’16 and Pregnant’ Returns to Richmond

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RICHMOND (WRIC)—For the second time,
the hit reality show “16 and Pregnant” will feature a girl from Central
Virginia, and that may not be such a bad thing for the area.

Teen pregnancy has been a concern across
the country for years, but it's never quite been portrayed in the way of MTV's “16
and Pregnant.”

“It's scary, but at the same time scary
in terms of some of the things they show are real life,” said Dr. Courtney
Legum-Wenk, a gynecologist. “That's what teenagers need to realize; it's not
just a reality television show making things up.”

Some experts say the show's dose of
reality has helped lower the number of teen pregnancies, even here in Central
Virginia.

Last year, the show featured a girl
named Devon Broyles, a former student at Varina High School in Henrico County.
Another local teen will be featured on the show's upcoming season.

Gale Grant of the Richmond Health
District says the exposure is actually good for the region.

“That may help us,” Grant said. “It may
help us in the sense that kids say, ‘Oh, they came to Richmond,' so that even makes
them more interested and plug in for … maybe a few seconds longer.”

In fact, the district has used clips
of the show in its health classes.

“I think it's great to use any piece
of media to engage the students in learning,” said Tashana Jaudon, a health education
specialist.

New numbers show that in 2003, there
were more than 1,000 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 who were pregnant in
Richmond. In 2012, that number dropped to below 500.

But it's not just “16 and Pregnant”
that has helped chop this number in half, so has improved health education.

“Teaching young people those
effective strategies [and] topics that help to reduce teen pregnancy,” Grant
said.

 

Copyright 2014 by Young
Broadcasting of Richmond

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