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16 and Pregnant Preview: Season 2, Episode 3 - Valerie

16_and_pregnant So far, this season of 16 and Pregnant seems to be less nuanced than the first season. The three mothers that we've met, Jenelle, Nikkole and, tonight, Valerie, are all dealing with wretched boyfriends. I get the feeling that the approach to teen pregnancy that MTV is taking this season is scare tactics, particularly, "Your boyfriend won't love you and you'll be a single mom and everything will suck." 

I'm not saying that that's not a very real possibility. Handing the responsibility of parenthood to a very young man will very often have upsetting results. In the first season, however, the fathers weren't immediately portrayed as succinctly packaged villains. Though the focus has always been on the mothers, we did get at least some insight into the concerns and feelings of the young fathers.

While later sub-genres of reality TV have been less adept at hiding when they are directing their subjects, I never felt that even the more stilted conversations of the parents in the first season of 16 and Pregnant were very unlikely. However, Josh and Matt seem like caricatures of people who might appear on one of those "troubled youths" episodes of Maury Povich.

Anyway, this week we meet Valerie, whose boyfriend has the amazing ability to, in the same breath, state that he doesn't want to have anything to do with her unless it's something regarding the baby, still loves her, and wants to get a paternity test. Seriously. Is there a school for this kind of bullshit?

MTV's 16 and Pregnant - MTV Shows

I feel for Valerie. When you're going through something as intense as an unplanned pregnancy, a part of you really wants to believe that it will all be okay. And even if the relationship doesn't ultimately work out, you want to believe that you can function as parents, at least. At the same time, watching Jenelle, Nikkole and Valerie get upset when these guys treat them with the utmost disrespect boggles the mind. I know that they're young and not yet well-versed in standing up for themselves and telling someone to shove off, but for the sake of their kids, they need to develop that skill.

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I, too, feel like this season is painting all teen dads with the same "asshole" brush. Last season we got a very broad spectrum of dad. From Tyler, to the completely absent father of Farrah's baby.

I'm not sure I like where this is going.


IMHO, these guys are ACTING like douchebags, not because they are inherently bad people, but they are ... you know .. TEENAGERS. They are immature and that is what is shining through loud and clear. And as a mother of a teenage girl, I can tell you first hand that this behavior is much more common than that of Tyler, who was unusually mature.

Any of these guys might grow up to be perfectly responsible -- in about 10 years. This is EXACTLY what teenagers don't understand about the consequences of teenage pregnancy. Their bodies are able, their minds are not...yet.


I agree. This season seems much more of a scare tactic season than last. I just became a mother myself, at 26, and think it's so amazing that these girls (they're definitely not women yet!!) think it's going to be so great and easy to be mothers. Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done!! It's also the most rewarding, but there is no way I would have been ready for this responsibility at 15 or 16 years old!! I think it's wise of MTV to show a little more "real" vision of what teen parenthood would be like!

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