The Instigator
listeningtothepeople
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Just_another_bored_mind
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

Prom

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Just_another_bored_mind
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,889 times Debate No: 23834
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

listeningtothepeople

Con

Let's face it prom has become embedded in our culture and t many people it's sadly the culmination to the best four years to their lives. Many people d this idealized view of what prom is and it's importance, but I'm here to make sure everyone is able to see the problems associated with going to one's prom.

Firstly, almost anyone who has gone to prom will tell you it's home to heavy drug use including teen drinking, and sex. Too many teens prom is the first time they're exposed to alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol leads to teens making poor choices including drinking and driving and saying things that they regret. Many proms have had problems with heavier drugs including ecstasy and LSD. This can lead to medical problems and other concerns and it's the first time many teen have used heavy drugs. As I have mentioned earlier a lot of teen drink more than they can handle at prom and this lead them becoming more likely to engage in sex. The drinking has a direct connection to poor decisions including having unprotected sex.

Secondly, prom is an agent of consumerism. A 2004 survey in the United States found that 50 percent of high school females who attended prom spent more than $400 on it. When your factor in the price of the ticket, dresses and suits, shoes, hair and make up and the fact than many people take limos and rented luxury SUVs to prom I bet you'll find than at least 20 percent spent more than $600 dollars on prom. In fact many economist claim that prom is second only to Christmas in regard to the amount of money spent for one day in regards to high school seniors. it's odd that everyone is so willing to be against the consumerist feeling of Christmas but very few people are willing to go against the consumerist feeling of prom. The fact is that prom is used by corporations and the capitalist economy to combat the downturn is sales during the annual May/June downturn in the economy.

Thirdly, those who choose not to go to prom are often labeled to be looser or social outlasts while in reality they are the ones smart enough o not engage in irresponsible drinking or blind consumerism. teachers, students and parents all pressure teens to go to prom because they consider it to be a part of the the high school experience and as a result teens feel if they don't go to prom their high school experience will pass them by and that's just not the case.
Just_another_bored_mind

Pro

I like to thank my opponent for this interesting topic for discussion. I have not taken any debate courses, so please excuse my message if it doesn't fall within the normal format. My opponent has brought up 3 problems that he believes that are wrong with high school proms.

First off, I went to prom and didn't even know people drank there or even used drugs, but then again you did say "almost anyone." Teens will be introduced to drugs sometime in their life regardless of prom or not. Some proms, like the one I went to, had security to check for concealed alcohol and drugs. Breathalyzers were also used before and during this event to suspected drinkers which discourages any alcohol being consumed there. As for the drug problem you mentioned, drugs are harder to suppress, however they should have paramedics awaiting at the event or nearby like most major events. Again, the problem isn't prom being "a home to heavy drug use," its about security and preventative measures. If teens have access to it regardless of the event, they will use it somewhere else without so much supervision.

Secondly, prom is a school function. indeed I do AGREE that it requires some money, however so does your high school graduation cap and gown. Public schools do not have enough money to pay for all the events, so these are all optional events to attend. To tally up the bill of going to prom, for men we have the suit rental (~60.00 m**'s warehouse), prom ticket (~65-90), optional limo split between your friends (~35-70), corsage if you have a date (~15-20). So Roughly about 180 dollars to go to prom as a male. However to answer your issue of females spending more than 400.00, its all optional. The dress can be rented for anywhere from (39.99 to 99.99), the prom ticket (~65-90), optional limo (~35-70) totals up to around 200 dollars. Again these spending you claim are for those who want to spend that much, but not all of it is required to attend prom. Also with today's economy, I welcome those who want to spend more to help boost the economy.

Lastly to address the social issue of standing out. There are plenty of students who decide not to go, and still are not labeled as "looser" or social outcasts. Heck, even some of the more popular jocks during my high school years decided not to go just because. This didn't phase them socially at all. Again this is just from my experience. Standing out is what you make of it and how you respond to people asking why you didn't go. To respond to the issue of pressure to go from teachers, other students and parents, everyone has a choice and whether they go with it or not is up to them ultimately of course. Your friends will always suggest you come so you can all "hang out." your teacher will NOT always pressure you to go to prom, some will even say its not the end of the world if you don't go. As for your parents, some parents won't pay for it so I don't see the pressure from them. As for the other parents, they want to continue on the American tradition of high school prom. But as loving parents, they will understand if you don't want to go.
Debate Round No. 1
listeningtothepeople

