200+ Controversial Debate Topics and Discussion Questions for 2021
By Editorial Team Sep 21, 2021
Are you looking for discussion themes that are unique, thought-provoking, and highly contentious? Here they are! You may guarantee a fiery debate in class or intriguing polemics with your friends if you choose any of these contentious subjects for debate from Eprowriters.
Psychology Debate Subjects
- Female managers outperform male managers. Lower compensation and fewer job prospects for women are manifestations of gender inequality in the corporate sector. Is it, however, fair? Are men superior than women? Is it reasonable for them to be in charge?
- Jealousy is always the result of a lack of trust. What makes some individuals so envious? Can you trust someone if you're envious of them? Discuss issues of love and jealousy. Give instances to demonstrate if these two ideas can coexist.
- All women are illogical and rely on intuition rather than rationality. Investigate this topic from both perspectives. Can a woman's hormone cycle influence her decision-making? If all women are illogical, explain how they succeed in politics, social life, business, science, and so on.
- Men taking parental leave should become the norm. Is a father's love enough for a child? Is it possible for it to be a great or negative experience for a family? How does it contribute to gender equality? Provide both pro and con reasons.
- Hypnosis is an excellent method for treating mental diseases. Think about this ethical debate subject. We can see what a person does while hypnotized, but do we know what motivates them to do so? What are the potential dangers?
- Gender-neutral parenting liberates children from gender norms. It has the potential to expand children's developmental horizons, but does it rob them of their basic needs? Will gendered treatment ever become obsolete?
- Psychological therapy has a placebo effect, yet it does assist. Does active listening to a client's problems imply treatment in and of itself? Several studies have found that patients improve after therapy. We still don't understand how it works.
- Is it our nature to be violent? Are some people born to be evil, while others are born to be nice and caring? Conduct some ethics research to determine which stance should be argued.
- Can divorce be harmful to children? Should marriage be kept together for the sake of the children? Is it better to protect the children from seeing sad parents? Is it possible that they have a warped view of love as a result of growing up in such a family?
- Overloading on information is the major cause of psychological illnesses. Should we quantify the vast majority of information we encounter on a daily basis? Should we instead devise compensatory systems and evolve?
The following debate topics in psychology can be added to the list:
- Could humans ever develop a cure for all mental illnesses?
- Is it true that our cognitive functions and behavior are predetermined at birth?
- What effect does praise have on children?
- Can we regard depression to be the leading disease in 2020?
- Do video games instill violence in children?
- What effect does pornography have on a person's psychology?
- Consider the impact of technology on a child's growth.
- Children should be treated as adults.
- Can inmates get back to normal life if they live outside of society?
- Is it possible to establish a universal cure for psychiatric problems because of our uniqueness?
- Can a tumultuous fate justify a terrible character?
- What is the psychological norm?
- Many clever people were socially inept. Is there a connection?
- All ailments are psychosomatic in nature.
- Is it true that people are too different to be classified?
- Is there a point in character development when you can't go any further?
- Is the gender gap cultural or physiological?
- Can future technologies theoretically read people's minds?
- Our brains respect both imagination and reality equally.
- Is it advantageous to have psychological competency in nursing?
- Is it wrong to be selfish?
- Can social media contact replace face-to-face communication?
- Are there unique character factors that determine whether a person is affluent or poor?
- Big city dwellers are less content.
- Depression is a byproduct of civilization.
- Can parents inspire their children to be motivated and ambitious?
- Children benefit from boredom as a developmental stimulus.
- In stressful situations, philosophical contemplation might be beneficial.
- Nature creates a person, but society is accountable for their development.
- Motivation and stress management are essential for success.
Related: Hot Psychology Research Topics for 2021
Law Students' Debate Topics
These contentious subjects for debate will assist you in honing your legal skills:
- Serial murders and foreign terrorists should continue to face the death penalty. Find strong arguments for and against your point of view. Is it better to let a thousand wicked criminals go free than to execute one innocent person?
- For major offenses, juniors should bear the same level of accountability as adults. Consider the rise in school-related mass shootings. Would adolescent killers conduct these murders if they knew they would be prosecuted as adults?
