“Teen Mom” premiered on MTV last night, and as we caught up with Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell, Farrah Abraham, and Amber Portwood, an exclusive source has come forward, asserting that MTV is far from a network working to portray and thwart teen pregnancy. In fact, our source claims that MTV allegedly pays out a $20k per subsequent pregnancy bonus, which may explain why several of the reality teens seem to be multiplying like cash hungry rabbits.
I have been a longtime fan of “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom,” and have appreciated how the contrite young girls sadly communicate how difficult teenage motherhood is. In addition to their assertion that if they could rewind their actions, their relationship and sexual choices would be very different. I believe it to be an effective and compelling slice of reality, aimed at a target audience of hormone driven and often reckless teenagers. While some have criticized the show as glamorizing teen pregnancy, a study entitled “Media Influences on Social Outcomes: The Impact of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant on Teen Childbearing,” released in early 2014, asserts that the show can actually take credit for a raised awareness that led to a 5.7% drop in teen births, a percentage that accounts for one-third of the total decline in teen births: 20,000 fewer teen births a year.
However, the number of second pregnancies continue to rise among MTV reality stars. This statistic raises more than an eyebrow of suspicion, and arousing some relevant questions asking what could possibly be in it for them. Within the original cast of “Teen Moms,” those to be featured a few years down the parenting road began last night, Maci Bookout, and Catelynn Lowell have jumped in for round two, and both remain unmarried.
In the second group, the stars of “Teen Mom 2,” Jenelle Evans, Kailyn Lowry Marroquin, and Leah Messer Calvert have all had additional children, leaving the fourth cast member, Chelsea Houska as the odd gal out. Kailyn and Leah have gotten married or remarried, while Jenelle Evans remains in an unhealthy and tumultuous relationship with her current baby daddy, as well as in a custody battle with her mother for her first child, whose birth originally put Jenelle on the map. Married “Teen Mom 3” star, Mackenzie Douthit, has had a second child, but an extreme health condition most likely played into that risky decision, more than a possible MTV payout did. Interestingly, she is the lone cast member who has had a second baby, on an installment that was cancelled after just one season.
Jenelle Evans has been one of the most extreme cases of a pregnant teen gone wildly astray. Jenelle has had two live births, one abortion, and one claimed, but questionable miscarriage. Her relationship with drug user, Kieffer Delp, was an especially stormy one. Their relationship encompassed arrests, jail time, heroin addiction, and a domestic violence charge, all wrapped up in a seedy romantic package. Kieffer’s mother was caught on social media, spilling the tea about the supposed MTV
bribe offer to procreate, presumably to keep the drama cranking with their favorite hot mess of a “Teen Mom.” Read the revealing series of tweets below:
Kieffer’s mother was not alone, another of Jenelle’s former boyfriends, Gary Head, made the same accusation, with a Twitter screenshot telling the story.
Another interesting sidebar to the story is that some of the baby daddies have been busy spreading the offspring love. Although MTV‘s alleged involvement is unclear, these love interests do routinely appear on the show; which makes one wonder if the network could be spreading a little pricey love of it’s own. Adam Lind had his second child and baby mama featured on the show. Also, Jo Rivera’s girlfriend Vee Torres is currently pregnant, and has been featured as well. Original teen dad, Gary Shirley, whom we will see this season, is also expecting a second child this spring with his current girlfriend. None of these young dads have married.
So which is it MTV? Social responsibility or sensational drama? We can certainly hope that second pregnancies are met with greater maturity and resources, but would also expect a network to not be purportedly waving a tempting reward around, while pushing a message of careful and unselfish family planning.