Con

Teens with of course be introduced to drugs sometime in their lives but, as any addiction or substance abuse expert will tell you many addiction and substance abuse problems start with teens begin pressured into using drugs by their peers. And prom is one of those social events where teens are often pressured into drinking and using drugs that if not for prom they probably wouldn't. I can see that your high school administration obviously cared for the well being of students, but sadly the majority of schools don't take the measures to avoid alcohol and drugs use within the prom. You also said " Breathalyzers were also used before and during this event to suspected drinkers which discourages any alcohol being consumed". The main word there is discourages, it doesn't completely prevent it and no amount of security will completely stop alcohol use at the prom and the inevitable result of people being pressured into drinking. You also said that paramedics should be available to deal with the inevitable drug use at many proms, but having paramedics at prom is basically telling parent that there will be drug use at the prom and that would definitely lead to a drop in attendance which would be a good thing. I also feel that the majority of alcohol and drug use takes place at the after party where there are no teachers and teens are free to do whatever they want and this is where the majority of people are pressured into drug use. The after party is also a direct result of prom and without prom there would be no after party and teens would be able to make a choice on drugs and alcohol without being pressured and later in life when they're more mature and can truly make an educated decision.

I can't say what it's like in other schools but from my experience of graduation the gown was provided and buying the cap came was optional and if you want to buy it at a cost of $10 y were free to. I agree that the public schools shouldn't be responsible for paying for the prom. As my stat indicated only half of females spend over $400 dollars on prom so the other half would obviously spend less. But as your stat indicated it's still roughly $180-200 per person, that's money that they likely wouldn't have put into the economy if not for the consumerist backdrop of the prom. The fact is prom is an agent of consumerism in America, if you look at history you'll find prom was never around before the mid 1950's when the US economy exploded and consumers became the main source of profit for a large portion of the economy, like I said earlier prom evolved into an agent of consumerism and today it's become so romanticized that people are willing to put money blindly into the billion dollar corporations because it's a tradition. As you said that things like corsages are optional, it's pretty much an unwritten rule that you get your date a flower and buying a or renting a suit or dress for one day is also an unwritten rule of prom and many girls and boys both feel prom is the greatest night of their high school life and they refuse to wear hand me downs and in many cases they refuse to rent. It may help to boost the economy but, recent events have shown our capitalist economies are a broken system that makes people believe they need to spend money to help keep our society functioning while in reality the rich owners and shareholder benefit from that money you spent while the regular workers who you claim prom is helping see little to no raise in pay or benefits from prom sales. I do believe that the millions of dollars that teens invest into prom each year could clearly be better spend. Even if only a quarter of the money was used for a good cause such as donated to the United Way I'm sure the teens would have a better memory knowing their money went towards a homeless youth finding shelter rather than spend on luxuries and drugs for themselves.

From my experience those who went were considered outcasts, but we clearly had a different experience regarding prom. I'm sure that at your school as well as almost every other school people who choose not to go don't have their decision respected by others. At my school the people who chose no to go to prom were called to the office and the admin tried to convince them to go by saying they'd never be looked at the same way again by their fellow student if they didn't go. And I'm sure that from your experience students who choose not to go were questioned by their fellow students, and that shouldn't happen as it shows people try and convince others to change their minds until they realize they can't which shows that fellow students don't respect the decisions of people who choose not to go initially.
Just_another_bored_mind

Pro

You claim that if it weren't for prom, teens probably wouldn't drink or do drugs. The use of drugs increases even after high school. Why do you think people always say "I experimented with it in college (marijuana) or MDMA." Drinking is heavily intertwined into college parties. Even if you don't drink at prom, you will most likely drink later on. You seem to take a liking the my use of "discourages." Let me ask you this. During the cold war, the US and the Soviet Union built up stockpiles nuclear weapons to "discourage" the other from not attacking. What happened? No direct war actually happened. Well the scare tactic indeed does work, however I do agree with you that it will not "completely" stop alcohol use at prom. I assumed this this debate was just about what happens at prom and not what happens thereafter, but I guess I'm wrong with that assumption. Majority of people after prom just go eat out then go home. The majority of people who DO GO to after parties most likely already knows that alcohol is there and already made up their minds on that. Does the choice of the few decide the faith of the majority?