- Parents should be penalized for their children's misbehavior. Parents are accountable for their children's upbringing. Is it true that every blunder is the responsibility of the parents in parenting their children? Is it true that being underage makes one less guilty, even if they will become an adult in a year?
- Three strikes regulations can help to reduce the number of significant offenses. Is that the case? How does it prevent recidivism? What are the costs to the state imposed by such laws? Share your thoughts and proof to back them up.
- The driving age should be raised to 18 years old. Consider safety, technology, experience, and any other aspects that may impact your decision. Why is the driving age different in different countries? Is there anything that can be done to teach young people to drive safely?
- Should suicidal attempts be prosecuted? Everyone has the right to life and liberty. Does this imply that they will have the ability to end their lives? Could the threat of prosecution deter people from committing suicide?
- Can a guaranteed minimum income devastate the economy? Taxpayers help people who are unable to work, but also those who are unwilling to labor. Would it incentivize their employment if they were not supported by the state?
- The death sentence for corruption is both effective and brutal. China, Singapore, Vietnam, and a few more countries use the death penalty to punish corrupt officials. Will other legal consequences be able to replace this practice, and will they discourage future offenses?
- The market for surrogacy should be regulated and legalized. Is surrogate motherhood the same as human trafficking? Could legalizing it protect these women and their children? What exactly is the ethical quandary of surrogacy?
- Is it moral to execute a criminal who has killed another person? Can one killing be redeemed by another, or is it merely a deterrent to future offenses? Examine the ethical implications of capital punishment. Are we allowed to take the life of another person?
Look into some more high school debate themes linked to law and prosecution:
- Artificial intelligence's ethics and transparency will be governed.
- Should governments be given access to encrypted communication channels if they are required?
- Fur farms are cruel and should be prohibited.
- Police officers should have the authority to shoot to kill.
- In a modern society, the death sentence must be abolished.
- How might drones infringe on the privacy rights of distinct landowners?
- Is it possible to govern cryptocurrencies globally?
- Is gambling bad for society, and should it be prohibited?
- Is it true that the legalization of prostitution protects such women?
- Leg-hold traps used on wild animals should be prohibited.
- Only international management of air pollution has the potential to slow climate change.
- Third-world countries require the legal support of industrialized countries.
- The punishment for child neglect and abuse is insufficient to make people think before acting.
- Freedom is granted by rights.
- International intelligence is a method of protecting one country's rights while violating the rights of another.
- Equal rights for all is an idealistic and unattainable goal.
- Can legislation keep up with the latest technological advances?
- Could an international ban on weapons of mass destruction help to keep wars at bay?
- LGBTQ communities' rights.
- Is it feasible to create a legal foundation for moral standards?
- In Blockchain, how could we control ownership rights and data security?
- Abuse of rights is unavoidable if there is no penalty.
- One person's freedom is constrained by the freedom of another.
- Any crime is justifiable.
- Criminals have a separate value system that must be corrected.
- Allowing a crime to go unpunished is the same as becoming an accomplice to it.
- Punishment should not be used to exact vengeance. It ought to be a rehabilitation program.
- Equal rights imply equal adherence to the law.
- A right entails the ability to do whatever that is not prohibited.
- Only power can enforce the law.
Topics for Debate in Medicine and Health
You have the freedom to express your opinion on the following medical debate subjects notwithstanding a lack of medical education:
- Plants will be utilized in medicine because nature has provided us with the remedy to every health concern. What are some of the benefits of herbal medicine? What is the mechanism by which certain traditional herbal therapies work?
- Patients should not be able to refuse treatment due to religious views. What is more important: human life or personal preferences? Please provide evidence. How may a healthcare facility insist on treatment without a patient's consent?
- Physician-assisted suicide should be illegal. Consider how it would effect hopeless patients, such as those in a chronic vegetative state due to a final stage of cancer. Is there always the possibility of a miracle?
- Prescription drug advertisements should be prohibited. Self-medication can be dangerous. Individuals tend to diagnose themselves in order to save money and avoid visiting a doctor. It can be useful at times, but not always.
