the secret life of the (imaginary) american teen

Have you seen that new show, The Secret Life of the American Teen?  That’s the one where the good girl gets pregnant the first time she has sex and as a result suffers all manner of cliched teen baby mama drama.

Most mainstream reviewers have pointed out (and I agree) that the show is preachy and moralizing and employs scare tactics to hammer home the message that teen sex is a dangerous, emotionally ruinous thing. What hasn’t been discussed as much is the problem with the endorsement of the show by the Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy

Despite having some philosophical differences with this group (for example, they are bigger on the necessity of two parent households than I am), the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is an organization that I usually respect. They do important research and provide solid educational materials. So it irks me that they attached themselves to a TV show that’s so obviously flawed.

I understand the motivation.  A prime time drama addressing their key issue makes for an obvious partnership. I guess I just wish that they could have found a better project to work with.

What do you think?

Posted in: Health, Sex & Relationships, The State of Sex Ed
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  • Maya

    Props to Lysa for bringing up Degrassi. That's my show. I learned A LOT of things from Degrassi and watching it didn't make me feel like i was wathching a whole lot of cliche's. I have never watched The Secret Life of a whatever she is. But I don't really care to. It's been done, like on Degrassi (the newer) ones when Liberty got knocked up by JT. I just think atleast for me watching this show wuld be a huge waste of time.

  • e_unit

    Big props to Esther, (Aug 06, 2008 at 02:32 AM) on pointing out that nothing on Television has come remotely close to being as edgy and thought provoking as the original Degrassi. When was Aids or inter-racial dating last brought up on a T.V. show thats target audience is 12-20? Maybe the young women of this generation would benefit from Degrassi re-runs.

  • Marlee

    Thanks so much for pointing out how cliched that show is! I feel like it's a freaking lifetime movie, and don't get me wrong, I love lifetime movies, but I don't think anyone, even lifetime fans would want to watch that show.

  • rachh

    so this show is very overdramatic, and has pretty bad acting, and somewhat unrealistic, but i admit, i cant help not watching it.
    scaring teens though, i'm not to excited about. before watching this show, i knew sex had risks (duh) and really didn't worry too much when i decided to have sex with my boyfriend. after i watched the show, it made me want to stop.
    sex IS a normal part of life, and tv shows shouldn't stop that.

  • ebeth

    This show is hilariously bad. No real teens are like that. Has anyone tried to count how many times they say the word sex? It would be hard to keep count. The acting is terrible, and the girl who plays "Grace" is 22 and she's playing a 15 year old. How old is "Jack" supposed to be? (he scares me) Hmmm anyone notice how unrealistic this show is?