Continued from page 2

“And at the time when the teen-pregnancy rate has flattened out” — it’s hovered around 72 pregnancies per 1,000 teens for three years, he said, “we need to search for and embrace bold and new ways to address this issue. And from our standpoint, ‘16 and Pregnant’ and ‘Teen Mom’ do just that.”

Still, MTV’s new teen-mom reality shows have drawn yet another line of criticism — that they are glamorizing teen motherhood.

In an item called, “I Took a Nap and the Teen Moms Became Celebrities?” Popeater.com writer Jo Piazza wondered how she “missed out on the moment when teenage mothers … turned into famous people.”

After MTV teen moms Maci, Farrah, Amber and Catelynn turned up on the cover of Us Weekly, Ms. Piazza asked senior editor Ian Drew how that happened. His answer was that they sell magazines.

These girls are not “glam,” he said. “Everyone knows someone in the situation like this.”

The National Campaign contests the idea that the MTV shows do not “glamorize” teen motherhood. Of the 600 teens surveyed on “16 and Pregnant,” only 15 percent thought that it glamorized teen parenthood.

“16 and Pregnant” is “gritty, not glamorous; sobering, not salacious,” noted Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign.

But Ms. Henson of PTC still shakes her head with disbelief.

“Certainly when you see the stars of that program being featured on teen magazines, it turns from cautionary tale into something that looks almost glamorous to the outside observer,” she said.

Added Ms. Piazza: It won’t be long before the “regular-people” teen moms start acting like celebrities — “Amber” has already done “her very starlike weight-loss unveiling, and it’s only a matter of time before someone starts dating ‘The Situation.’”

Note to readers over a certain age: “The Situation” is the hot male star of “Jersey Shore.”