- Official health warnings should be placed on high-fat items. How harmful are high-fat foods? Will making individuals more conscious of what they eat help to prevent obesity in society?
- A single-food diet can be harmful to your health. Is losing weight worth the risk of developing gastrointestinal diseases? Or do you think that short-term dieting is harmless? Are there any goods that are safe for a single-food diet?
- Obsession with thinness leads to eating problems. First, you must change your eating habits, and then the excess weight will naturally disappear.
- What you eat makes you who you are. This slogan is frequently used to urge people to stick to a diet. However, because food is broken down into molecules that create our bodies, the assertion is implausible. To what extent does our diet influence our overall well-being?
- Marijuana has medical use. Should it be made legal? Which diseases does this medication cure or alleviate? Is it addictive, and is the healing effect worth it?
- It is a matter of time until humans are genetically altered. It's fun to read about people with repaired genomes in science fiction, but do we want it to become a reality? At the same time, it may be the only solution to diseases that are currently incurable.
Consider some of modern medicine's most contentious issues:
- Is it ethical to test drugs on animals before they are tested on humans?
- What effect does social isolation have during a pandemic?
- Does it cost a lot of money to be healthy?
- Can a lack of social interaction have a negative impact on a person's health?
- Vaping is simply a less bad alternative to smoking.
- Obese persons who are body positive can continue to live an unhealthy lifestyle.
- Because legal trading is outlawed, organ trafficking exists.
- Vaccination should be made mandatory for all children.
- To prevent further addiction, students should take a course on the culture of alcohol usage.
- Tobacco use should be considered socially unacceptable.
- After-death organ donation should become commonplace.
- Is reading and using electronic devices dangerous for your eyesight?
- Can wireless networks endanger our health?
- What are the potential consequences of circumcision for a baby?
- Is it ethical to perform an organ transplant on a person who requires it due to an unhealthy lifestyle?
- Should a medical staff be allowed to provide medical treatment to a kid if the parents refuse?
- Is womb transplantation a viable future option to surrogacy?
- Uninsured individuals may obtain no or insufficient medical care when they require it. Is it moral?
- Why do people believe in homeopathy if it is so dubious?
- Should medical errors be prosecuted?
- Medical school requires so much time and effort that individuals who are not destined to be doctors may choose to change their focus.
- Medical education should be free, but admission should include a psychological fitness and properness test.
- Should parents restrict their children's sugar intake?
- Is it true that preventing suicide means that a person who is suffering will have to suffer even more?
- If ingested in tiny amounts, any product can be beneficial.
- A healthy way of life does not guarantee long life.
- Are mental illnesses overdiagnosed?
- Should HIV be kept private, and if so, to what extent?
- We would be healthier if we lived in closer proximity to nature.
- Obesity is a genetic condition, and we should not blame heavy people for a lack of self-control.
Related: Great Ideas for Nursing Research
College Students' Educational Debate Topics
You can discover some good high school debate themes in the following list. Education is a contentious issue in universities and colleges. Some of them, though, will suffice for middle school.
- Sports club membership should be required. Sports may transform your life and even help you pay for your studies. But what if a person isn't particularly gifted in sports? Will it be a waste of their time?
- Exams should be phased out in favor of more effective assessment methods. And which forms would you recommend? Perhaps you are more conservative and support the current system? Is it preferable for kids to be aware that their development will be monitored?
- Students should combine job and study in order to begin their professions sooner. Will they profit from a head start in their careers, or will it only impair and impede quality learning? Is it necessary to put in too much time and effort while studying? Is it possible that it will lead to professional burnout?
- Classes should begin in the late afternoon. When is the optimum time to start a school day? People's biorhythms differ. Should they be taken into consideration? Is it possible to allow kids and pupils to make their own decisions?
- Students should be able to evaluate their tutors. Would you go to lessons offered by a teacher with a poor rating? Describe your point of view. Would it boost educational quality?
- Homework is a relic of the past. It should be banned in schools. Extracurricular activities, on the other hand, could be expanded. If you agree with the statement, provide alternatives to schoolwork. If you disagree, please explain why.
