Event Title

Portrayals of Fatherhood in MTV's Teen Mom

Location

CSU 202

Start Date

16-4-2013 1:15 PM

End Date

16-4-2013 2:15 PM

Student's Major

Gender and Women's Studies

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Email Address

Shannon Miller

Mentor's Department

Gender and Women's Studies

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

There are many harmful stereotypes about single parents. Custody laws often favor mothers, based partially on the idea that fathers are less likely to be able to “mother” children. Our society is immersed in television, and it is important to analyze this media outlet in order to see the types of messages viewers receive about single fathers. For this research study, I conducted a visual content analysis of the representations of fatherhood in the first three seasons (2009-2011) of the MTV reality television show Teen Mom. I analyzed the father figures for any potential stigmas and stereotypes, and the following items were considered: fathers’ job, arguments with mothers’ of children, how fathers were treated by maternal grandparents, adjectives given to describe fathers, co-parenting, and the fathers’ overall presence in the life events of the child. Research findings reveal that fathers were often given negative adjectives to describe them and were not the primary caregivers. These findings suggest that the MTV’S portrayal of fatherhood is overwhelmingly negative and perpetuate larger social stereotypes showing that father’s are not suitable as single parents. I believe after this study that we need more representation of fathers in the media.

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Apr 16th, 1:15 PM Apr 16th, 2:15 PM

Portrayals of Fatherhood in MTV's Teen Mom

CSU 202

There are many harmful stereotypes about single parents. Custody laws often favor mothers, based partially on the idea that fathers are less likely to be able to “mother” children. Our society is immersed in television, and it is important to analyze this media outlet in order to see the types of messages viewers receive about single fathers. For this research study, I conducted a visual content analysis of the representations of fatherhood in the first three seasons (2009-2011) of the MTV reality television show Teen Mom. I analyzed the father figures for any potential stigmas and stereotypes, and the following items were considered: fathers’ job, arguments with mothers’ of children, how fathers were treated by maternal grandparents, adjectives given to describe fathers, co-parenting, and the fathers’ overall presence in the life events of the child. Research findings reveal that fathers were often given negative adjectives to describe them and were not the primary caregivers. These findings suggest that the MTV’S portrayal of fatherhood is overwhelmingly negative and perpetuate larger social stereotypes showing that father’s are not suitable as single parents. I believe after this study that we need more representation of fathers in the media.

Recommended Citation

Echstrand, Brittany. "Portrayals of Fatherhood in MTV's Teen Mom." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 16, 2013.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2013/oral-session-09/4