The representations of teenagers are supposed to reflect, reinterpret, and recreate norms (Mayne). The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a show that comes on ABC Family that is supposed to depict the life of the American teenager. I do not believe for one second that this depicts the life of a teenager. I believe that it is a very hypersexual view of adolescents. I will be discussing the first three or four episodes of Season three where Adrienne finds out that she is pregnant by Ben, which is Amy’s boyfriend. This statement alone shows how this show depicts all of the teenagers to be hypersexual. In the show all the teenagers seem to be sleeping around and even though they are all friends they all eventually end up sleeping with each other. These students are supposedly in high school. Adrienne is not the first teenager to become pregnant in this community. Amy already has a child by Ricky and Ben is Amy’s ex-boyfriend. This just shows the “homie-smashing” mentality that is present within the television show.
When Adrienne found out that she was pregnant by Ben (Amy’s Boyfriend) she was interested in trying out all of her options. She looked into adoption as well as abortion. This reminds me of the “can-do girl” because she had several resources and was able to explore all of them. Adrienne, of course, did not choose the abortion due to the average “television break down” in the abortion clinic. All of the teenagers in the series are presented as upper class. There are a couple black teenagers in the show but they are just as high class as the white teenagers. You don’t really see too many financial situations in the show. After Adrienne tells Ben that she is deciding to keep the baby, Ben then decided to try to do the “right” thing by proposing to Adrienne without even really genuinely liking her. This is so cliché because there are very few teenagers that are getting married however it is very typical for a young guy to propose because he thinks it will fix the situation.
In the Secret Life of the American Teenager most of the teenagers are in relationships, which present the idea of sex as ok. Most of the couples in the show are having sex and when there is a couple that is trying to abstain from sex they are always looked at as innocent. Even though there are a few couples that are not sexually active. They are always trying to figure out when is a “perfect” time to change their sexual status. This, even though it isn’t sex, seems to be hyper sexual.The discourses of teenagers are minoritized and universalized in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The discourses are minoritizing because the teenagers who are not very hyper sexual are treated different and are labeled as the “good girls” when this is not at all true. The girls that are not sexually active should be labeled as the norm instead of the outsider. The series universalizes sexuality among teenagers. I’m not sure if this is ok, but ABC Family covers for the hyper-sexuality by having a “teen pregnancy is 100% preventable” commercial on every commercial break.
(Sorry Guys I could not find Links)