When most people hear the term "hazing" it brings up images of fraternities, or they just don’t know what it is. In even though hazing occurs in many places including fraternities and sororities, the military, athletic teams and student organizations (marching bands) at both the high school and collegiate levels. Many believe that hazing in fraternities and in general are nothing more than silly tricks and harmless pranks like those from the 1980s hit comedy Animal House. The realities of hazing are severely different than the witty images many people associate with them. Hazing is an abuse of power that can have weakening and life-threatening consequences. According to the research presented by Hank Nuwer (1990), journalist and author of several books related to hazing, hazing has been associated with more than fifty deaths in college fraternities and countless more physical injuries including paralysis, not to mention the devastating emotional effects that can result for so many young men and women.
The most commonly asked questions about hazing in fraternities are, why do young men and women participate in such horrific and life-threatening activities just to belong to a group? This seems like a reasonable question--but it reveal the lack of understanding about the dynamics of the hazing process. Many states have passed legislation to forbid hazing; having noticed that the power of peer pressure prevents hazing victims from giving true permission to participate in the activities. Also, many potential members don't realize and are not informed of what the pledging process and hazing will involve because this information is covered in secrecy by the brotherhood. This combined with the increasing har...
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...ited States in all forms of groups, and at colleges that have hazing now as a part of a ritual to get in a fraternity. There should be a “class” that teaches about hazing and have students come in and speak that have hazed and the consequences that they were faced with, and students that have received the hazing activities.
CQ Researcher Hansen, B. (2004, January 9). Hazing. The CQ Researcher Online, 14, 1-24. Retrieved February 18, 2004, from http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher.
How do we stop hazing? February 15, 2004
How do we stop hazing? February 15, 2004
“Woman touts anti-hazing law as late son's legacy.” Jefferson City News Tribune 16 February 2004
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