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10 Debatable Topics That Will Get Anyone Talking

Looking for great debatable topics? Try one of these quotes and concepts. They're guaranteed to spark a lively discussion.

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This is one of the ultimate debatable topics. According to a University of Michigan study, having a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for women… a wife saves men from about an hour of housework a week.

2 / 10

Online dating

Medical Daily reports that research shows women prefer to date men who drive fast cars, have hairy faces yet smooth bodies, and speak in a breathy voice. It also cited a 2008 study of 382 college students that showed only 4 percent of women would be in a relationship with a partner who’s shorter than them. A 2014 study confirmed that women still prefer to date tall men.

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phoneBranislav Nenin/Shutterstock


Denis Leary writes in Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid: “This country—including you and most of the people related to you by birth or marriage or both—is populated by beings who have been so blessed for so long that they have become almost completely immune to any interests other than their own.” Ouch. Whatever your take on the matter, be sure to avoid these phrases guaranteed to make your argument worse.

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EducationJacob Lund/Shutterstock

Free education

Drug use and sexually transmitted diseases among American teenagers persist at alarming rates. And U.S. teens aren’t the scholars some of their international peers are.

“We have to end adolescence as a social experiment,” Newt Gingrich writes in BusinessWeek. “We tried it. It failed. It’s time to move on … Children rapidly assuming the roles and responsibilities of adults would yield enormous benefit to society.”

Students who finish high school a year or two early, the former House Speaker says, should qualify for a year or two of free college tuition. This is one of the most debatable topics concerning kids. so parents, don’t be surprised if you don’t agree.

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Birthday dinners

This is probably one of the most debatable topics in your circle of friends. “People started celebrating their birthdays by inviting friends out to dinner, typically at a moderately fancy restaurant (then splitting the tab and paying for the guest of honor),” John Swansburg writes in Slate. “Seems like a nice idea, the birthday dinner. It is not. It is a tedious, wretched affair. It is also an extravagantly expensive one. In these wintry economic times, we need to scale back. I hereby propose that the birthday dinner go the way of the $4 cup of coffee, the liar’s mortgage, and the midsize banking institution.”

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credit-cardFarknot Architect/Shutterstock


A study by Princeton University researchers found that a person’s happiness decreases if their annual income falls below $75,000, but their happiness stays the same no matter how much more than $75,000 they make. So, can money really buy happiness? Put it up for debate, and use these topics to make your argument more productive.

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“Economists mostly failed to predict the worst economic crisis since the 1930s,” Peter Coy writes in BusinessWeek. “Now they can’t agree on how to solve it. People are starting to wonder: What good are economists, anyway?” For that matter, you could also debate whether other professions are increasingly becoming unnecessary.

8 / 10

New Jersey

Paul Rudnick wrote in I Shudder“Whenever I stumble over my own feet, or blurt out a thought that makes no sense at all, or leave the house wearing one pattern too many, I always think, It’s OK I’m from New Jersey. I love New Jersey, because it’s not just an all-purpose punch line, but probably a handy legal defense, as in, ‘Yes, I shot my wife because I thought she was Bigfoot, but I’m from New Jersey.’” Don’t miss these 10 quotes that will stop any argument in its tracks.

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Denis Kuvaev/Shutterstock

Cell phones

More and more kids are coming to school with smartphones. Some say this causes distractions that could interfere with learning. Middle school teacher Jose Luis Vilson told WBUR that a ban on smartphones would give them the instinct to rebel. “Instead of trying to push it out of our schools, why don’t we make it an integral part of our schools and have kids be more responsible with it?” he said. “And why not make those tools that they have in their pockets into tools for learning?”

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hands typing on laptop keyboardA, nanotechnology, business close-up Dmitry A/Shutterstock

The Internet

The average American spends about 24 hours online every week, reports. Are humans becoming too dependent on the Internet and technology, or is this much screen time necessary to live in the digital age? Pose the question to your friends and get ready for some impassioned answers. Next, check out these easy steps to win a debate with someone who is always right.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest