Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Gender and Women's Studies

Reader 1

Chris Guzaitis

Reader 2

Piya Chatterjee

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Rights Information

© 2013 Denise Tupper


In this paper I mapped the connections between historical discussions of deviant motherhood and how it provides context for MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. The connections I’ve made with media and government shows that they both are informed by the same ideologies that define young, single, mothers on welfare, and mothers who use crack as deviant. Since a deviant perspective informs government policies and media representations, consequently women are depicted as the source of deviancy degrading society with their “immoral” and “deviant” behavior. By revealing and analyzing these connections I have shown that the legacy of the Moynihan Report is still present in how teen mothers are represented on 16 and Pregnant.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.