'16 & Pregnant' Recap: MTV Needs to 'Step Up' Too

Sasha Brown-Worsham

If there was one thing this season of 16 and Pregnant taught us, it's that 16-year-old girls aren't well-equipped for the commitment of parenthood, and on Tuesday night it was confirmed on the Life After Labor Special with Dr. Drew Pinsky.

These specials are always roughly the same. Dr. Drew grills them on their birth control methods, they cry, 80 percent of the dads are moronic. The girls cry some more, say they miss their old lives, and then it ends. MTV should be doing more.

Last night was no different. MTV is doing nothing and, while some of the fathers were certainly involved and some of the couples were even engaged or married, there were also (former) couples like Allie and Joey for whom things have only gotten worse.

When the two were put together on the finale special, it had been two months since he saw either her or his son Aydenn. MTV and Dr. Drew did their best to create a "moment" while he held his son, but to my eyes, he just looked awkward at best.

Why has he not seen him in two months? I am sure most people will jump on him and say it's all his fault, but I don't see it that way. The quickest reaction to these shows is to call dad a "deadbeat" and move on. In many cases, the dads do have a lot more maturing to do. But they aren't solely to blame.

On the special, Allie said she was only willing to give Joey visitation if she was there, too. As a mother, I do empathize and get how it feels out of control to hand your baby over to a guy. And by all means, it should start slow since there have been two weeks of no contact. But it isn't realistic to think that mom controls all.

We cannot simultaneously call a dad a deadbeat and then get angry when he wants a visitation schedule that doesn't look the way we (as moms) want it to look. Maybe if MTV stepped in and paid for "marriage" counseling or at least some kind of custody counselor, someone could teach Allie that trying to control visitation will actually drive Joey farther away.

The fact is, all these dads may have issues, but they are almost all the same, just as the ones with the moms are similar. Rather than put them together, grill them about birth control, and make them cry, MTV should take the initiative to help them with birth education and parenting help as well.

After a few seasons, the breastfeeding rates are abysmal. A couple moms try, but none succeeded to my memory. How about a lactation consultant? Maybe some counseling?

MTV owes it to these girls and boys not just to be a fly on the wall and show us the drama of their lives, but also to actively be a part of making their lives better. Until then, I will continue to think MTV is just exploiting their immaturity and naivete to make a buck.

Do you think MTV needs to do more?

Image via MTV

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