By Sarah Foster Special to Published Oct 23, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Remember when MTV still played music videos? Those were the good old days. Now they bring us "thought-provoking" shows like "Super Sweet 16" and "Sixteen and Pregnant."

How great for the youth of America to be inundated with messages of either being a rich, bitchy, daddy's girl or, on the other extreme, having a kid rather than graduating from high school. Such relevant and uplifting messages. But what was I expecting? This is the same channel that introduced us to 'Jackass.'

"Sixteen and Pregnant" has now spawned "Teen Mom," the show that follows the girls from last year's "Sixteen and Pregnant" as they live their lives as ill-prepared mothers. There are ups and downs, fights with parents and boyfriends, all of which sounds like normal teenage life, but in addition, there is a baby in the mix.

Some of the teen moms have been on the cover of magazines and been guests on talk shows, their hair done up and their makeup professionally applied, with big ol' smiles on their faces as they hug their babies. Why these girls have been made into pseudo stars, I'll never know. Their irresponsible behavior should not be rewarded with anything but reprimand.

The question is, does this show glamorize teen pregnancy or is this exactly the show parents should be sitting down with their teens to watch to further the discussion on safe sex and the importance of finishing school?

This show seems to send the message to teens that "being a teen mom can get me on MTV and the cover of US Weekly... awesome!" That seems terrifying considering The Center for Disease Control claims one third of girls get pregnant before the age of twenty. So you can imagine that many of those girls do not finish high school and certainly very few go on to get college degrees. That, in turn, doesn't bode well for their offspring.

I'm clearly not a fan of any of these young women, but a few do stand out. One couple made the decision to give their baby up for adoption to a couple they knew could provide a better future for their child. They didn't make the correct decision to use birth control to avoid this unfortunate situation all together, but at least in the end, they were selfless in their choice to give the baby to another family. No teenager should have to go through that heartbreak, but at least a few make the choice that's correct for their child and their own future.

Teen mom "Amber" is on exactly the other end of the spectrum. She was recently taped physically and emotionally abusing the father of her daughter while the little girl was in the room. So far she seems to be the most irresponsible of the bunch, though it could be convenient editing on the part of MTV. There are shots of her bringing new, random boyfriends over to the house, straightening her hair while her daughter screams on the floor.

Reality, quite possibly, but why is this young woman, obviously needing some anger management and parenting classes, being shown on television? Where is the part of the show where Social Services comes in to rescue her daughter from what will, without a doubt, be an abusive household in the years to come.

Maybe these are the unhappy, all too real moments that today's teens need to see in order to understand what life will be like if they get pregnant at sixteen. There isn't anything glamorous about it, in fact, it really can suck. Any intelligent young woman that wants to succeed in her future would watch this show and say 'not me.' Sex is certainly a huge pressure for young women in our society today and it's naïve to think that many teens aren't regularly having sex. But if you don't want to end up on the next episode of teen mom, or you don't want to be the latest grandparent on teen mom, it's time to step up the safe sex talk. Maybe sit down and watch these shows and make the decision to talk about the situations and the consequences with your kids.

Half of the problem on each of these shows is that most of the parents seem unsurprised and not the least bit upset to hear this news. I don't even want to tell you what my mother would have done to me had I come home at 16 and announced I was pregnant by some loser 16-year-old, video game addict who I intended to marry. Oh! And, that we don't have any money or a plan to get any money so we'll need to live with you for the next God-knows-how-many-years while I work at Walmart to pay for diapers. Who are these parents that are just A-OK to have a daughter who just got her drivers license and a positive EPT?

The only clip I've seen in which I felt some adult had anything of value to contribute was the father of a pregnant 16-year-old, who was engaged to her boyfriend who had just received a scholarship to go to college in another city. The father told the parents of the boy that he was happy that their son was looking at a bright future as a college student, but that he should know that, under the circumstances, his bright daughter (a straight-A student prior to getting pregnant.) was going to be lucky to be a clerk at the Piggly Wiggly.

Now that's the message we need to get across to teenage girls. You can be the smartest gal in your school, on the way to an Ivy League education, but having a baby will mean your entire life plan was just flushed because you now need to focus on another life; your baby's. And while you're at home trying to change diapers, get any amount of sleep, pay medical bills and finish school, the guy that helped get you into this mess may be nowhere to be found. That is reality, and the father I saw on the show knew it all too well.

Nearly all of the "baby daddies" on the show would rather be doing anything than hanging out with their hormonal girlfriends and screaming newborns. Go figure. They go and play video games, go out with friends, or go off to high school or college, and who would blame them?

No one is forcing them to take responsibility for their actions. Half the time they propose to their girlfriends, the parents let them move in and they just become these pathetic moochers that think they've got it made in the shade with live-in babysitters and financiers. Almost makes it look like the easy way out, doesn't it?

Why are we celebrating the poor decisions of teens in this country? Maybe some teen girls watch this with their friends or their family and think, "I NEVER want to be that girl."

I really hope that's the case. But I fear that many of them watch this show, see these girls on TV and in magazines and, in a totally wrong reaction, want to emulate that in order to have the 15 minutes of fame these girls have had.

Why not replace "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" with shows about teens in this country doing something worthwhile with their lives? How about, 'Super Sweet 16' but only for teens that make honor roll and volunteer in their communities? How about "Sixteen and Not Pregnant: The stories of teen girls that want to become doctors, astronauts, teachers, and lawyers?" How about a show about young women, college students or grad students pursuing their dream of becoming chemists, software engineers or business owners?

Sarah Foster Special to

No, the sex columnist's real name is not Sarah Foster. (Foster is the model/actress that played an ex-lover of Vincent Chase in the first season of "Entourage.") In reality, our sex columnist is a Wisconsin native with a degree in journalism and a knack for getting people to talk to her.

Sarah never considered herself an "above average" listener. Others, however, seem to think differently. Perhaps she has a sympathetic tone or expression that compels people to share their lives and secrets with her despite how little they know her. Everyone from the girl that does her hair to people in line at the grocery store routinely spill the details of their lives and relationships to Sarah, unprompted but typically not unwanted. It’s strange to her that people would do this, but she doesn’t mind. Sarah likes that she can give advice even if it is to complete strangers.

So why the pseudonym? Simple. People tell Sarah these things because for some reason they trust her. They believe she cares and therefore will keep their secrets in a locked vault the same way a best friend or therapist would. Sarah won't name names, but that vault is now unlocked.