Bristol Palin vs. 'Teen Mom' Stars -- Who Prevents More Teen Pregnancies?

Sheri Reed
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Bristol Palin
Bristol Palin
So you have a teen-aged daughter with a serious boyfriend and you absolutely don't want her to get pregnant. You've talked yourself blue in the face about waiting to have sex and sexual responsibility and maybe even gotten her on birth control, but you'll take any other deterrent you can find.

So, for the sake of conversation, do you expose her to: a) Bristol Palin, who got knocked up despite mom Sarah Palin's abstinence message but went on to start a lucrative career as a celebrity teen mom and teen pregnancy prevention and abstinence advocate, or b) the average, screwed-up stars of MTV's Teen Mom reality show who agree to show us the true grit of teen motherhood in every episode?

Bristol Palin and the stars of Teen Mom are all cashing in to varying degrees on youthful mommyhood, but are any of them actually helping to prevent future unwanted pregnancies? If so, who's doing a better job?

It was revealed this week that Bristol Palin was paid a salary of $262,500 in 2009 by a teen pregnancy prevention nonprofit called the Candie’s Foundation. She did work to earn this money, but I am curious to know if she prevented a single pregnancy during that campaign. I mean, with the immense support she gets from her famous family and the enormous list of financial opportunities (can you say DWTS?), how does she serve as an example of what not to be? For one, no average teen is going to be able to relate to Bristol Palin or feel that she is anything like them. Secondly, if she makes it look easy (even though it's surely not), how is she actively deterring other teenagers from following in her footsteps?

Then there are the Teen Mom stars, who are rumored to have made $60,000-$65,000 a season. This is a very hefty salary for these young girls for sure, especially since they're all teenagers and at most from lower middle class families. However, the "goods" these girls are selling, unlike Bristol's, happen to be real peeks inside their struggle-filled lives, which can be pretty darn scary and horrifying. And isn't the truth and the ugliness what our teens really need to see, instead of a life like Bristol's, which fares far better than most hardworking American adults who have planned their lives and their pregnancies?

I get it -- celebrities get you noticed. However, we're talking about unwanted pregnancy here, not selling nail polish. I'm not sure an out-of-touch celebrity like Bristol Palin is making any difference for any young girl about to engage in unsafe sex.

Who do you think is the better advocate for teen pregnancy prevention? Feel free to say none of the above at this point, but tell us why.

 

Image via The Candie's Foundation

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