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Confusing Abstinence Campaigns

Candie's Says Being Sexy Is Good, Just Don't “Do

— August 11, 2009 — Marketing
Being sexy is good but having sex is bad. This is what the Candie’s Foundation likes to call “sexy” abstinence. Creating t-shirts in partnership with Seventeen magazine, Candie’s is currently pushing an abstinence campaign targeted at teen girls.

Advising young women through not-so-catchy slogans (“Be Sexy! It Doesn’t Mean You Have to Have Sex!”), the Candie’s Foundation wants you to know that as long as you don’t actually have sex, it’s definitely okay to be sexy.

Is anyone else confused here? Instead of pushing the use of condoms, birth control pills, and better decision-making, the company is inviting girls to wear clothes with the word “sex” and telling them that being sexy – while abstaining – is the best way to stay baby-free. Huh?

Perhaps what is even more confusing is the choice of the Foundation’s spokespersons: Britney Spears and Bristol Palin. These two women are sexy, which should convince girls to buy into the brand. Yet, the message they bring is that young women should ignore their own sexuality all-together, not control it – for instance through birth control or condoms.

And while we’re on the subject: having sex takes two. So should boys also be sexy but not have sex, too?