While the Girl Scouts of America believe reality TV gives young girls a skewed image of what real life should be, Real Housewives of New York City star Jill Zarin thinks at least one of the shows could have a positive effect. In the case of Teen Mom, she believes it'll prevent girls from getting knocked up too soon.
"Teen Mom... is like birth control," she said at the "Behind the Scenes: Girls and Reality TV" panel held by the Girl Scouts of America on Wednesday, according to AdAge.com. Media strategist and author Jess Weiner countered that opinion, stating that she's heard of many girls who purposefully get pregnant to appear on the show.
Zarin, who's often known for feuding with her Housewives co-stars, was among the panelists who were debating the effects reality TV has on youth following the release of the 2011 study "Real to Me: Girls and Reality TV." The study found that a majority of the girls thought that the action in reality shows is genuine and unscripted. "Tween and teen girls who regularly view reality TV accept and expect a higher level of drama, aggression, and bullying in their own lives, and measure their worth primarily by their physical appearance," says the study.
Do you think reality TV is affecting the youth of America? If so, is it positive or negative... or neither?