Proms have been around as early as the 1920s, but then it moved down to a younger age (high school) in the 1950s. I highly doubt that prom became the "MAIN source of profit for a LARGE portion of the economy." Those with money blindly spend their money, those who don't spend it carefully. Renting a tux or even dresses during prom is ridiculously packed at times. Many times, the style you want is already taken. Again this is generalizing about people refusing to rent clothing and I must go to my point of those with money will spend more than those who don't. The sales do help the economy more than you think. Prom generates jobs indirectly. For example, there's the marketing section that promotes the store. Then there's the manufacturing and sewing of the clothing. After the clothing have been brought, many people who did buy their clothes pay for altercations. The event usually takes place in some kind of hall, so you have people who maintain those halls for use. The list goes on simply past the layer of the companies who profit from sales. You say that we, the regular workers see little or raise in pay or benefits from prom sales and the rich owners and shareholders benefit from that money. It's not just prom that generate profits for these companies. If regular workers received an increase in pay or benefits every time there is a major event going on, they wouldn't be regular workers and be making a substantially more higher income. The fact that the rich will get richer and the poor becomes poorer isn't just for prom, that's just the world in general. Agreed that money going to places like donating to the poor is a good thing, but I disagree on teens having a better memory knowing that their money is going to the homeless youth finding shelter. If that was true, then I should be seeing teens after school donating money every time I see someone in a white suit collecting money outside of fast food joints. Majority of teens, heck even the population do not donate because they rather keep and spend their hard earn money for themselves. In theory would idea is kind, but this just isn't what happens.

Lastly, we all have different experiences with our peers. As for those who tried to convince their fellow students to go and "not respecting the decisions of people who choose not to go initially." I would like to think of it like a debate you and I are currently having. Do you respect your friends decisions when they say they don't feel like going out for a drink after they broke up with someone? Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. But they are still your friends. Respecting someone's decision is subjective between friends and how to interact with each other.
Debate Round No. 2
listeningtothepeople

Con

It's not that teens won't do drugs it's just that fewer will be exposed to them and fewer will be pressured into doing them. Most likely will drink in college but at least where I'm from the drinking age is 19 and for many people in college will not be drinking under aged. The Cold War was a standoff of ideas, although no direct war happened between the two there were still conflicts in Korea,Vietnam, Afghanistan,Cuba and Cambodia that all had a direct relation to the Cold War which helped contribute to the 20th century becoming more bloody than the previous 20. The Cold War also bankrupted both countries and is one of the reasons the US is trillions in debt. You also said "During the cold war, the US and the Soviet Union built up stockpiles nuclear weapons to "discourage" the other from not attacking", they built weapons to discourage each other from attacking, if they built up weapons to discourage one another from not attacking the world would be a different place. As for your assumption the after party is a direct result of prom and therefore it is part of prom. You also said "Does the choice of the few decide the faith of the majority?", you seem to portray those who go to after parties as a small minority but in general it's almost 50-50. I know at my school's prom about 80% of people went to after parties. You also have failed to respond to my argument that many people engage in sex after prom and many of those people's decision about sex are impacted by the drugs.

Proms have been held since the 1920's but the earlier ones were modest affairs in the school gym, often decorated with paper streamers. Promgoers were well dressed but not lavishly decked out: boys wore jacket and tie and girls their Sunday dress. After the 1960s, and especially after the 1980s, the high-school prom in many areas became a serious exercise in consumption, with boys renting expensive tuxedos and girls attired in designer gowns. Stretch limousines were hired to drive the prom-goers to expensive restaurants or discos for an all-night extravaganza. You can see that during the earlier proms the teens dressed nicely but didn't spend hundreds of dollars for a one night affair. If you were to study North American economics you'd find the least money is being spent from May to July, and when do proms happen? Usually between May and July. The companies attempted to romanticise prom to make people feel like they needed to spend more money as it was supposedly to best night of their life. It's true people with money will spend more but, even people who spend $120 are still spending money that they otherwise wouldn't because our consumerist society has convinced them they need to spend money on prom or they won' have a good time. In general the clothes that people wear to prom are are made in third world countries and I can guarantee you a large percentage of them are made in sweatshop and slave like conditions. Just another example of the poor getting screwed by the rich. The halls also likely on the outskirts of town and land was destroyed to put them there, just another example of consumerism destroying our world. What's wrong with workers getting paid more? They do all the hard work while shareholders make the money and then decide they want more money so they cut costs by cutting jobs. What happened to people before the profit? If an individual brings more money in should they get increased pay and benefits? It only seems fair. The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is caused by capitalism, and prom is an agent of capitalism and that's why it's harmful to the planet. You also said "I disagree on teens having a better memory knowing that their money is going to the homeless youth finding shelter". Let me ask you this what will most people remember more, donating to a worthy cause and changing a life or being on a hot crowded dance floor with a bunch of people you rarely spoke to for four years followed by a person blacking out from too much drinking? Though the optimist might think people will donate money instead of spending it on one night, I have to believe that number of people would donate more it they didn't spend so much on prom.