- Is it appropriate or ethical to hold public prayers in schools? Should the decision be made by parents, schools, or the government? What are the advantages and disadvantages of religious education? Are there any disadvantages? What can be done if children follow different religions?
- On school and college computers, certain websites should be restricted. If so, what exactly are they? Should parents be told to do the same thing at home? If not, what are your justifications? Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of social media, as well as other potentially dangerous content.
- ABC tests do not reveal whether or not a student truly understands the answer. Multiple-choice questions are simple to assess. Even so, a correct choice can be made by chance. Should we provide pupils with an incentive to expand their thinking?
- Internships should be required of all students. Is this technically feasible? How might it affect their future work and career? Would businesses and organizations be interested in such a widespread practice?
- For teenagers, education can cover a wide range of contentious issues. Discover a few of them:
- School vacations are excessively long and meaningless.
- Companies should be encouraged to pay for the brightest pupils and then recruit them.
- It is not the purpose of primary school to teach. It's all about making new friends.
- Would you send your child to a private or public school?
- The current university curriculum is too far removed from reality.
- Adult education should become increasingly popular.
- Professors should have non-academic work experience in order to prepare students for real-world situations.
- Long before college, students should choose their specialization based on the results of numerous aptitude tests.
- Is handwriting becoming obsolete? Should calligraphy be excluded from the curriculum?
- Could an online education diploma be equivalent to a diploma earned through full-time study?
- Is it OK for parents to assist their children with their homework?
- Could computer games be used to educate children?
- Is it true that a higher education makes you a better person?
- How many foreign languages should students learn in school/college?
- Primary schools should provide debate subjects for students to practice public speaking.
- Schools have a tendency to romanticize famous historical individuals. Is it incorrect?
- Homeschooling is only beneficial if the parent has pedagogical training and is able to control the procedure.
- Sex education should be taught in schools.
- What are the consequences of employing technology in education?
- Some educational employees look for tutoring jobs after being unable to obtain work in the industry.
- Uniforms restrict students' freedom of speech.
- History lectures are excessively theoretical. Could they become more useful?
- The pay of tutors should be determined by the amount of success of their students.
- Should students only take courses in which they are interested?
- Do teaching methods need to be revolutionized?
- Should students try their hardest to get A's in all of their subjects, or should they prioritize?
- Is it possible that libraries may become extinct in the near future?
- Is class discipline a guarantee of success?
- Should a tutor be a moral instructor and a role model?
- What distinguishes a well-known and successful university?
Topics for Differing Opinions on Relationships
Relationships are the most contentious of all potential topics. This list includes contentious subjects for debate that almost certainly have no correct answer. Because we are all so diverse, it makes them much more interesting.
- Exes can simply be pals. Is it feasible for two individuals who used to love one other to become friends? Is this the end of a relationship? Or does the desire for ongoing communication imply that one of them is still hoping for a return?
- The psychological atmosphere in the classroom is critical to students' progress. Can you study under duress? And how about a good time? What may make a class amusing? Who is in charge of student-to-student relationships?
- Families should be able to adopt children from other countries. Discover all of the benefits and drawbacks of adoption and voice your view. How, and should, the government exert control over it? Could it lead to human trafficking in developing countries?
- Divorces without blame should be forbidden. Divorce proceedings should be made more difficult. Couples should be afforded more time to consider their options before making a final decision. Should spouses offer proof of their accusations?
- Low-income families are happier than high-income singles. Provide proof to back up your point of view. Is it preferable to have everything you desire but not have someone special to share it with? Is there a link between loneliness and high income?
- In human relationships, the extremes do not collide. Furthermore, differences in tastes and viewpoints lead to squabbles. Is it possible for soul mates to be similar to each other? What are the disadvantages of having too many things in common?
- Parents should not meddle in their adult children's personal lives. Perhaps the children should make their own mistakes and draw their own conclusions? Is there ever a time when parents should give advice? Should they insist on quitting plainly toxic relationships?
- In a relationship, men should take the first step. What are the sources of this widespread belief, and is it reasonable? What are the consequences of a woman initiating a relationship?
- Making a family business could improve the couple's atmosphere. Business themes are far removed from everyday life. They have the potential to make conversation more exciting. But, if a partnership ends later, will a common affair exacerbate the breakup?
