Watch CBSN Live

Hollywood's Take On Teen Pregnancy

If you want to know what's on the minds of many teenage girls, just listen.

"Is that the same guy who is in Gossip Girl?" one teen says.

But the talk at one suburban Los Angeles High School has shifted from favorite TV shows to what they're seeing on the big screen, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.

"I got bored and had sex with you, and didn't want to, like, marry you," says the character Juno in the film of the same name.

Movies like Academy Award-nominated Juno, where a wisecracking teenage girl "delivers" some very serious news.

"I'm pregnant," she says.

Also, there's the real-live version: 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears, now a pregnant teen TV star. And these cultural moments are giving birth to a lot of talk about teen pregnancy.

Elise, Juliana, Zoe and Tracy are high school seniors.

"I think sex in the media has definitely gone up over the years," Zoe said.

Juliana Stone added: "Younger celebrities doing very mature, adult things seems cool."

In older movies, pregnancy was more than unplanned.

But recent films such as Knocked Up and Juno, where women have their babies, make getting pregnant look like a bump in the road.

Tracy asked: "Do you worry that there is maybe a message here is that unplanned pregnancy isn't that big of deal?"

"I have friends who have joked Juno made me want to have a baby but its joking," Elise Gibbs said.

"Having an unplanned pregnancy is a big deal and it shouldn't be talked about in cavalier manner," said another student, Tracy Sidler.

While there is debate as to why teen pregnancies are up and the abortion rate is at a 30-year low, the fact remains that 750,000 teenage girls will get pregnant this year.

Its unclear whether Hollywood is imitating life or the other way around. But those who work with pregnant teens are seeing a cultural shift in the way we view teenage pregnancy.

"Clearly the stigma of pregnancy is no longer there - a little bit, but not to nearly the extent it used to be," said Pediatrician Victoria Paterno.

She says the media's glamorization of pregnancy and more supportive families may be behind a shift in attitude. But that doesn't mean their classmates feel the same.

Sidler said: "I think there is a great deal more negativity that goes along with being pregnant in high school."

Is that the sense that what you are seeing in movies and on TV doesn't necessarily jive with what would happen in real life?

"She gets pregnant, has the baby, puts it up for adoption and her life goes back to normal," Sidler said.

In the movie Juno, it is said: "we can just pretend that this never happened."

It's a Hollywood ending that rarely plays out in the high school hallway.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.