The Instigator
wmpeebles
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
Itsallovernow
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points

Gum chewing in school

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
wmpeebles
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,763 times Debate No: 12626
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (6)

 

wmpeebles

Con

People have chewed gum in schools since the dawn of when the first schools have opened... or whatever. Gum chewing at school may be considered beneficial by some, but in the eyes of others, gum chewing can pose a risk and can be more harmful than good.

In a 2004 study, glucose in gum was found to enhance cognitive function to some extent [1]. However, chewing gum filled with glucose was found to cause cavities (gasp!), which is why most gum does not contain glucose anymore. Artificial sweeteners have replaced sugar, mostly the sugar alcohols, sorbitol or xylitol. However, sorbitol is a laxative and when gum is chewed in large numbers, a person can experience unhealthy weight loss [2]. Xylitol is also a laxative and can result in the same effects.

While sugar free gum can be healthier for your teeth than gum containing sugar, sorbitol & xylitol are laxatives and can contribute to unhealthy weight loss. More importantly, not enough research has been conducted to strengthen the hypothesis that sugar free gum can make you smarter, or do better on tests. Other methods that have been proven to enhance cognitive function significantly include the simple task of simply eating breakfast in the morning.

Chewing gum in class can be a nuisance and can reduce the concentration of others in school when people make nose when chewing their gum. People find chewing gum annoying in general [5].

Chewing gum litters floors, sidewalks, undersides of desks, and other surfaces and cannot be removed easily. By enforcing a rule that disallows people from chewing gum, surfaces are less likely to be littered.

By allowing chewing gum in school, there is an increased possibility that someone could bring nicotine gum and distribute it to friends [3]. People are less likely to suspect drugs when it is in gum form.

Chewing gum can cause headaches because two muscles near the temples can become chronically tightened, which puts pressure on nerves causing chronic headaches [4].

Chewing gum constantly wears out the cartilage that act as shock absorbers in jaw joints, which leads to pain & discomfort for life [4].

For all of these reasons, I do not see any benefits that outweigh the risks & nuisances of allowing people to chew gum in school. Therefore, chewing gum should not be allowed in school.

Sources:
1. Stephens, R. & Tunney, R.J. (2004). Role of glucose in chewing gum-related facilitation of cognitive function. Appetite, 43(2), 211-213.
2. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com...
3. http://forums.families.com...
4. http://www.drbenkim.com...
5. http://community.tasteofhome.com...
Itsallovernow

Pro

Hello, and thank you for the debate.

I will not address your "point" of glucose, since you claim glucose is not in gum anymore. You seem to claim that gum has laxative effects. It may contain things that are used in laxatives, but it doesn't make it primary for that function. For example, cigarettes have a chemical used in rat poision. That doesn't mean a cigarette can be used as rat poision. Also, I would like for you to present a source that says chewing regular gum (regular defined as not drug enhanced) acts as a laxtive and has caused such a "problem". As for the weight loss, I'd like you also to present a cite for it, because I've never heard of such a thing. Gum has little to no relation to weight loss.

" More importantly, not enough research has been conducted to strengthen the hypothesis that sugar free gum can make you smarter, or do better on tests." You just stated that it was proven to enhance cognitive function; however, in this, you state that it's NOT proven? You contradict yourself.

"Chewing gum in class can be a nuisance and can reduce the concentration of others in school when people make nose when chewing their gum. People find chewing gum annoying in general." I presume you mean noise, and if it becomes a problem, the teacher can easily tell the person to spit it out. There can be rules set in place for gum. Furthermore, you can't generalize like that by saying "People find chewing gum annoying in general.", because you can't prove it.

"Chewing gum litters floors, sidewalks, undersides of desks, and other surfaces and cannot be removed easily. By enforcing a rule that disallows people from chewing gum, surfaces are less likely to be littered." It is possible if you allow students to chew gum and show them the wastebasket JUST once, perhaps they'll use it. If not, you can ban it, but there's no way to know unless you find out. However, even in schools where gum is banned, you can easily find gum under desks.

As for your point on Nicotine gum...that costs about 30-60 dollars to supply. It is incredibly improbable that students would purchase this to distribute. The probability is so unlikely, that I will not address it further.

