Should Children Have the same rights as adults?
Thanks Pro, I’ll begin by presenting my arguments. Pro defines children as citizens up to the age of 19, and as low as 11. This is a large group with much variance – I would not define somebody who is 19 as a child, so I ask Pro to define exactly what ages he means in the next round.
C1: Children are not adults
Children are not as responsible as adults. They have developing brains and just can’t be trusted to operate in regular society. If we were to give children the same rights as adults, I hope that Pro is morally fine with seeing 12 year olds binge drinking and smoking cigarettes.
We have chosen as a society and as a governing body to not allow children to say, operate heavy machinery, or to go gamble, or place large amounts of money on the stock market or be trusted to educate, feed, or medicate themselves. Children are much more gullible; much more likely to be tricked or taken advantage of, and they do not have the physicality to resist physical assault. There is no secret conspiracy here; children don’t even have a proper education until they finish grade school. How can we expect them to operate like adults?
Teens and young adults aged 15-24 are the highest group for motor vehicle deaths, also the same age group that currently has half of all the sexually transmitted diseases reported in America. Among those car accidents, about half were caused by driving while intoxicated. Alcohol and teen rape, assault and deaths are unfortunately linked closely. 700,000 people said in 2013 that they had been assaulted by another teen who was drinking, and almost 100,000 said they had been raped by a teen that had been drinking. Teens and young adults are arrested more often, commit more crimes, and are leading several pretty embarrassing statistical categories, like vandalism.
We can’t give them the same rights because they can’t be trusted like adults can. Children aged 11-19 have developing brains that are scientifically just not able to function the same way an adult brain can. Parents need to be able to parent their children, not to have children be equal.
C2: Children still have essential rights
When Pro says that kids don’t have rights, on some level I don’t know quite what he means. Children still have rights like freedom of speech, religion, etc. If they are truly in a family that is abusing them or not giving them rights they deserve they are in a position to get the authorities involved. Children have the right to a non-abusive household, and can be moved to foster homes – and in fact sometimes are, as I’m sure Pro will agree.
Pro will have to define exactly what rights children don’t have – the ones he wants them to have.
You need to say WHY all children appear to be ultimately useless, Children are humans as well and if we gave them the right to roam the world without adults holding them back, they might learn and evolve much faster, and make the next generation a lot more intelligent.
“You need to say WHY all children appear to be ultimately useless”
At no point did I say that; that’s a strawman argument. Children are of course valuable, and they have essential rights, however, until they are of legal age, they are developing both physically and mentally. There are so many reasons why we can’t allow children to be considered legal adults, and most of the reasons I gave in the last round have gone uncontested.
Studies have been done since at least the 1960’s that show that children without proper parental involvement are less happy, less productive, get worse grades, and are much more likely to get into crime. The University of Chicago, for example, did a study in over 100 schools and found that in the schools with strong parental involvement, 40% showed “substantial improvement in math” plus a 42% “substantial improvement in reading”. Familyfacts.org, using several academic studies (in this case from The National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health) found that teens who had absent parents were considerably more likely to fall into one or more of eight categories: “emotional distress; suicidal thoughts and behaviors; violence; use of 3 substances (cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana); and 2 types of sexual behaviors (age of sexual debut and pregnancy history)”.
Another study by Wendy Barnard found that kids with absent parents were less likely to graduate school, less likely to earn a GED, etc. Another study by Marjory R. Gray and Laurence Steinberg found that children and teens without proper parental love and/or supervision/involvement were much more likely to development poor self-esteem, internal imbalances, and higher susceptibility to negative peer pressure. Another study by Gary F. Jensen found that boys without relationships to fathers were much more likely to engage in juvenile delinquency, had warped perceptions of “trouble in the neighborhood”, and had were more likely to be fine with breaking the law.
There are countless studies that attest to this, and they are not hard to find. If we gave children “the right to roam the world without adults holding them back”, they wouldn’t do very well, according to all the studies I have found. Children without a proper education, with developing brains, without life experience, without physical ability, and with hormones that are very likely to warp their sense of logic won’t do well providing food for themselves. They’d have to be working a 9-5 every day of the week, making rent, paying taxes, making sure to keep some kind of fitness, watching out for fraudsters, criminals, etc. It would be a disaster.
We must keep in mind that many 12 year olds find regular family life hard; in which they have all meals made for them, all bills paid for them, their health, mentally and physically cared for, their level of actual hard work kept very low… they still find grade school very challenging! How will they do in a high pressure work environment, or in real life?
The entirety of C2.
Developing brains, etc.
Teenage delinquency (which would undoubtedly not get better without caring parents).
Children smoking/drinking/operating heavy machinery etc.
Yes, now, just think about this- If we let kids roam the world without us holding them back, don't you think they'd get as smart as an adult very quickly? Tell me, in your own words, please don't just send me to studies done 200 years ago- Why children, as humans, shouldn't have the same rights as us (please quit it with the links)
“If we let kids roam the world without us holding them back, don't you think they'd get as smart as an adult very quickly?”
What are you talking about when you say that? What does that even mean – “roam the world”? Do you mean take part in society and have jobs and pay taxes and operate like an adult, or are you honestly pushing some kind of Tom Sawyer dream world in which all kids are set free and go on adventures? Do I think they’d get as smart as an adult very quickly? No, of course I don’t. That’s why we have public education. They don’t learn how to add and subtract and spell and read by “roaming the world”.
“Tell me, in your own words, please don't just send me to studies done 200 years ago”
A) The studies were almost all done in the past ten years.
B) Telling you in my own words is exactly what I have been doing. If you ever expect to win a debate you will have to back up what you say by using properly sourced studies.
“please quit it with the links”
They aren’t links. They are sources to academic studies – you don’t have to read them, they are for proving my points are backed by academia.
“In my own words”: Children, as I have consistently been saying, require parents to build character. They require public education to learn how to do the basic tasks society will throw at them. As I have shown, when parents are absent, delinquency goes up, and ability goes down. Plus, the moral problem of letting a child smoke and drink and gamble money is problematic – something you have been avoiding. Again, there are plenty of points I made that haven’t been directly challenged.
64bithuman forfeited this round.
ZBestDebater forfeited this round.
I apologize for missing a round!
I’ll refer readers to the numerous studies I’ve posted above.