What do annoying jingles and sex education have in common?
Just for fun, click on this link and see if you can finish these old time popular jingles. Or, see if you can finish these phrases from popular commercials (hint: you may want to hum them):
- “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back………………” (name the restaurant)
- “Gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that……….(name the candy bar)
- “Nationwide is…….”
- “For the best night’s sleep in the whole wide world visit……”
Marketers are great at knowing how to get us to remember things whether we want to or not. It helps them sell us their products.
Here are some marketers basic rules:
- The shorter the better
- The more repetition the better
- The more rhymes the better
- Make it common (hear it everywhere)
- Add music
Jingles are designed to stay in your memory, sometimes popping up from out of nowhere. Jingles become part of what we know, whether we know it or not.
That’s where marketing meets sex and relationships for teens. The common phrases (shorter the better) we hear over and over (repetition), that are common themes in popular songs and commercials (add music and rhymes) are things we naturally believe, whether we really know them to be true or not.
Here are some common phrases you will recognize, and that you may want to think about before you make any decisions you may regret.
“Everyone’s doing it”
Real Scoop: Since 1992 (crazy I know) the percentage of teens who choose to have sex has declined. In the last 3 years it has averaged 44%, less than half.
“Sex will bring us closer”
Real Scoop: Most young people can tell you the answer to this one. The most mentioned relationship issues they experience? Increased jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, loss of time with friends and other activities.
“Just use condoms”
Real Scoop: First, very smart decision. Unfortunately, it only protects you from about 20% of the risks we hear about. Negative personal, social, emotional and relationship impact can’t be protected by a condom. Also check out some STI and STD info you might want to have while we are on that topic.
Real relationships and safe sexual decisions take time, honesty, and awkward conversations about difficult topics before you decide to do anything. You ready for that?