Pregnancy Pressure: Is MTV's 'Teen Mom' Encouraging Pregnancy for Fame?

Three friends of 'Teen Mom 2' Star Jenelle Evans are pregnant.

ByABC News
February 11, 2011, 7:58 AM

Feb. 11, 2011 — -- Critics of the MTV show "Teen Mom2" say that the show is encouraging teen pregnancy after three friends of one of the show's young stars got pregnant.

Jenelle Evans, mother of 1-year-old Jace, found reality fame first on MTV's "Sixteen and Pregnant" and now on "Teen Mom 2."

Recently, eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that three of Evans' teen friends had gotten pregnant. The pregnancies fueled speculation on the Internet that the teenagers got pregnant for fame's sake, labeling them "copycat moms."

Two of the women, 18-year-old Keeley Sanders and 17-year-old Lauren Pruitt, said that they didn't get pregnant for fame and didn't enter a pregnancy pact with one another.

"My pregnancy wasn't influenced by Jenelle. It wasn't influenced by nobody but the wrong decisions," Sanders said.

Sanders is due next month. Pruitt just gave birth to a baby girl last week.

"I didn't want to put my pregnancy out there, it's kind of more personal to me," Pruitt added.

Doctor Logan Levkoff, a teen development expert, said that even if "Teen Mom 2" doesn't glamorize teen pregnancy, there are more examples of pregnant teens in pop culture than ever before.

"The way we bring people, reality stars into fame for really not doing anything has created a culture where it is exciting to be a pregnant teen and the fact of the matter is that most teens who are pregnant do not have the same experience that the girls on those shows have," Levkoff said.

MTV presents their teen mom reality shows as an object lesson for teens in avoiding unwanted pregnancy. Each season, the show follows four teen mothers showing the gritty hardship, both emotional and financial, of teen motherhood.

"Their peers are having great times dating, going to the pizza shop, going to the movies, going to clubs, going to the prom. All of this has stopped," Adrienne Williams-Myers, chief of Preventive Services for the North Side Center for Child Development, said.