- Long-distance relationships are the most effective approach to foster trust. People must find areas of mutual interest and be creative. They converse with other individuals the majority of the time. As a result, if they remain faithful, their connection will strengthen.
Below is a list of discussion topics for argumentative essays:
- Some children's health problems are triggered by family tensions.
- It is not a good idea to save a marriage for the sake of children.
- Is loyalty defined solely by the lack of other sexual partners?
- Is it a terrible idea to read your partner's phone messages?
- A couple's disagreements are a warning that they will soon split up.
- Even though you want to spend all of your time with your particular someone, it is vital to support friendship.
- If you didn't like something on the first date, be aware that it may become the source of disagreements later on.
- What exactly are healthy relationships?
- Being cheated does not always imply that you are unlovable.
- Children cannot "glue" bad relationships together.
- Even the bad aspects of a close person appear attractive for romantic dates.
- Are mothers more responsible for their children's personalities since they spend more time with them than fathers?
- Why do friendships break up?
- Long-term abusive relationships, such as residing with an abuser, can result in psychiatric illnesses.
- Authoritarian ties between the boss and the employee result in lower productivity than pleasant interactions.
- Love is simply the result of chemical processes in the body.
- Is a tough but long-lasting relationship preferable to a series of brief and easy ones?
- Jealousy without cause kills even the best relationships.
- What should be prohibited in a partnership ethically?
- Could dating jeopardize your academic success?
- Is the first love better than all the others?
- Friends should be ranked second only to family in terms of importance.
- Should cohabiting couples be married instead?
- Can "friends with benefits" be considered true friends?
- It is preferable for a young couple not to live with their parents.
- Is love beneficial to one's health?
- Sex tourism is an indication of isolation.
- People lack love in their lives as a result of wars, intra-country conflicts, and violent debates.
- Investing time in each other is the most effective strategy to save friendships.
- A group's relationships are governed by its leader.
Topics for Political Debate
It is considered impolite to inquire about people's political beliefs. However, the reason for this is that such contentious issues frequently spark confrontation. Writing an essay on one of the following discussion themes is a wonderful method to express yourself:
- Is civilization constrained by political borders? Some countries were formed through the division of a former larger country less than 50 years ago. Does this imply that citizens in these two new countries have distinct social relationships? Globalization further erodes political boundaries.
- We selected democracy not because of its benefits, but because it differed from tyranny. Is democracy the finest political system in the world today? Could it be improved in any case? What historical lessons can demonstrate that tyranny is the worst kind of power?
- A government leader must be flawless in order to achieve political success. How does a leader's personal history influence his or her destiny? How can a bad reputation be remedied? Can fresh virtues compensate for faults made in the past?
- Do government officials have enough time to run their own businesses? How can it hurt or help their popularity among voters? Is it true that success in business provides a political actor with the essential abilities and knowledge to govern a country?
- Globalization has the potential to defeat climate change. All countries must get together and pass common environmental regulations. The more powerful countries, such as the G7 and G20, will assist weaker countries in reducing emissions and recycling.
- Will all countries eventually become democratic? Countries that have never been democratic may find it difficult to transition. Their people are accustomed to the current state of affairs. Is it feasible to bring about a change in their regime without a revolution?
- Donald Trump strives to combat overpopulation in the United States. Do you agree with his nationalistic stance? How could immigrants from third-world countries endanger the US economy and national security? Is the issue exaggerated?
- Is there a conflict of interest between Trump's administration and his business? Many of his administration's representatives are CEOs of media organizations. Government officials in the United States are prohibited by law from collecting funds from their businesses. Are these appointments unsuitable?
- Is it true that political campaigns are a waste of money? Could there be alternative methods of informing the public about the candidates? Could the candidates compete in charitable deeds instead of TV eloquence?
- Are nations putting in a decent effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic? Is it reasonable to keep borders closed if the sickness has spread to all countries? Some countries make absolutely little modifications, while others close down the entire country for quarantine. Small businesses are hurting far more than large corporations. What could possibly be different?
- Are politicians always the ones who initiate wars?
