How MTV Managed To Do What Decades of Sex-Ed Teachers Could Not

Should schools replace sex education/health with MTV?

Normally, I’d consider this question insane, but after a recent study by the Brookings Institute, I’m not so sure. That study found that MTV’s “Teen Mom”, and “16 And Pregnant” caused a 5.7% drop in the total US teen pregnancy rate.

The Brookings Institute made an awesome video to explain how this is possible.

And that’s not all…

Using Google search data, the Brookings Institute also found that whenever an episode of “Teen Mom”, or “16 And Pregnant” aired, search results for birth-control pills, and abortions spiked – specifically questions about obtaining birth control.

By creating something interesting, and not focussing on the message, MTV has accidentally stumbled upon a formula for teaching teens about what not to do. The question is, can this model be applied to other social taboos, like drug and alcohol abuse?


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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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