Teaching social studies in Swedish school involve dealing with many complex and potentially controversial issues. This implies didactical challenges. This article uses a subject comparative perspective to discuss how controversial societal issues have been presented and changed as teaching objects in the social studies subjects in Swedish school years 7 to 9 since 1962. By following curriculum changes over time, the aim is to show similarities and differences between the school subjects of geography, history, religion and civics concerning the role of controversial issues. What controversial issues can be found in the curriculum texts? How are teachers supposed to teach them? What importance for the students are they given? By comparatively answering these research questions this study offers deepened knowledge about the social studies subjects and the role of controversial issues, but also about Swedish curriculum history in general.