- Is it feasible to remove governmental corruption?
- Should the world cancel and destroy nuclear weapons?
- Terrorism is a potent political tool.
- Can public protests have an impact on government decisions?
- Were civil wars sparked by local governments' mistakes?
- Is nationalism preferable to globalization?
- Is it fair to give equal weight to the votes of persons with varying levels of education, life experience, and cultural background in elections?
- Who was the best president in the history of the United States, and why?
- Politics is the art of making the best of a bad situation.
- Donald Trump's foreign policy is notably different from those of his predecessors, but it has shown to be helpful to the economy.
- Federalists and democratic-republicans pursue the same goals through different ways.
- Even the wealthiest countries will become vulnerable in the absence of economic competition.
- Politics is about action, not long-winded speeches about those actions.
- Talented people, not money, produce a country's riches.
- Why don't other parties, except the Federal and Republican Parties, enjoy the same level of support in the United States?
- How do political campaigns make use of the media?
- Consider why the United States has never had a female president.
- Should firearms regulations be tightened?
- Is it the responsibility of the government to combat gambling addiction?
- Why don't more people turn out for elections if every vote counts?
- Was Brexit the result of political or economic factors?
- What are the factors that aided the last monarchies?
- What role could local politics play in keeping Catalogna from seceding from Spain?
- What were the United Nations' achievements and failures in resolving various conflicts?
- What prevents certain countries from joining the African Union?
- How will the incorporation of Hong Kong affect China?
- When can we anticipate additional countries to join the EU, and what will they be?
- Could the global spread of cryptocurrencies jeopardize existing political systems?
- What factors contributed to the far-win right's in the most recent national and municipal elections to the European Council?
How Do You Pick a Debate Topic? The Primary Steps
Step 1: Conduct an Initial Brainstorming Session
Consider at least five contentious issues that you can use in your debates and write them down.
Step 2: Narrow the Debate Topics List
Examine them in light of the following criteria:
- Overused. Avoid very popular debate questions. Consider arguments: if you can immediately come up with three for and three against the subject, don't choose this topic. You will not get any new knowledge or broaden your horizons.
- Boring. Try to choose debate topics that fascinate you. Otherwise, you risk being overwhelmed and failing the research.
- Researching is too complicated. Consider the topic before bringing it up. You may notice that there aren't enough sources for in-depth research or debatable arguments.
- This is unimportant. Avoid topics that are unimportant to society. Debating whether sneakers are more comfortable than trainers, for example, has little effect on society.
- Too thin or too wide. Some debate topics may be excessively general, causing you to waste time studying them and exceeding the time given for argument. For example, the United Kingdom's migration policy applies to all countries. Otherwise, some inquiries may be too specific.
Step 3: Make a Decision on a Debate Question
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- What is the goal? What do you hope your audience will take away from these debates?
- Who are your target audiences? Will they be interested in your topic? What are their social, cultural, and racial origins?
Frequently Asked Questions on Controversial Debates
What are the most contentious issues?
- The death penalty
- Obesity and eating disorders
- Doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia
- Cloning and genetic engineering
- Extraterrestrial civilizations
- Feminism and gender equality
- Climate change and pollution are two major issues.
- Technologies in our Daily Lives
- The fur business
What are the most contentious issues in America?
- Control of firearms
- The United States' worldwide clout
- Participation of the United States in armed conflicts
- US Troops withdrawal from Afghanistan
- Immigration management
- Bilingual education and foreign language instruction in schools
- Pandemics of COVID-19
- Cybersecurity and personal data protection
- Impeachment of the President
- Addiction to the internet
What are some hotly debated medical issues?
- Food that is organic
- Medical insurance coverage
- Human trafficking and transplantology
- Legalization of drugs
- Diseases caused by the environment
- Cosmetic surgery
- 7. Equality of access to health-care services
- Homebirth versus hospital birth
What are some good controversial research paper topics?
- Political and sociological extremism
- Civil liberties under distinct political systems
- The rights of women
- The #MeToo movement
- Socialism's Viability
- Information warfare
- Nuclear power and weaponry
- Fuels that are good for the environment
- Cryptocurrency and cashless society
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