"Chewing gum can cause headaches because two muscles near the temples can become chronically tightened, which puts pressure on nerves causing chronic headaches." If they want to chew gum, that's their choice and it's legal. Any medical repercussions are their resposibility. Permitting gum chewing does not endorse nor condemn the fact they chew gum, such as "smoking sections".

"Chewing gum constantly wears out the cartilage that act as shock absorbers in jaw joints, which leads to pain & discomfort for life." So does eating, but that can not be helped, reguardless what you do.

This is where I draw my conclusion:

Chewing gum is okay. As far as I'm concerned, everything is unhealthy nowadays. There are far worse things than gum, and if you're not busy living, you're already dead. Am I right?

=VOTE PRO=
Debate Round No. 1
wmpeebles

Con

Definitions:
Laxative: A substance that, when ingested, has the property of loosening the bowels.
People: Any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively; "old people"; "there were at least 200 people in the audience"

I would like to point out several flaws in your arguments.

"You seem to claim that gum has laxative effects. It may contain things that are used in laxatives, but it doesn't make it primary for that function. For example, cigarettes have a chemical used in rat poision. That doesn't mean a cigarette can be used as rat poision."

Certainly sugar-free gum was not intended to be a laxative, but the sweetening ingredients, sorbitol or xylitol, are laxatives by definition. I don't know what kind of argument you are trying to make since I never did state that gum should be used as a laxative at all. It's irrelevant to the debate.

"Also, I would like for you to present a source that says chewing regular gum (regular defined as not drug enhanced) acts as a laxtive and has caused such a "problem". As for the weight loss, I'd like you also to present a cite for it, because I've never heard of such a thing. Gum has little to no relation to weight loss."

Sugar free gum as I already stated uses sorbitol or xylitol as a sweetener. Normal consumption, perhaps 3 sticks a day, should not cause any laxative effect to the body, but chewing large amounts of sugar free gum every day can cause severe gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea which leads to weight loss as you would have found out if you have read source number 2 in round one. If you don't believe that I already had a source then here's another one: [1].

"You just stated that it was proven to enhance cognitive function; however, in this, you state that it's NOT proven? You contradict yourself."

I did not contradict myself. Glucose is sugar, and glucose was used in gum to make it sweet. There have been studies on chewing gum containing glucose in the past such as the one in round 1 and those have shown a slight increase in cognitive function. But you misinterpreted me when I said that sugar FREE gum has not been proven to make you smarter or do better tests, since sugar free gum does not contain sugar (glucose). I did not contradict myself.

"I presume you mean noise, and if it becomes a problem, the teacher can easily tell the person to spit it out. There can be rules set in place for gum. Furthermore, you can't generalize like that by saying "People find chewing gum annoying in general.", because you can't prove it."

If it's a problem, then there should be a solution to fix the problem. Telling a student to simply spit it out for possibly every day means that there was a problem with the gum chewing for every single day and that would not be an effective solution to the problem. A better solution would be to disallow people from chewing gum, since there wouldn't be any problem in the first place. Having to put up with noisy gum chewing while trying to be respectful and let the teacher finish her lesson is not acceptable since I will be distracted by the gum chewing and so will other people as well. I do not find going up to a teacher to interrupt her teaching about the matter of gum chewing to be respectful since it is not an emergency. An effective solution is the one I've stated.

I can prove that people find gum chewing annoying since, by using the definition of people as a "group of human beings collectively", the people found gum chewing to be annoying. After all, if you don't believe me, read source number 5 in round 1, or here: [2].

"It is possible if you allow students to chew gum and show them the wastebasket JUST once, perhaps they'll use it. If not, you can ban it, but there's no way to know unless you find out. However, even in schools where gum is banned, you can easily find gum under desks."

I think high school students know where the trash can is. By judging from the amount of gum on sidewalks, floors, desks, etc., it is reasonable to say that some students litter with their gum by choice, since they know where the trash can is, but do not use it. Yes even schools who do have bans on gum have gun littered, I agree, but that is why I brought up the statement that "ENFORCING a rule that disallows people from chewing gum, surfaces are less likely to be littered." Simply telling students to spit their gum out into the trash can is not adequate since you said schools that have bans still have gum underneath the desks. Telling students to go to the assistant principal's office is more like it.

