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Does '16 & Pregnant' exploit teens?
Some wonder whether MTV's "cautionary tale" show really promotes safe sex — or just exploits pregnant girls for ratings
 
Is '16 and pregnant' exploitative?
Is '16 and pregnant' exploitative?
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MTV's reality series, "16 & Pregnant" is facing accusations that it's trashier, and less compassionate, than it seems. The runaway hit — which tracks pregnant teens through the trials of young motherhood — consistently ranks #1 among female viewers ages 12-34 and, while MTV explicitly calls the episodes "cautionary tales" for underage viewers, some pop-culture analysts think the show does more harm than good. What about the "repercussions" the typical "16 & Pregnant" subject faces for "putting her life out there," asks Jessica Grose in Slate, not to mention "the cruel comments on MTV's Web site"—for example, "You suck as a person and are a horrible mom."

Don't underestimate young viewers, counters Sadie Stein at Jezebel: "[When I'm watching the show], I find myself thinking. Well, I'd be better than that. I wouldn't have a baby with a guy like that; I wouldn't party every night." And I doubt the show's viewers are "markedly less suggestible." Does "16 & Pregnant" trivialize the important issue of teen pregnancy by turning it into entertainment? Watch a clip below, or click here to view full episodes:

 

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