The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Let's make 16 years of age, the legal age of "adulthood"

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/13/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 618 times Debate No: 93678
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
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At 16 you can drive a car, which is a VERY responsible behavior, why not vote, drink, and have all legal rights at the age of 16.


I accept. I would like my opponent to present opening arguments next round so we can begin the debate.

Debate Round No. 1


16 year olds are more educated than most Americans, and since they always get charged as adults when they commit crimes, might as well just call them adults.


Seeing how small my opponent's initial arguments are, I wonder why my opponent gave me 10k characters to work with.

I will present opening arguments for this round. They will be two simple arguments.

1. The brain is not fully developed at 16.

There is lots of science to back up that the brain is done developing around the mid 20s, but I won't bring that evidence in unless my opponent thinks it necessary. It is nearly a commonly known fact at this point.

This fact means that 16 year olds are not as mature as 18 year olds. 18 year olds have a huge two year gap of brain development that goes far beyond what 16 year olds are at. This is because some people can be done developing their brains by 18. But no one is done by 16.

WHY IT MATTERS: Driving does not require much brain power once you get used to it so it doesn't automatically translate into letting 16 year olds do activities. Also 16 year olds may be in school, but my opponent fails to admit that 18 year olds are also in school. Not only that but 16 year olds can be dropped out of school along with 18 year olds. So in the long run, brain development is a good scientific reason to not trust 16 year olds with legal adulthood.

2. The 16 may be more educated, but is also more influenced heavily.

What I mean by this is that since 16 year olds are still developing their opinions, their school teachers heavily influence those opinions. If all their school teachers are democrats then guess what, they have been politically brainwashed. That means that if you let them vote, you are introducing another non-critical thinker to the political vote. That is immature and dumb in my opinion. It's hard enough now to get some adults to think critically.

Also 16 year olds can be educated to use guns to kill normal people. Or they can be educated to have lots of sex and possibly rape people later on. The list of bad things they can be influenced to do goes on a boils down to this.

If you make a 16 year old a legal adult, giving them that large list of liberties (did I mention credit card debt?) Will only lead to large abuses of those liberties and increased young adult crime. So you will have more people in our prisons who are lets face it, still immature.

With that I await my opponent's arguments.

Debate Round No. 2


Like I said before, MOST 16 years ALREADY drink and smoke and take drugs and commit crimes and get CHARGED as an ADULT, so IF you're going to TREAT them as an adult on the CRIMINAL side of things, you might as well let them have the POSITIVE side of being an adult like VOTING and DRINKING and SMOKING, again MOST 16 years are SMARTER that MANY adults


It seems I must present evidence for my opponent to see that their claims are false.

1. Drugs, not everyone that is a teen does them.

According to this website,

"The best way to find out if high school kids do drugs is to ask them. That's exactly what NIDA does every year in its annual Monitoring the Future study. This survey of more than 46,000 teens—8th, 10th, and 12th graders to be exact—showed that 13% of 8th graders, 30% of 10th graders, and 40% of 12th graders say they have used a drug at least once in the past year.

So, what is the most commonly used illegal drug?—Marijuana. More than a quarter of 10th graders say they have tried it in the past year. You can see the numbers for each major drug type in this report (PDFR10;2.25 MB).

But, to answer the question, not that many kids in high school do drugs, although marijuana is the most common. Even though it may sometimes seem like "everyone's doing it," know that not everyone really is."

This is according to a nationally accredited drug prevention center. So obviously, not ALL teens do drugs. Claim 1 is false.

2. Smoking, not all teens do it.

According to the CDC here: The overall percentage of Tobacco users for the 18 and under age group, is 25.3% of all teenagers. Considering that is only 1/4 of all teenagers, clearly not ALL teens smoke. Claim 2 is false.

3. Drinking, is everyone really doing it?

By now the answer I give should be obvious, but no not every teen is drinking.

According to Web MD here:

"More and more teens are choosing not to drink alcohol. Less than 10% of teens under age 14 has drunk alcohol in the past month. For teens ages 15 to 17, less than 30% has drunk alcohol in the past month. If somebody says you need to drink because "everybody" is doing it, don't believe it. Even though teenage drinking may seem common or even normal, it isn't."

So clearly claim 3 that ALL teens drink is false.

4. Charging, is it always being adult level?

Well according to PBS, my opponent is correct that more and more children are being charged as adults. Let me clarify for a minute here however.

When a teenager commits a violent crime, it is only reasonable to give them a harsh sentence in relation to the severity of the crime. For some of them, that harsh sentence can mean charging them as an adult. This is called FAIRNESS in the Justice System's outlook on teenagers. Because let's not forget, the teenagers in question are criminals, and are not exactly mature human beings. So just being charged as an adult does not mean one can suddenly vote.

