When you think of hazing the average person thinks of irresponsible college fraternity’s.
But what is hazing really? Hazing is not just for college fraternity’s. The literal definition of
hazing is to persecute or harass with meaningless, difficult, or humiliating tasks. Now think
about that, things that fall into that category are the military, athletic teams and even society as a
whole. I’m going to discuss they ways society is promoting hazing and the steps we can take to
Hazing has been around longer than just since it became popular with fraternities. The
military has been performing difficult and humiliating task since it has been around. You may
categorize it as training but it also falls under hazing. When a new recruit has to go through boot
camp and experience hazing. Marines would perform a ritual known as “the gauntlet” where the
marines would knee the new recruits in the thigh to leave a literal “blood stripe.” This does the
new marine no good, it is just performed because it is a ritual. In the military circles hazing is
sometimes use to test new recruits to test the under stress and hostility. Even though hazing can
not bring the actual feel f combat it can put recruits in physical and mental control out of their
control causing the weak to fail. There is a problem with this approach when the superiors do to
much hazing it can cause mutiny or for them to break or to desert in combat. They can haze or
test them to make them stronger to stay together during life threatening situations. But if they do
it too much it will cause units to break and could lead to fragging.
Athletic teams fall under this category too. Parents put their children into sports not
knowing what goes on behind the scenes because their child may be scared to tell them of the
harassment. Over 325,000 athletes at more than 1,000 National Collegiate Athletic Association
schools participated in intercollegiate sports during 1998-99. Of these athletes: Doctors say that
hazing victims sometimes hide the real reason of their injuries due to shame or trying to protect
those who caused them harm. Protecting their abusers, hazing victims can be compared to
victims of domestic violence.
-More than a quarter of a million experienced some form of hazing to join a college athletic team.
- One in five was subjected to unacceptable and potentially illegal hazing. They were kidnapped
beaten or tied up and abandoned. They were forced to commit crimes- destroying property,
making prank phone calls harassing others.
-Half were required to participate in drinking contests or alcohol-related hazing
-Two in five consumed alcohol on recruitment visits even before enrolling
- Two- thirds were subjected to humiliating hazing, such as being yelled or sworn at, fored to
wear embarrassing clothing or forced to deprive themselves of sleep, food or personal hygiene.
- One in five participate exclusively in positive imitations, such as team trips or ropes courses.
Studies show that football players are most at risk for potentially dangerous or illegal hazing.
Is society really promoting hazing is the real question. Hazing does extend just beyond
college fraternities and is experienced by boys/men and girls/women in school groups, university
organizations. Hazing is a complex social problem that is shaped by power dynamics operating
in a group or organization within a particular context.
Hazing is being promoted by daily life in ways are so noticeable that society has come to
accept it. For instance “clicks” in schools all it is a group of people wanting to exert power over
the other. These fraternities or groups think that it forms a “brotherhood” it’s the same sense as
the military tactics of weeding out the weak. If the new person can’t make it through what
everyone in the fraternity went through then they don’t deserve to be in it.
Hazing and homophobia go hand in hand when it comes to athletics. Hazing is a form of
control and when it is implemented. When those participating individuals feel like they now
belong into the group once they have been “initiated.” This exploitation has become a
humiliation tool that is most frequently used and it causes bodily harm. Allowing this to exist in
athletics only deteriorates team cohesion, trust, respect and enjoyment of the game. What fun is
hazing anyways? Just because you were hazed doesn’t make it right for you to haze the next
group. Grow up and become the bigger and better person. It doesn’t make you a stronger team it
can just make your teammates despise you.
There are visible and hidden consequences to hazing. We all have different backgrounds.
Some call this the hidden harm. What may seem like no big deal to you it may trigger something
in someone very differently from you. For instance if someone had a bad past with mental
illness, mental, verbal and physical abuse, alcohol or drugs could trigger those issues for them.
Basically everyone is like an elevator and you don’t know what button you’re going to push it
could end you up on the wrong floor.
Living in a society with a vast amount of knowledge we have the opportunity for hazing
to be taken to a different level. Many people are aware of the physical harm it can cause or the
legal ramifications of hazing but a large majority of the world is unaware of the mental harm of
hazing. Most hazing events include experiences that trigger mental health problems in a short
time span, leading to a relapse of a mental disorder. Because of this it can cause a breakdown so
massive that it can take years if ever to recover from just one hazing incident .
Just on college campuses alone in theUnited Statesin one year the statistics prove this.
Each year, one in four college students suffers from some diagnosable mental disorder (NHM,
2007). About half of students report feeling so depressed that they can barely function (ACHA,
2004). Suicide is the second highest leading cause of death on college campuses (Haas, 2004).
Over forty-four percent of college students report binge-drinking and about two thirds have a
substance abuse disorder and with that they have mental health issues.
Before I discuss some of the physical problems with hazing I want ot give some examples of hazing:
- The elephant walk is a ritual that requires the pledges to mimic the procession of elephants,
commonly seen at circuses. As the elephants do, the pledges hold each other’s tails and trunks–
metaphorically speaking that is. The male pledges line-up in a straight line and walk as they hold
each other’s anuses and genitals.
-Cocaine or a dildo in front of all her “sisters” or take a hit of cocaine is another ritual so its
either your morals… or your morals? Or your common sense vs… your common sense? It’s a
toss-up, but an illicit drug that can cause permanent brain damage and is HIGHLY illegal or
sexual, social, public humiliation? Which would you choose?
-Water overdoses, where they are forced to drink water from a 5 gallon jug one story a twenty-
one year old drank as much as he could while he was having ice cold water thrown on him
caused him to urinate and defecate on himself.
The physical effects of these things can end someone’s life. There has been cases
after cases of a “initiation” gone bad. A survey of death events linked to bullying or hazing
reported in English newspapers from January 1, 1950 through December 31, 2007. The search
was based on the review of majorUnited Statesand world publications, written in English, using
the terms “bullying, hazing, ragging, and death.” Within the last 57 years, at least 250 reported
cases of deaths were linked to bullying, hazing, or ragging, reported in English language
newspapers from around the world. Of these news stories 76% contained an alleged history that
the victim was bullied. Twenty-two percent of these reports were associated with suspected
hazing or ragging. In only four cases two percent of those who died had a history of bullying