"As for your point on Nicotine gum...that costs about 30-60 dollars to supply. It is incredibly improbable that students would purchase this to distribute. The probability is so unlikely, that I will not address it further."

Since you did not cite sources for your claim, I did my research and came up with 20 pieces of 4 mg nicotine gum at CVS pharmacy for around $10 [3]. It is not improbable, since this kind of nicotine gum is cheap to purchase. As irresponsible as teenagers are, this $10 could end up killing someone, since this pack contains 80mg of nicotine, while only 60mg is enough to kill a person [4]. Drugs have been passed around in school from student to student, which is why there are drug dogs. Aren't other drugs expensive as well? Nicotine gum could very well prevent some people from getting caught since it's disguised as gum.

"If they want to chew gum, that's their choice and it's legal. Any medical repercussions are their resposibility."

And I presume you mean responsibility. Last time I checked students in school are still living with their parents since they take care of them. To assume that any medical repercussions are the responsibility of the student is false since most are not legal adults yet.

"So does eating, but that can not be helped, reguardless what you do."

Eating is a natural thing, but when you overwork you jaw by chewing for hours every day, for a long time, that can produce wear and tear on the cartilage in your jaw that should not be present if the person did not chew gum. Here's a quote from an article discussing TMJ (temporomandibular joint) "Gum chewing may result in muscle fatigue and pain--especially if it is done frequently and/or for long periods of time. In one survey of orthodontists and oral surgeons, 46 percent believed that infrequent gum chewing could lead to TMJ concerns. This statistic increased to 65 percent for frequent gum chewers. [5]"

Overall, it looks like there are lots of problems with gum. By eliminating gum in school, students are less likely to have jaw problems in the future, there will be a lot less litter caused by gum, and most importantly to me is that class will be easier to concentrate in. My opponent did not mention any positive things about chewing gum, and poorly tried to refute my arguments. It's clear that people should not chew gum in school because it causes so many problems and does not have any benefits.

Vote Con!

Sources:
1. http://www.newscientist.com...
2. http://community.tasteofhome.com...
3. http://www.cvs.com...
4. http://www.thesun.co.uk...
5. http://www.ivillage.com...
Itsallovernow

Pro

I will address your rebuttals in chronological order:

1) You state they are laxatives by definition. No, gum is not a laxitive. They may have chemcials used in laxatives, but they are not laxadives. You didn't state that they should be used as laxatives, but you insinuated that they can/could be used as laxatives. In which case, I ask you to present a source.

2) "..chewing large amounts of sugar free gum every day can cause severe gastrointestinal problems.." You state it CAN cause 'severe' problems like direhhea, not that it does. So, you can not say that it incessantly and constantly induces direhhea.

3) Reguardless, just because gum may not have a postitive, benefical effect does not give reason to ban it unless you can prove why it is BAD. Also, the confines of this debate is not isolated to sugar-free gum. http://children.webmd.com... and http://www.upi.com... say that, yes, chewing gum may increase grades. In many schools, it is stastically more likely that students chew sugary, name brand gum as opposed to sugar free.

4) You don't have to tell the person everyday. All you must simply do is take progressive punishments, but to disreguard the other students right to chew gum is not justified by the possibility of one person's loud gum chewing. Who's to say anyone would chew gum loudly, anyways? Perhaps they will all chew quietly and focus more. You do not know unless you give them the chance. If not, you punish everyone without a concrete, justifiable reason. A MORE effect solution that enhances brain function and promotes a good teacher-student relationship is the one I've presented over my opponent.

5) You stated that people, which can be inferred as a collective global society, found gum chewing annoying generally, so no, you can not prove it.

6) First of all, not all gum on sidewalks, floors, etc. is by students attending a school. Perhaps some students do litter gum by choice. However, it is not fair to deny them the right to chew gum out of fear. If it is a problem, they can ban it or abolish it or whatever. That is not my concern for the debate. If you legalize gum, you will know for certain and have justifiable evidence other than, "The school is afraid the students are too immature to know how to properly chew gum."
"Simply telling students to spit their gum out into the trash can is not adequate since you said schools that have bans still have gum underneath the desks." If the gum is banned, why would a teacher tell their students where to spit it out? It doesn't make sense.