According to PBS here:

"During the 1960s, civil libertarians began to raise concerns about the progressive era model of juvenile justice. They argued that despite rhetoric to the contrary, juveniles within the system were not actually being rehabilitated, but rather warehoused in institutions not much different from an adult prisons. If juveniles were going to be treated as adults in the sentencing phase, the advocates argued, they should also be accorded the due process protections afforded to adults in court. They also challenged the broad discretion given to juvenile court judges. In a series of rulings during the 1960s and 1970s, The U.S. Supreme Court agreed; "There is evidence, in fact, that there may be grounds for concern that the child receives the worst of both worlds: that he gets neither the protections accorded to adults nor the solicitous care and regenerative treatment postulated for children," wrote Justice Abe Fortas in Kent v. United States. In decisions such as Kent, In re Gault and In re Winship, the Supreme Court ruled that juveniles must be afforded due process protections including: formal hearings when facing waiver to criminal court; protection against self-incrimination; the rights to notice of charges, counsel, and cross-examination of witnesses; and adherence to the "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" judicial standard."

WHAT THIS MEANS, is that Teens may be given adult protections when charged as such. It does not translate to voting, nor should it.

In Conclusion, my opponent's claims are false, false, false, and partially true but missing the point. As such do not listen to my opponent in the weighty matter of who should vote.

With that I eagerly await my opponent's arguments.


Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by migmag 2 years ago
You make my point for me, some kids as young as 12 are charged as adults. I don't think I want to argue for making 12 years "adults" but 15 or 16 is reasonable. While I agree that not "all" minors drink/smoke, many of those who actually don't SAY they do to be "cool" or popular. While we could argue over whether a 15 or 16 year old has a fully developed brain (or body for that matter) the point is there is little as serious as driving a car. We've allowed 14 to 16 year olds to drive cars for many decades, now it's time to either STOP Trying them as adults for ANY crime or if they are considered "adult" enough to be put in JAIL for the rest of their lives, their adult enough to vote, and drink and smoke. Drinking and smoking ISNT "good" for ANY of us, I'm all for BANNING Tobacco and Alcohol, but that's another topic. WHO SAYS high school students couldn't figure out Taxes if they were taught how they work? They can figure out CALCULUS, then sure can figure out Taxes! Adults can be JUST as "wreckless" as teenagers!!! I ABSOLUTELY Trust Teens to VOTE, they are MORE educated than MOST Republicans!!!! Tell me you don't want to argue if they can "think logically", because "religious" people do NOT think logically in many people's opinion, I mean they base EVERYTHING on their "god" that we have NO scientific evidence EVER existed or EVER performed "miracles".
Posted by 42lifeuniverseverything 2 years ago
All those points are terrific IttyBitty thanks for sharing!
Posted by IttyBittyGaybie 2 years ago
I just want to comment on a few points included in the post below.
1. Some kids under the age of 16 are also charged as an adult depending on the seriousness of the crime. For example, if a child goes around randomly shooting people and hitting most, they will most likely be charged as an adult due to how bad the crime was.
2. Not all minors drink/smoke, for starters. Also, the brain isn't completely developed at 16, so letting them drink and smoke as they please will allow they brains to sustain more damage than a person over the age of 21.
3. If 16 year olds are more educated, how come they don't know how to pay taxes yet? How come a majority still drink and smoke and don't take care of their bodies? How come are they reckless more so than an adult? Teens at that age judge things solely on social media now a days, due to the fact that it's the only thing they ever do. Do you really trust them to vote when their opinions are clearly based off of news reports and Instagram posts rather than actual facts? Sure, they are smart, but they are influenced too heavily to think logically completely on their own. Most opinions aren't even theirs sometimes.
Posted by migmag 2 years ago
the point I was making is that 16 years ALWAYS get CHARGED as an adult ANYWAY when they commit a crime, so they are NOT "protected" by being a minor most of the time anyway, and since they ALL seem to drink or smoke ANYWAY, why not let them do those thing LEGALLY. And since they are MORE educated that MOST Americans, let them VOTE too!
Posted by yellow15 2 years ago
bad idea the world doesn't need more matureness which is evilness, let the young be young don't make them be older faster. responsibilities are worries and stress.
Posted by migmag 2 years ago
The reality I that teens are drinking, teens are VERY educated (more educated that many older americans) on top of that MOST teens are TRIED as Adults when it comes to the court system, so why not just make them full adults
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