Social issues provide for good speech topics, namely because of their controversial nature and arguments that cross into politics, religion and health care. Years of government data, statistics and research also help to give speakers good information to analyze changes and trends. Speeches on social issues can inform, persuade and give an opinion about a given topic.
Speech topics about social issues and the family include the family structure, working parents and relationships between family members. In speeches about the family structure, topics can include gay marriage, civil unions, foster families and adoptions. Speeches about working parents can cover issues such as latch-key kids, nannies and parents maximizing time with their children. Interpersonal relationships between family members often create issues such as friction between siblings, stepchildren, what to do when grandparents need long-term care and custody disputes. Topics can also focus on history of the family unit, the effects of women going back to work and women who earn more than their male counterparts.
Social issues as they relate to crime can focus on homicide numbers, shootings and drug-related crime. Looking into the root causes of crime, analyzing socioeconomic factors in repeat offenders and addressing prisoner rehabilitation can all use government data and research to raise questions and make points about the topic. Speech topics can also include crime prevention programs such as telling children to say no to strangers and to avoid drugs and alcohol; prevention can also mean helping a friend in an abusive relationship or reporting criminal activity. Investigating how much the government spends on police training, which cities have the highest murder numbers and the battle over gun control legislation also make good speeches on social issues.
The ongoing health care debate centers on patient care and a government-run system that often means many political viewpoints. Issues such as physician-assisted suicide, bioethics, abortion, medical malpractice, plastic surgery and choosing the sex of a baby all involve a raging debate on both sides of the aisle between doctors, politicians and the church. Many strong feelings also exist about a government-run health care system with many for it and many against it, leaving speakers to sometimes distinguish fact from fiction. Other topics include the shortage of doctors and nurses and the increase of outpatient services.
Media effects such as media violence, media as an educational learning tool and body image all focus on the social side of a field. In topics on media violence, speakers can address what children view in movies, how kids copy fight scenes from video games and which television shows display graphic scenes. In topics about media education, speakers can discuss how students learn languages from television shows or how people learn about current issues thanks to radio talk shows. Speeches about body image can address issues about the need to be thin and photo manipulation software.