I had a conversion with some one I follow today, and they were upset with how stupid our generation (13-30) is. I asked them why, and they said just stupid young mothers who think they are the smartest people in the world. I then made a joke about Teen Mom and other shows. She then said MTV was the problem. The following is what I said in response.
Well… it is one of many factors that is wrong with our society. In fact there are a plethora of factors that have slowly chipped away at the stigmata of teenage pregnancy. One main factor is the selling of sex. Since the 90s companies have poured millions of dollars into market research for our demographic. And guess what they found out? People between the ages of 15-25 are horny as hell. So, they created a female stereotype called the MIDRIFT, her job is to make guys associate a product with the pleasure centers of their mind, while girls want to be her because of the attention she gets for showing skin. However, the created a male stereotype called the JACKASS, he was a funny guy that does dumb shit that stupid teenage boys think is funny. And when Jackass and Brittany Spears became more popular more and more companies poured more money into targeting our age group. In fact since the 1950s when pretty much every one got a TV in their house companies have tried to market to children and teens on it. Before that it was movies, and before that it was magazines, and so on and so on. However, there are still more factors.
For example, one could blame the Sexual Revolution. When the pill arrived on the scene it was a break through in science and sexuality. Women and men no longer “needed” a condom, and Free Love could be free as long as she paid for a prescription. But as we now know the pill is not 100% effective, and nor are condoms. But as we look back we actually can’t blame those sex crazed hippies. We should blame the sexual education system in America. The US has the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the developed world, in 2009, around 410,000 girls gave birth. I think there must be a problem in the sexual education of America’s youth if we have the highest in the developed world. Do kids not know what condoms are? Do they know how to use them? Do they know that they don’t always work? That the pill isn’t 100% effective? The problem is parents don’t want to talk about so they tell the school to do it, but if having “The Talk” with mommy and daddy is awkward, just think how it is in a class full of hormonal teenagers and a teacher? Furthermore, half the teachers can only teach what the school district tells them, or just are so uncomfortable in the classroom that they don’t explain the dynamic that sex has on a relationship. And private schools don’t even teach sexual education. As a product of a catholic education I can honestly say that after The Changes Your Body Will Go Through, any sexual education stopped. In fact, we human sexuality was brought up (in religion class) it was “no sex, no sex, no sex. Mary didn’t do it, Jesus didn’t do it, and you shouldn’t either.” Because we all know that if you tell a teenager not to do something they will listen.
So, the real problem isn’t MTV and 16 year olds who want pickles and ice cream, it is a product of poor sexual education in schools and the selling of sexuality. This can also explain why children are having sex younger and younger. A 13 year old is just starting puberty, and some are having sex. The point of all of the medical breakthroughs in extending our lives since the middle ages was so 13 year olds don’t have to have babies, it is so kids can enjoy their teenage years and hate their breakouts, not so they can be have sex. But it is happening, so by the time someone is 16, sex is no big deal. But sex is a big deal. Sex, to a relationship, is more than just something that feels good with a person that makes you “happy.” Sex, in my opinion, should be with someone that you love. I don’t mean the high school love where you too just like looking at each other I mean the type of love that spawns form a long term relationship. Now, I’m not saying people that have sex on the first date are evil and wrong, it is their choice, but there is a huge difference from a 26 year old having sex on a first date and a 16 year old having sex at a party. One is looking for marriage and one is looking for fun. I feel that any two people that have sex with each other should get to know each other first. You should take the time to know your partner if you are going to do the dirty. And when you are ready to have sex, be educated about it. Know the facts about condoms and birth control, and kids shouldn’t be afraid to ask their parents about sex. Teaching your child about sex may be uncomfortable, but if a teenager knows what can happen if they aren’t careful then they probably will make better judgements. I was a teenager once. If someone told me that not doing something will require me to have so much responsibility that it can ruin marriages if I wasn’t careful, you can bet your ass I would be careful. I was lazy as shit, teenagers are lazy as shit, which is why they don’t use a condom or forget to take the pill.
But, the whole point of this is that we shouldn’t blame MTV for glorifying teenage pregnancy, granted it’s fucked up, but we shouldn’t blame them for it. It is a product of poor sexual education and the selling of sex to that demographic. We can change how we view sex, and we can sit down with the kids and talk to them about it, but it may just be easier to blame the kids for having uncontrollable hormones and poor education. Or we could just issue chastity belts to anyone under 18.