Parent reviews for The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Common Sense says

Heartfelt drama tackles teen sex, pregnancy, parenthood.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 82 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 183 reviews
Adult Written byemirie August 16, 2010

What I think

I watch this show every week and what I dont really see appropriate is the language some of them use. When the first season started, I thought it would be a good show describing the negative and positive consequences of having sex out of wedlock or just too early. But what I have noticed in the 2nd and 3rd seasons, they are just sugar coating everything. They are making it look simple, easy, and like there is nothing wrong with having a baby at FIFTEEN (15), but I'm sorry there kinda is. I don't think that they really showed what it actually takes to be a teen mother, and if any of you are thinking I am a teen mom NONONO, one Im 13 and two I have morals, which is something I think some of the "kids" on this show should have. Grace was a great kid, a little annoying, but a really good role model, until her and Jack got together, and just to keep him, that might be realistic, but not very much. I just think Brenda Hamp needs to look at the script and really think it through again.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Parent of a 9, 13, and 17-year-old Written byPie Mama July 31, 2010

I've had that time!

I love that it centers the what happens if you have a baby too young. I have been in that place, I had my first child when I was 16, I have manged, but I DO NOT think it is O.K. Sometimes it creates problems for your kids, if you can't manage money and food for them, or just can't manage them! I've grown to LOVE to be a parent. But this show shows you what it's like. Watch it <3.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Positive Messages
Parent of a 2, 4, 11, and 12-year-old Written byMama_toBix5 July 16, 2010

Just say NO!

My tween (ages 11 &12) girls and I really enjoyed the first season of this show. I was a teen mom (my oldest, now 19, was born when I was only 17) so I was excited to allow my girls to watch when I have only told them about. It was a wonderful drama about the pressures of being a teenager and the negative side of having sex.
However, during season 2, the television was turned off. The show went overboard! It was ONLY about sex, sex, sex. It was not realistic. It glorified multiple partners, oral sex, and masturbation. We discussed that it was not appropriate and the girls were in agreement to turn the show off.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 12-year-old Written bygmonky June 16, 2010
ABC Family is not a family oriented channel. Beware what they watch on this channel. Lots of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byhellokitten June 8, 2010

wasn't how I thought it would turn out to be

When I first started watching this show I thought it would be about Amy, her friends and family around her, and how she had a baby at 15 but how she struggles to take care of him. They hardly ever show her taking care of her child and they bring in everyone elses drama as well.
This show should be showing how much work it is to take care of a child. In real life you have to be with a baby 24/7 and she seems to never be with him. I also thought that her friends around her would learn from Amy's mistakes (which they haven't) and they seem to not think too much about how they are acting.
It's very unrealilistic. All her and her friends talk about is sex, and let me tell you that's not all teens talk about. It just seems like this show is going around in circles when they should be focusing on things more important like taking responsibility for your actions.
The actors are also not very good, but this is probably due to a horrible script. This show is basically a soap opera. A sex soap opera since that's all they can ever talk about.
With a new writer and new script this show would be better. The plot needs to be fixed and the name needs to be changed. It implies that every teen is having sex and getting pregnant which is clearly not the case..

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byLoury June 7, 2010
My daughter likes this show and I have watched it with her but every season after the first 2 episodes we lose interest, and thank goodness. I feel uncomfortable watching it with her. Its not sending a message that having sex to young is bad, its sending the message that you should have sex, babies, oral sex.. Sheesh! I'm disappointed in the makers of this show.. it has turned into a Rated R for T.V, and on ABC Family too?
Adult Written byrandomposter June 7, 2010

Stupid show, but I get what they are TRYING to accomplish

I can see what the show is trying to do, but they don't do it well. They are trying to portray sex realistically. It shouldn't be demonized, but teens should be realistically informed about it. Teens get so much confusing conflicting ideas about sex. "It makes you a bad person if you do it." "It feels good" etc etc. I don't think scaring people away from sex is the right thing to do. I think talking to them about the consequences physically and emotionally, and teaching them how to prevent it if they do decide to have it, but still informing them that it's not 100% is the way to go. If you don't teach them anything they'll do it and not be safe. I think it's wrong for parents to be so negative about something with their kids that they themselves do and enjoy and most likely did before marriage and enjoyed it themselves.
I think this show tries to be realistic. Teens do have sex. teens do talk about sex, but not like that, and not that often. I think the initial story about Amy being pregnant showed how sex can happen when you aren't ready for it and how parents need to talk to their kids about it. However, she ended up having it too easy and she was a whiney brat, which is unrealistic for a teen mother.
Adrienne represents the girl who is smart AND promiscuous who is using protection, so she brings up the use of protection
Grace represents how teaching just abstinence is not effective, because people have sex anyway.
I think they're having Adrienne get pregnant to show that even if you are careful, you can still wind up pregnant. As stupid and dramatic as it is to have another pregnant teen, I think that's a good message.
I think Grace's episode about masturbation was dramatic, but it provided a good message, although anybody watching the show most likely already does it.
They're trying to say, you're not alone, and you're not a bad person for doing what everybody does.
I think they need more people not doing it. I think they need to stop being so dramatic.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byStephanie_M June 2, 2010

The show is great

It shows that you should talk to your parents when planning to become sexually active!!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bydevoted mom March 22, 2010

Not for ANYONE under 16

This show does not send a positive message to teens.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 11 and 12-year-old Written byjust-a-Mom March 20, 2010

My household NOT watching !

