The Secret Life of the American Teenager: The Debate Rages On
The Secret Life of the American Teenager: The Debate Rages On
Glenn Diaz
Glenn Diaz
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
The Secret Life of the American Teenager continues to scorch through the ratings, even upping its already high numbers from last week.  The ABC Family teen drama rose from an average of 3.59 million to a staggering 4.09 million viewers during its most recent episode.

After receiving flak from conservatives, now it has drawn criticism from the other side of the moral fence: those who oppose pro-life stance on reproductive health, who condemn the show for its depiction of suburban sex.

The high school drama chronicles how good girl Amy Juergens and a silly one-night-stand at band camp changed her life forever, played by Shailene Woodley.  From 7th Heaven creator Brenda Hampton, viewers can perhaps still remember how the show has been very conservative and even too obsessed with family values during its 11-season run.

Those on the defense of The Secret Life, however, argue that kids don't have sex just because they see it on TV.  Adolescence, after all, means raging hormones and The Secret Life does well to promote an open dialogue between kids and parents.  Juergens certainly sets a bad example by turning to her friends but not her parents when that strip of line confirmed she was pregnant at 16 years old.

Often, the ratings can just speak for themselves.  Already, The Secret Life is ABC Family's most successful series attracting far more viewers that CW's phenomenal hit Gossip Girl.

In a July interview with the teener, Woodley says she hasn't looked into any criticism yet.  In fact, she thinks The Secret Life represents something different from the current crop of TV shows about teens.

“I think my show is different because a lot of the teenage dramas that have been on or are on now all deal with drugs and alcohol and teenagers adding negative things to the world…  We focus on the positive things on teenagers, because the public have a negative outlook on teens.”

- Glenn L. Diaz, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The News and Observer, Variety, Teen Television
(Photo courtesy of ABC Family)