Thursday, January 16, 2014
"That Could Be My Life," Dr. Margaret Stager Talks "16 and Pregnant"
Dr. Margaret Stager played a starring role on the ten o’clock news on Fox 8 Cleveland, as her sit-down interview with Fox 8’s Suzanne Stratford made multiple appearances on the newscast.
Stratford and Stager talked Wednesday on the heels of a study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research showing that teen births dipped 5.7 percent in the first year and a half following the debut of MTV’s “16 and Pregnant.” The show was originally thought to promote and incentivize teen pregnancy.
“To glamorize and to publicize teen pregnancy is very upsetting to most pediatricians and adolescent medicine specialists,” Stager, a MetroHealth pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine, told Stratford. “The two individuals looked at communities where there was high viewership of MTV programming and they looked at teen birthrates and they found that in those areas where there was high MTV viewing, and possibly ’16 and Pregnant,’ there was a decrease in the birthrates.”
Why? Dr. Stager has a theory.
“The question becomes maybe they saw something that wasn't so glamorous,” Stager said. “Maybe they saw, ‘Ooh that could be my life.’”
As Dr. Stager told metrohealth.org
, teenagers used to seeing the "nice, clean version" of teen pregnancy with cute babies in strollers get a "behind the scenes" look through the show.
Still, Dr. Stager cautioned that attributing the dip solely to the television show would be a mistake.