I've only heard about it from friends and seen commercials. My daughters, 12 and 11...have not watched it nor will be allowed. With the most recent commercials touting another girl may be pregnant, it proves that no one learned from the first "accident". While not necessarily glorifying kids having sex, it surely doesn't condemn it. I'm not naive, I know middle school kids who are having sex, and oral sex is as common as a back rub these days. However, the product of sex has not changed in 1000 years, it can still create another person!! Talking about sex and keeping your kids well informed is great. Letting them watch a show that makes having sex a normal part of teenage years, is not.
Adult Written byAly55 March 8, 2010

Bad

I hate this show all its saying is that if you get pregnant that your parents will help you and you can make people do what ever you want and make them feel sorry for you and plus this show has to many rumors about everyone and braggs to much about the sex lives this show is not even funny of dramatic its stupid for any age
Parent of a 12, 12, 15, and 16-year-old Written byextrememom February 23, 2010

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 17-year-old Written bybirthday919 February 23, 2010

Perfect for 10 and +

I think this show is Great for kids it teaches them a lesson:)
Adult Written by[email protected] February 10, 2010
Parent of a 15-year-old Written bymichiganmom January 28, 2010

Watch this show with your teens

I watch this show with my daughter, who is a sophomore in HS. While some of the dialogue is weak, and I don't like the way the counselors (they're on the third one now) and some of the Christians are portayed on the show, it provokes some interesting conversations with my daughter. I remember being her age, all those years ago, and most of what we talked about and thought about was sex. Not much has changed in a lot of ways. I did think the last show about masturbation was over the top, and so did my daughter. But if parents think this show is giving kids ideas that they wouldn't have otherwise, wake up. Kids my daughter knows were having sex, including oral sex, in 8th grade; by their sophomore year many have had multiple partners, and are also drinking and smoking weed. And these are the "good" kids from middle-class intact families. I think this show pretty realistically portrays how teens act and talk, and it's a good conversation starter. We talk about what kids she knows are like which characters, what does she think of the choice a character made, etc.
Adult Written bykrebsy1012 January 26, 2010

terrible for young teens

I'm nineteen and I completely fear for those who are in jr. high and even up to tenth grade who watch this and think that this is an acceptable way to behave and think. All it talks about is how every person wants to have sex always and how its completely normal for young teens to be having sex. Did they not learn from the one who had a baby that they are not ready for this? I first thought this would be positive and teach kids why not to engage in such activity but have instead been outraged.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 3-year-old Written bychika22 January 26, 2010

perfect for kids in High school!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love it...

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written bylemonlimetwist January 19, 2010

Reasonable for older teens

While not the perfect representation of the average teen's life, the show does a good job of portraying the hardships of dealing with divorce, teen pregnancy, and death. There are definitely some positive messages here, but some parents may find the sexual content to be a bit much.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Positive Messages
Parent of a 12 and 14-year-old Written byrokenki January 6, 2010
I am having a hard time using this as the tool I did in the beginning. This season is all about sex, sex and oral sex. Masturbation as well. The school "tramp" is idolized if you ask me. My daughter is 14 and I think it is sending out the wrong message. I am not an overprotective or closed minded or blind parent but this is getting to be a bit much. I just don't know if I can really stop her from continuing to watch it after I o.k.ed two seasons ago.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent Written byasmit4 January 5, 2010
I'm 30, married and have no children yet. I grew up watching 7th Heaven, Dawson's Creek and the original 90210. As a result I've never really stopped liking teen dramas. I watch Greek, 90210, Melrose Place, Make it or Break it, and Secret Life. The most recent episode-January 4, 2010- was perhaps the most pervasive when it comes to discussion of sex on any television show geared toward teens that I've ever seen. Having said that- I think this show is a good show for parents and teens to watch together. Is it uncomfortable to have a discussion on oral sex, masturbation? Of course! But teens in high school need to learn the facts from YOU- the parent! This show is a great sounding board to discuss the tough topics that most parents just avoid. The reality is that- whatever you think about your child- you are probably wrong. Many straight A students, choir girls, readers at church, leaders of volunteer organizations...you name it- MANY are having sex. By the time your high schooler graduates HS, 7/10 will have had sex, by college graduation it's over 90%. If you don't do the talking, who will?
I don't recommend it for tweens or even young teens but by high school the topics of this show will and are playing out in your kid's life/circle of friends- whether you choose to accept it or not. Take the initiative and have an open conversation. Your point of view as a parent matters- share it with your kids no matter how hard or uncomfortable it is. Teens aren't dumb- if you haven't discussed the topics above- trust me- your kids KNOW they exist and will probably be taking part eventually in their lifetime- perhaps sooner than you think.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff

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