
2. Approximately 80 percent of teen fathers do not marry the mother. In many cases, they will end up producing multiple children. They also contribute very little to raising their offspring. On average, teen fathers contribute than $1,000 annually for child support.
3. Teen pregnancy has a significant impact on education. Only about half of all teen mothers have a high school diploma. Among those mothers who do have a diploma, the number for those who did not give birth while in their teens is closer to 90 percent.
4. Not surprisingly, parenthood has become the leading cause for teen girls to drop out of school.
5. Teen mothers are extremely unlikely to attend or graduate college. In fact, less than five percent of young teen mothers ever receive a college degree.
Additional real facts about teen pregnancy that viewers will not garner from watching Teen Mom OG include the following:
6. Out of all teen pregnancies, more than 80 percent are unintended. While teen pregnancy accounts for approximately 20 percent of all unplanned pregnancies on a yearly basis.
7. Out of all teen pregnancies, approximately 57 percent end in birth, while an additional 14 percent end in miscarriage. The other 29 percent are terminated by abortion.
8. Teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. are twice as high as in the U.K., Wales, or Canada. Moreover, they are eight times as high as in Japan or the Netherlands.
9. The babies involved are often affected by teen births in terms of health issues (low birth weight, premature birth, lack of organ development, etc.). Moreover, the girls of teen mothers are three times more likely to become teen moms themselves. While the boys of teen moms are twice as likely to become involved in criminal activity and/or be incarcerated.
10. Teen pregnancy rates reached an all-time high in 1990 with an estimated 116.9 per thousand, along with an all-time high birth rate of 61.8 births per thousand in 1991. However, the pregnancy rate had dropped to 75.4 per thousand by 2002, which represented a decline of 36 percent. Yet, as of December 2007, teenage pregnancy rates are on the rise again.
While Teen Mom OG is an American reality TV series that audiences enjoy watching as the show chronicles the lives of four teen mothers and their struggles with teen pregnancy, motherhood, and other strained romantic as well as family relationships, it is far from the truth. Many of the real facts and consequences associated with teen pregnancy are never addressed on the show. Therefore, viewers need to educate themselves about the truth. Hopefully, this article will provide readers with a more realistic perspective regarding teen pregnancy and the life-altering consequences involved. At the very least, it will provide readers with 10 real facts about teen pregnancy that viewers will not gather from watching Teen Mom OG.
Opinion by Leigh Haugh
Other Articles by This Author:
US Weekly–Teen Mom OG Finale Recap
About.com News–10 Teen Pregnancy Facts: U.S. Rates and Statistics
OMG Facts–The 10 Most Shocking Facts on Teen Pregnancy
DoSomething.org–11 Facts About Teen Pregnancy