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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 14, 2014/ 13 Shevat, 5774

MTV and teen pregnancy

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What music videos were to the MTV of yore, programs about single teenage mothers are to the MTV of today -- a staple. The network's franchise of reality shows about teenagers coping with out-of-wedlock-births, beginning with "16 and Pregnant" and including the spinoffs "Teen Mom" and "Teen Mom 2," has been a runaway success.

It has given us such teen moms as Jenelle Evans, who alleged that her drug-abusing boyfriend beat her up, causing her to have a miscarriage. And Amber Portwood, who got out of jail on parole last year after serving time for drug charges -- the latest in a string of troubles encompassing a suicide attempt and battery charges for allegedly beating up her boyfriend. And, of course, Farrah Abraham.

If you don't know who Abraham is, you obviously haven't been keeping up with Us Weekly. She didn't tell her ex-boyfriend that he was the father before he was killed in a car accident. Her mother was charged with assault for hitting her. But never mind. Rocketed to D-list celebrity by her appearances on "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom," she got two breast augmentations, performed in a sex video and has now graduated to appearing on the VH1 show "Couples Therapy." In other words, she is living the American Dream of pointless notoriety.

For understandable reasons, the MTV franchise has been lambasted by cultural conservatives for glamorizing the lives of young women who have made desperately poor choices. But along come a couple of economists with a new paper on the social effects of the MTV shows to tell us that that gets it all wrong: The programs actually led, by their calculations, to a nearly 6 percent reduction in the teen birthrate between June 2009 and the end of 2010.

Their analysis of all the episodes of "16 and Pregnant" finds 47 pregnancies, and only four marriages prior to birth. Almost all the fathers stay involved throughout the pregnancy, but by the end of the episodes, half the relationships are very strained or over. About a quarter of the births are by C-section, and the young mothers experience "extensive sleep deprivation." This is not "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" or "The Bachelorette."



"Overall," write the authors of the study, Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland and Phillip Levine of Wellesley College, "the realities of the lives of teen mothers are presented in ways that may have been unknown or difficult to imagine for other teens viewing the show." According to their findings, getting a dose of the reality of teen child rearing -- which means limited educational prospects and a high likelihood of poverty -- changes the behavior of teens exposed to the shows.

There are two things to say about this result. One is that it vindicates the common-sensical belief that pop culture has an impact on how we live. The entertainment industry celebrates itself as important and brave, but when anyone suggests that its stupid and degrading output might influence how anyone thinks or behaves, it retreats to the "it's just a TV show or movie" defense.

The other is that the trend toward ever-increasing out-of-wedlock child rearing needn't be accepted as inevitable. If MTV has inadvertently stumbled on a highly credible way to make the case to teens that the life of a single teen parent is to be avoided, then surely there are other effective ways to spread the word about the struggles inherent to out-of- wedlock child rearing more generally. (Teens under 18 account for less than 8 percent of all out-of-wedlock births.)

As for MTV, it may create a mixed message. Another new study found that teenage viewers of the shows had unrealistically rosy views of single motherhood -- perhaps because after the travails depicted on "16 and Pregnant," a few high-profile teen moms like Farrah Abraham graduate to the tawdry satisfactions of minor celebrityhood. It's safe to assume that nothing good comes from MTV, except by accident.

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© 2014 King Features Syndicate

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