Promising research released in January by economists at the University of Maryland and Wellesley College found that MTV’s shows about teen pregnancy and parenthood have led to a 5.7 percent reduction in teen births — about one-third of the total decline in teen births — since the premiere of “16 and Pregnant” in June 2009. That’s 20,000 fewer births to teen mothers every year, or one less birth every half hour.
Next month, “16 And Pregnant” will return with 12 new episodes that demonstrate how being a parent changes any high school student’s life forever. In the new season, a star athlete will find her sports dreams derailed after a one-night stand, a pregnant teen will have to deal with her own mother’s addiction and a famously popular girl will wind up homeless when her pregnancy test yields a positive result.
In the sneak peek below, Madison, whose household is already packed, has an honest talk about her pregnancy with her mother, who doesn’t mince her words about the strain to come. “I’m giving you a month to stay here after the baby’s born,” her mother says, adding that she simply doesn’t have the space for a brand new family to get on its feet. “You’re the one who chose to grow up so fast.”
“I didn’t choose to get pregnant at this age, mom,” Madison replies. “But I can’t take it back.”
Though this season’s teens will face stress at every corner, MTV is hopeful their testimonies will continue to curb young pregnancy. “It’s another reminder that great storytelling can be a powerful catalyst for change,” network President Stephen K. Friedman told the New York Times.
Get a glimpse of what’s to come during Season 5, and be sure to tune in for the premiere on April 29 at 11/10c!