The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

Teenagers need better role models

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/21/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,883 times Debate No: 25754
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




Hi... In class I am doing a debate and the moot is teenagers need better role models... I am the negative team(against it) so it will be really hard... can you give me some tips so I can overthrow the affirmative (for it) team?


Teenagers will refer to people generally between the ages of 13 and 18. What is a good or bad role model will be subjectively based of course. However, qualities which are generally recognized as being good qualities in a role model will be things like independent thinking, creativity, responsibility, innovation, community-mindedness, etc. The Con will argue that the current predominant role models for teenagers are good while the Pro will argue the opposite.


(i)- Some dominant role models held by today's youth include Kobe Bryant (athlete), Kate Perry (singer), Lady Gaga (?), George Clooney (actor), Angelina Jolie (actress), etc. Obviously there are marginal cases of teenagers holding people like Ronald Reagan or Bill Gates to be role models but they aren't the norm. For the purposes of discussing teenage role models in the general sense, people held as role models by a large number of teenagers will be discussed.

(ii)- There are numerous public figures and prominent people (past and present) who would be much better role model for teenagers to have then those who are held at current such as Thomas Paine (philosopher), Bertrand Russell (philosopher, social critic), Winston Churchill (former British PM), Noam Chomsky (linguist, social critic, philosopher), etc.

(iii)- Teenagers ought to have as good of role models as possible. Therefore, since the current dominant teenage role models aren't optimal, better ones ought to replace them. Since teenagers requires the best role models, they will always need better ones so long as their role models are not absolutely optimal. It is clearly the case that people like Lady Gaga and Kanye West are not absolutely optimal role models.

I'll pass it back over to Con now.
Debate Round No. 1


Children choose their own role models, it's the way they are raised which determines what they respect and find admirable in people. Role models aren't necessarily famous people either, they can be anyone that the child respects or admires. It is also a matter of opinion on what a 'bad' role model is and what a 'good' role model is and everybody has their own opinion on what that is.

There are plenty of positive role models in the world for young people, however the advertisements that are geared toward the future generation are to turn them into mindless consumers. They have to become the next cog on the wheel of our consumer driven society, if not society itself would have to change, the economy would have to undergo an unprecedented overhaul. Add to that a pitiful education system in this county and you have a generation of dumbed down money spending celebrity following drones. Parents in this country need to take responsibility for what their children are involved, read, watch, play, you know parenting.

To be honest, I don't know many children in reality that actually do look up to sports stars and Hollywood celebrities. Boys tend to look up to their fathers (if they believe their father is a good man to look up to obviously) or children look up to older siblings. Alot of kids don't even have role models. And I know a small amount have role models such as Nelson Mandela. I think some people just take young people for granted.


(Deconstruction of Con Case)


I pointed this out in the beginning of my R1. Obviously what one counts as a "good" or "bad" role model will be ultimately subjective. However, in the context of communicative argumentation some common standard has to be in agreement between the debaters. Moreover, the resolution itself necessitates the use of some value system in choosing between good or bad role models. Consider the term "better" in the resolution. Obviously no debate could take place if the terms "better" or "worse" were completely meaningless. My own common sense definition of a good role model in conjunction with the resolutions implication of some standard should lead to the acceptance of the general standard of independent thinking, creativity, responsibility, innovation, community-mindedness, etc.


I'm not sure what exactly this has to do with the debate at hand. Whether advertisements are turning children into zombie drones is rather beside the point. Furthermore, Con seems to admit implicitly in this point that the current general role models for teenagers today aren't optimal. If our current "consumerist" society really is turning children into "dumbed down money sending celebrity following drones" then it wouldn't seem like too much of a stretch to assume that the role models that are being pumped into their minds are closer to Lady Gaga then to Thomas Paine. Therefore the consumerism point works in Pro's favor.

-Parental Role Models

Con's next point is to argue that celebrities aren't looked up to as much as I say and that most boys (what of girls?) simply look up to their fathers or children will look up to siblings. However, I refer readers to my point in R1 that we should only discuss certain people that are held generally as role model. Tommy Coppola might look up to his dad Joey but I'm assuming the general teenage population doesn't. Therefore it's in our interest to find common denominators found all throughout society rather then marginal cases. Moreover, a study found the influence of athletes as role models almost as high as that of parents[1][2] so the point is moot anyways.

Stepping beside that though, my point still remains. The role models of teenagers are still generally sub-optimal. You might think it natural for a boy to look up to his father but when looking at what actually makes up a good role model, parents are much too fluid to be taken as a general rule. Not every (or even most) parents are innovative, creative, and all the other qualities of a good role model. The adoption of various people as role models (for instance Winston Churchill or Thomas Paine) would beat parents in the sense that there's no guarantee a parent will be a good role model.

-Marginal Cases

Con lastly points out that some teenagers will look up to people like Nelson Mandela. I freely admit this. However, the resolution uses the term teenagers in a general sense. The resolution isn't "Some teenager need better role models", it is clearly meant to take the role models who are norms and analyze whether they're good or bad, not just look at the few teenagers who have good ones. Refer to my R1 where I explained this point.

(Defense of Pro Case)

I'd also like to point out that my own argument regarding the need for optimal role models has not been contested by Con. Therefore, since the majority of teenagers do not hold wholly optimal role models, the resolution is upheld.


Debate Round No. 2


krishnanz10 forfeited this round.


Extend refutations. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF by con and better arguments by pro.