7) Okay, Nicotine gum does not get you high. It is much, much more expensive than regular gum. If they distribute to their friends, as you say they might, then they probably would not have enough to kill themselves? This is a rediculous claim and it is incredibly far-fetched. I will not debate it anymore.

8) The point being, it's not the school's reponsibility. The choice to chew gum and regulate their body, to some extent, is the student's, including this.

9) Your source states, that there could be concerns with a jaw muscle if you chew gum at all, even more so frequently. Again, the repercussions of chewing gum and the health concerns are of no consequence to the school. It's legal, just like smoking, and, actually, chewing gum is recommended over smoking. Nothing in this world is 100 percent healthy for you, and chewing gum in school is a far cry from being unhealthy.

CONCLUSION:

It appears my opponents main arguement is that there are medicle issues with the deteriation of the jaw muscle(s) associated with chronic chewing of gum. Just because there may be, as my opponent puts, "concerns" with chewing gum, does not mean the school should ban it. It will not kill the student to chew gum, it will not harm other students. In practicality, the worst that could happen is it being littered, in which case, it can easily be banned again. However, you don't know until you find out.

I leave you to ask yourselves this, "Is it justified to punish everyone, for the sake of one mans potential wrongdoings?"

=VOTE PRO=
Debate Round No. 2
wmpeebles

Con

wmpeebles forfeited this round.
Itsallovernow

Pro

My opponent has forfieted the conclusive round. Thank you for the deabate, and please,

=VOTE PRO=
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Itsallovernow 6 years ago
Itsallovernow
This is why I hate public judging.
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 6 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
Gum will likely be placed on the floor, desks, and other unwanted areas within a high school whether it's banned or not. Also, the school can simply ban nicotine gum, rather than ban all gum. That is equivalent to banning cigarette usage because people can distribute blunts under the guise or regular cigarettes. Finally, if a person wants to chew gum quietly and non-intrusively, he/she should be allowed to simply for the sake of free choice.

Overall, I feel schools should more worried about educating students rather micromanaging their behavior.
Posted by Itsallovernow 6 years ago
Itsallovernow
My opponent forfieted the last round, yet I"M losing?
Posted by wmpeebles 6 years ago
wmpeebles
I meant vote CON. I don't know why it didn't take my debate round. I was at 3:00 minutes till I had to post.
Posted by wmpeebles 6 years ago
wmpeebles
"Okay, Nicotine gum does not get you high. It is much, much more expensive than regular gum. If they distribute to their friends, as you say they might, then they probably would not have enough to kill themselves? This is a rediculous claim and it is incredibly far-fetched. I will not debate it anymore."

Yeah, but nicotine can kill you [3]. Nicotine is in nicotine gum, which can be bought cheap $10.00 [4] in relativity to other brands, which can be distributed and can be used irresponsibly. It's not ridiculous because drugs like cocaine & meth are brought to school and those aren't necessarily cheap, are they?

"I leave you to ask yourselves this, 'Is it justified to punish everyone, for the sake of one mans potential wrongdoings?'"

Why would you punish people who don't even chew gum? If someone is chewing gum and it is banned, the principal is not going to punish everyone, only the person chewing the gum.

All in all, nobody's going to be at a disadvantage if they don't chew gum, but if people do chew gum, then there's a possibility that gum will litter carpet, desks, floors, locker handles, etc.

Chewing gum can be distracting to others.
Chewing gum is a big problem by littering surfaces and can't be removed easily.
Chewing gum causes health problems.
Chewing gum can pose a risk is people bring nicotine gum.

Vote Pro.

Sources:
1. http://www.fasebj.org...
2. http://children.webmd.com...
3. http://www.thesun.co.uk...
Posted by wmpeebles 6 years ago
wmpeebles
Who's to say anyone would chew gum loudly, anyways? Perhaps they will all chew quietly and focus more. You do not know unless you give them the chance. If not, you punish everyone without a concrete, justifiable reason."

Students do not have a right to chew gum in school, at most a privilege since students have to follow rules set by the principal. I have told people in my classes to be quiet with their gum chewing. It's a problem that I have just testified to. Even if loud gum chewing was not a problem, litter is, and that is a justifiable reason for banning gum.

