Dr. Drew sends questionable messages on ‘Teen Mom’

Dr. Drew is the resident psychiatrist of Hollywood, but some of his assertions on the reunion show for MTV’s Teen Mom made me wonder where he got his degree.

In case you don’t breathe MTV reality shows like I do, Teen Mom follows four women from the pilot show 16 and Pregnant, where six teenagers were followed during their pregnancies and deliveries. The four women from Teen Mom are Maci, Farrah, Amber, and Catelynn, each with a different perspective on mothering, from single motherhood to adoption.

The four women reunited Tuesday night to discuss the season and their own personal problems with Dr. Drew. I remember being slightly annoyed at the reunion special for 16 and Pregnant because Dr. Drew was trying to get these teenagers to tell the audience how horrible their lives are and how regretful they were about having unprotected sex. But many of the teenagers pushed back because, although their lives were hard and they urged other teens to wait and use protection, they didn’t want to submit to Drew’s insistance that they regretted having their children because, in fact, they all loved their children despite the hardship.

Dr. Drew’s leading questions were evident on this last reunion show as well, as he was obviously trying to steer the women into answering questions with the answers he wanted. Most of the time it was understandable — domestic violence is unacceptable no matter who commits it, having a baby means giving up some of the “normal teenager” life, etc. His assertions with Maci, however, where really off-base.

Here’s Maci’s back story: She got pregnant during her senior year of high school with her boyfriend, Ryan. Her boyfriend is uninvolved, detached, and lazy. He has told her multiple times that they wouldn’t be together if it weren’t for Bentley, their son. They briefly lived together and were engaged, but Maci broke off the engagement and moved out because he was uninterested with spending time with her or Bentley, preferring to hang out with friends instead. They tried getting back together once more, went to a relationship counselor, but now are broken up for good because they have communication and commitment issues.

The first thing that really irked me was how flabbergasted he was that they both admitted they would have tried to work things out more had they been married. Dr. Drew kept trying to tell them how they should try to make things work, how he didn’t get how marriage made a difference. Marriage, though, is a larger commitment to each other and therefore should take a larger amount of energy to keep together. They couldn’t even stand to be around each other long enough to get married — I don’t see their breaking up as them not trying, I see it as a sign that they are not on the same page.

I felt like this was a larger assertion by Dr. Drew that staying married and being miserable is preferable to being apart and being happy. Being in a marriage yet hating each other brings about fighting, cheating, lying, and depression. Why would someone want to have their child in that environment, as opposed to still having two parents who don’t live in the same house but are not unhappy and miserable all the time?

The second thing that Dr. Drew tried to convince Maci was that guys love their children differently. Although he claimed he wasn’t condoning Ryan’s behavior, he said the love was different than a mother’s love. Although that may be true, Ryan showed barely any interest in taking care of or being around Bentley. I don’t think this is specific to men, I think this is specific to Ryan and other fathers who aren’t excited or interested in being dads. Watching the other men on the show, it’s evident that they don’t all act unresponsive or uninterested in their children.

Now, this account is based on what I see on TV, and I don’t know these people personally. But I was sitting there watching the reunion thinking, “A doctor is telling people that they should be married and try to make things work even if they are miserable and hate each other, and he’s also saying it’s OK that a father is somewhat neglectful because guys just love differently.” I disagree.


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One Response to “Dr. Drew sends questionable messages on ‘Teen Mom’”

  1. Erin Says:

    I agree! I was offended listening to Dr. Drew, still just trying to make all the girls (excpet for the one who gave the child up for adoption) feel like they have ruined there life…I hope the nex 16 and pregnant reunion show does not involve him!

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