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Wellesley Economist: MTV Series 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, Influenced Drop in Teen Birth Rate

Wellesley Economist says MTV's 16 and Pregnant and Spin-off series Teen Mom Contributed to Decline in Teen Birth Rate.
Wellesley Economist says MTV's 16 and Pregnant and Spin-off series Teen Mom Contributed to Decline in Teen Birth Rate.

MTV's 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom have had an impact on teen birth rates—but not in the way critics of the shows originally thought they might. Rather than glamorizing teen pregnancy, a new study by Phillip B. Levine, Wellesley's Katharine Coman and A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Economics, and Melissa Schettini Kearney of the University of Maryland, shows that the MTV series have played a large role in significantly reducing births to teens.

Their study, “Media Influences on Social Outcomes: The Impact of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant on Teen Childbearing,” published today by The National Bureau of Economic Research and also covered in today's New York Times found that MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom led to a 5.7 percent reduction in teen births, accounting for around one-third of the overall decline in teen births in the year and a half following the show’s introduction in 2009.

Learn more about the study at: http://www.wellesley.edu/teenmomstudy


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