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Response to LeftinOH (Reply #32)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 06:04 PM

54. I went through rush, turned down bids & joined a service sorority open to all who wished to join.

If greeks are not elitist snobs, give me one good reason why they so carefully screen out potential members, with multiple levels of rushing?


I've been a staff member (assistant dean of students) at a private university and a faculty member at a public university. I observed many problems with unhealthy competitiveness between houses for rankings, with plagiarizing term papers, with drunken behavior and brawling, hazing and with sexual exploitation and abuse by fraternity members of female "guests" at their weekend orgies. As to sports teams and marching bands - I came across no problems with hazing or drunken behavior with students in those organizations - but with the fraternities, it was nearly every weekend. The worst was when neighboring houses would get in public drunken brawls. It's fair to say I've had plenty of experience and opportunity to observe the greek system on multiple campuses.

But hey, don't take my word for it. Here's what peer reviewed research has proven!

Sorority girls are more likely to have body image issues and dysfunctional eating behaviors than their peers. Women in sororities are more likely to have body image issues and judge themselves on physical appearances than those who did not join a sorority. According to a study in the journal Sex Roles, research showed that first-year students who went through rush had greater signs of dysfunctional eating behavior than those who did not rush, and the body image issues continued for many new members. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302112012.htm

The fraternity or sorority house is the largest on-campus venue for drinking. More students engaged in drinking at fraternity and sorority houses than any other on-campus venue or residence hall. According to the Harvard School of Public Health's College Alcohol Study, 75% of students living in fraternity and sorority houses were heavy drinkers, compared to 45% of students who lived in non-Greek housing and 35% of the overall student population. Students living off campus away from their parents and students living in fraternity or sorority houses had the highest rates of binge drinking. The amount of alcohol consumed per occasion appears to vary by setting (Harford et al., 2002b). Fraternity/sorority parties, off-campus bars, and off-campus parties were the sites of heaviest drinking. Although off-campus parties and bars were most heavily attended, a higher percentage of drinkers engaged in heavy drinking at fraternity/sorority parties
http://archive.sph.harvard.edu/cas/What-We-Learned-08.pdf


Greek members abuse prescription stimulants more than their peers. Fraternity and sorority members are more likely to abuse prescription stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin or Dexedrine than the rest of the student population. According to a 2004 article published in the journal Addiction, white fraternity members and sorority members had the highest rate of abusing non-medical prescription stimulants. Results: The findings revealed that fraternity and sorority members reported a higher rate of nonmedical stimulant use than nonmembers. In addition, regression analyses revealed that higher ratings of anxiety, stress, internal impulsivity, and internal restlessness significantly predicted nonmedical stimulant use.http://jad.sagepub.com/content/17/2/87.abstract


Sorority members are more likely to be victims of sexual assault. Sorority members have a greater risk of being sexually assaulted in college than non-members. According to the National Institute of Justice, nearly a quarter of sexual assault victims are sorority members, whereas only 14 percent of nonvictims were sorority members. These women also face a higher risk for violence in dating relationships than other female students. http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/rape-sexual-violence/campus/Pages/increased-risk.aspx


Fraternity and sorority members suffer more alcohol-related consequences than their peers. According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, fraternities and sororities are more likely to suffer alcohol-related consequences than non-Greek students because they drink more. These consequences range from poor test performance, alcohol-related injuries, arguments, assault, property damage and sexual assault. In fact, Greek leaders and those living in a sorority or fraternity house experience the most negative consequences because of their own drinking habits and those of other students.This document discusses alcohol and other drug use by college fraternity and sorority members.
Abstract: The consequences of drinking on campus each year are 1,400 deaths from alcohol-related causes; 500,000 unintentional injuries; 600,000 assaults; and 70,000 cases of sexual assault and acquaintance rape. Fraternities and sororities are among the key groups that foster this culture of drinking on campus. Their members drink far greater amounts of alcohol, and do so more frequently than other members, setting a norm for heavy drinking. A national study on college drinking found that fraternity members were much more likely to engage in heavy drinking than their non-fraternity peers. Among women, 62.4 percent of sorority members engaged in heavy drinking, compared with 40.9 percent of other female students. Residency in a fraternity or sorority house was associated with even higher rates of heavy drinking. Fraternity and sorority-affiliated athletes are especially heavy drinkers. The largest on-campus venue for drinking is the fraternity or sorority house. Approximately 50 percent of students living in a fraternity or sorority house performed poorly on a test or project, versus about 25 percent of all students. The leaders of fraternities and sororities suffer even greater consequences than other members. One study found that 26.9 percent of fraternity leaders and 18.6 percent of sorority leaders had suffered an alcohol-related injury. Eighty-three percent of residents in a fraternity or sorority house experienced negative consequences due to other studentsí drinking, such as a serious argument, assault, property damage, having to take care of a drunken student, interrupted sleep or study, an unwanted sexual advance, or sexual assault or acquaintance rape. Twenty to 25 percent of college women are victims of an attempted or completed rape during their college careers. Both the social environment of fraternities and sororities and the fact that new students that are already heavy drinkers are more likely to want to join these societies contribute to high rates of alcohol consumption. College and university prevention efforts should target these social societies by promoting alcohol- and drug-free social options; creating an environment that promotes healthy social norms; and limiting alcohol availability and access. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=203748


The environment in fraternity houses contributes to rape culture. Research suggests that fraternity house environments contribute to the problem of rape. Fraternities' group norms and attitudes toward women and sex have led to this rape culture environment. According to research from the journal Sex Roles, individual fraternity men are more likely to display objectifying images of women in their rooms, have supportive attitudes about rape and believe women want to engage in rough sexual acts even if they act disinterested.

"Our examination of men's social fraternities on college and university campuses as groups and organizations led us to conclude that fraternities are a physical and sociocultural context that encourages the sexual coercion of women. Rape is especially probable in fraternities because of the kinds of organizations they are, the kinds of members they have, the practices their members engage in, and a virtual absence of university or community oversight. Fraternities create a sociocultural context in which the use of coercion in sexual relations with women is normative and in which the mechanisms to keep this pattern of behavior in check are minimal at best and absent at worst.
http://archive.sph.harvard.edu/cas/What-We-Learned-08.pdf
http://courses.ttu.edu/jkoch/intro/Readings/Frat%20Rape.pdf

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LineLineLineLineReply I went through rush, turned down bids & joined a service sorority open to all who wished to join.
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