"First of all, not all gum on sidewalks, floors, etc. is by students attending a school. Perhaps some students do litter gum by choice. However, it is not fair to deny them the right to chew gum out of fear. If it is a problem, they can ban it or abolish it or whatever. That is not my concern for the debate. If you legalize gum, you will know for certain and have justifiable evidence other than, 'The school is afraid the students are too immature to know how to properly chew gum.'"

Oh really, so the gum underneath the desks at a school are from people who don't attend that school? That's illogical. While it's possible that SOME gum on sidewalks might be from parents, gum litter inside schools is MOSTLY from students attending that school. Again, students don't have a right to chew gum. If students did not chew gum, then there wouldn't be a gum litter problem, would there?

"If the gum is banned, why would a teacher tell their students where to spit it out? It doesn't make sense."

If drugs are banned, then why would police officers bring drug dogs to school? If you enforced a ban on gum, then people would not chew it because they would get punished, but if you have a ban and don't enforce it, what do you think is going to happen?
Posted by wmpeebles 6 years ago
wmpeebles
However, the word significant only means that the results were unlikely to occur due to random chance, not that the students chewing gum had much better scores than students who did not chew gum.

In fact, Craig Johnston, one of the people who conducted the study, replied and acknowledged that a 3% increase was SMALL, but still "statistically significant" [2]. This means if the group not chewing gum scored 77/100 on the TAKS, that would mean the group chewing gum scored 79/100 , which is not a big increase (2 points), but statistics wise it would be significant.

In addition, this was the only result that I could find from this study. There weren't any results from the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Achievement, or any from math class grades other than that students who chewed gum had better grades overall than those that didn't. Better grades could mean a 1 point difference, or a .5 point difference when looking at the abstract, since it did not say that the groups chewing gum had "significantly" better math class averages.

Overall, basing a claim that sugar free chewing gum can increase grades on only one study is nonsensical. This was one study, done in one area, conducted on one test, on one part of the test, and sponsored & funded by a GUM COMPANY. Bias much? Why did they only test math? Why not the other subjects? And looking at the results (or result, since there was only one), there was not a big difference in math grades of the students that chewed or didn't chew gum anyway.

So all in all, banning gum won't have a big impact on grades.

"In many schools, it is stastically more likely that students chew sugary, name brand gum as opposed to sugar free."

Really? Where's the statistic?

"All you must simply do is take progressive punishments, but to disreguard the other students right to chew gum is not justified by the possibility of one person's loud gum chewing. Who's to say anyone would chew gum loudly, anyways? Perhaps they will all chew qu
Posted by wmpeebles 6 years ago
wmpeebles
What the heck? I did post my round!

Well I must say this has been a really good debate in the sense that I enjoyed it. Good job, and good luck!

Chewing gum has not been shown to

The only benefit to chewing gum that my opponent has provided is that "chewing gum may increase grades". The sources he provided all refer to only one study done by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, which happened to be funded by Wrigley, a company that happens to sell lots of gum. All I could find on this study was the abstract which was quite vague, and led me nowhere as to the location of the results from the whole study. Searching for the study on http://www.bcm.edu...... yielded no results, and browsing and searching for an hour & 30 minutes also yielded no results of the whole study. But an abstract should be a short summary of the whole study so I will take it as it is.

Abstract: http://www.fasebj.org......
108 students in 4 math classes were divided into 2 groups in which 1 group chewed Wrigley's sugar free gum and 1 group did not chew gum. Academic performance was measured from the math section of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge & Skills (TAKS) test, Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Achievement, and math class grades.

However, the abstract only showed that the gum chewing students who took the TAKS math sections scored "significantly greater" than the students who did not chew gum. "Significantly greater" only refers to statistics when they provided some weird statistic: (F (1, 103) = 4.25, p < .05). As far as I can understand, the probability (p) is less than .05 (p <.05), so the result is significant. However, the word significant only means that the results were unlikely to occur due to random chance, not that the students chewing gum had much better scores than students who did not chew gum.

In fact, Craig Johnston, one of the people who conducted the study, replied and acknowledged that a 3% increase was SMALL, but still "statistically significant" [2]. Thi
Posted by wmpeebles 6 years ago
wmpeebles
Well part of it is, so yes.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Please tell me that this is satirical.
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