True but you also have to remember those who don't go to prom are often told they'll regret it later and sometimes even ridiculed which just isn't right. Like Morrie Swartz said "The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it". I don't buy the culture beacue it doesn't work and I hope that other people can do the same.
Just_another_bored_mind

Pro

Oh boy is this an exhilarating debate, or at least to me.

So fewer teens will be exposed to drugs if we cancel prom is what you are suggesting. What about winter formal? What about Sadie Hawkins? What about Grad night? Perhaps even homecoming? To cancel prom, we might as well cancel the rest of the school events that teens might be expose to peer pressure. Perhaps we shouldn't have a public school system and everyone should be home schooled to prevent our younger generation from the drugs and alcohol until they are of age. As ridiculous as it seems, if prom isn't the "big night" for teens, then what will be the highlight of High school? Something will replace it and then there will be another debate about that perhaps. Where I am from, the US, the drinking age is 21. Frat parties almost always have alcohol and underage teens who haven't drank in High School will most likely drink in college. From my personal experience, everyone I know from High School drank in college before the age of 21. Even I am guilty of breaking the law and had some beers in college. I know that the cold war had direct relations with the Vietnam war, Korean war, and the Cuban missile crisis. That is why I stated that there were no "direct" wars between the US and Russia which still proves my point. The point that you brought up about it being the bloodiest century is hard to prove. Yes with a greater amount of people would allow for a bloodier century. But then the world population grew from 1.6 billion to 6.5 billion, which is a growth of ~400 percent. However thinking of it as a ratio according to experts and estimations brings it to about 1.6% (adjusted to population growth) of the world population died that century. However what about all the wars that happen before that? We don't know the exact count of the deaths because no one recorded it. Its hard to say what the bloodiest century is at all. We all experience the prom differently as our previous statements have shown and I would argue with it being even close to "50-50." Then again, not all after parties are as bad as you think. The after party I attended was at a mini mansion with a giant pool with the owners of the house (my buddy's pad) still there to watch over everyone. Was there alcohol or drugs? The answer is no except for the cigarettes that the my buddy's dad was puffing on. To your concern of me not responding to people engaging in sex after prom, my official response (although late now) would be that people have sex regardless of just prom. Some people want to wait for the right time to have sex. When is the right time to have sex? Some say when your old 18. Others say when your in college. I say its when its whenever you want as long as its safe/using protection and of course consensual. Those people who you do choose to have sex after prom probably have been planning it already.

"If you were to study North American economics you'd find the least money is being spent from May to July, and when do proms happen? Usually between May and July." So now your contradicting yourself. No I haven't studied North American economics too much in depth, so I cannot tell you truthfully without lying when the least money or the most money is being spent. I would ASSUME late November and December would be were the most busiest time of the year. Our consumerist society has always been to advertise and convince consumers to spend money. That's what our society does, this is not just prom. You see this everywhere, like going to the movies. You usually don't go to the movies by yourself. You can, but you usually don't. Most of the time you go with someone. But let's stop the movies because society pressures the male to buy expensive snacks at the concession stand for their date. If you don't, you would have a bad time. Is that true? Do you really have a bad time? NO! It's what you make of the situation. The media does its job and advertise. You are complaining about globalization when you talk about these sweatshops and slave-like conditions. But guess what? America has many things made from third world countries. This doesn't pertain to just prom, about to our society. Why let prom take the blame? Your concern about our natural land being removed for these "halls" is just part of the population growing. They don't just build halls on the outskirts of town by themselves. Businesses that cut costs in general produce worst quality items than those who don't. You get what you pay for. If you want to buy something made from workers that make more income, the products cost more. It's simple economics. The companies are bringing the lower prices to the consumer (ie. Ferrari vs Civic). What will people remember most you ask? I still say prom with a person blacking out.

Prom is just another event. Like Albert Einstein said. "All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual." If they don't go, they learn to go on with life.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by nyyfan 4 years ago
nyyfan
What is the debate about? Is Pro just supposed to explain the importance of prom, or why it is necessary or what?
Posted by Callen13 4 years ago
Callen13
someone could argue that it's good for the economy, i guess...
Posted by Callen13 4 years ago
Callen13
I think it can be fun. But People make such a HUGE deal out of petty things like this that they turn into something I'd rather avoid. High Schools a joke to begin with.
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
Apparently.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
You're just arguing that prom is bad?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
listeningtothepeopleJust_another_bored_mindTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con couldn't prove that half of the problems with prom actually occurred, and his grammar was attrocious.
Vote Placed by CalvinAndHobbes 4 years ago
CalvinAndHobbes
listeningtothepeopleJust_another_bored_mindTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to prove the negative consequences correlated with prom are caused by prom.