Toxic Fraternity Behavior in Modern Society

Categories: Society

Do not walk in alleyways alone. Place keys between index and middle finger when walking to car. Then there’s the classic that many comedians have used for an easy laugh, girls going to the bathroom as a pack. The main issue is that, it isn’t just strangers whistling on the street, and it isn’t just the family friend’s son. As 2017 has brought to light, it’s also those with power over us, the doctors, politicians, and bosses of big companies, the people in power suits.

Society has to ask itself how they get there. How do so many toxic people end up at the top of the food chain, and how did some end up the food? Why do colleges’ compliances to continue using fraternities contribute to toxic masculinity in the workplace and why this means fraternities need to change or be abolished.

To join a fraternity is to join a brotherhood which is supposed to last a lifetime that, depending on how well known the frat is, almost guarantees the brother a higher end on the totem pole.

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43 of the nation's 50 largest corporations are run by fraternity men, which makes sense, one walks into an interview and the person that’s conducting it comes from the same fraternity, there is an instant connection with someone who has a say in the future. However, the portrayal of fraternities is changing, they are no longer just proof that someone is a well-rounded community member. A side to fraternities have been brought to life, a side that has always been there but rarely discussed.

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To get into a fraternities, sometimes members go through traditional rituals that often become sadistic exploitations of the participants, popularly called hazing even though this is illegal - however hazing is simply called ‘training’ or hidden under another name in most cases. There is no official number of the amount of deaths and injuries hazing has caused, because they often go unreported or filed under a different name. A fraternity and its hazing brings up scary similarities to Lord of the Flies, as during these rituals it seems that human empathy is thrown out. Beat up, burns on the body, forced binge drinking and sexual assault. Some argue that hazing is something the participant volunteers for and therefore isn’t bad, but what about the victims who didn’t sign up for it?

These aren’t abnormal occurrences or outstanding circumstances when it comes to campus and frat life. Fraternity members are 3 times more likely to rape someone, often are rewarded by the behavior by fraternity brothers and these acts are dismissed as ‘it was bound to happen’ kind of situation. “We don’t have the right to be surprised anymore. These incidents aren’t outliers or cases of individual impropriety, but data points in a clear historical pattern (Andrew Lohse, Why Fraternities Need To Be Abolished).” People who are a part of fraternities are three times more likely to sexually assault someone than someone who is not. One in five women is sexually assaulted on campus. At Georgia Tech, a frat brother sent around an email guide called “Luring your rapebait”. Wesleyan had a frat that was nicknamed the “Rape Factory”. In 2010, fraternity brothers at Yale University marched through campus yelling, “No means yes, yes means anal.” – Jessica Valenti,“Should We Ban Frats”, The Guardian Girls are often warned which are the ‘bad frats’, the ones that were known to spike drinks and count sexual assaults like medals. The universities also drive girls to male dominated parties by not allowing female run parties at sororities to fall under even similar rules as frat houses. “...the sororities governed by the National Panhellenic Conference indeed forbid drinking in sorority houses as a rule. No alcohol means no hosting of house parties on par with the fraternities.

The problem is that puts all the power in the hands of male-run social events on campuses across the country. Sororities can host parties, technically speaking—but they either have to co-host them with fraternities, or hire a third-party vendor in order to do so, which means they require either male permission or outside help to throw their own parties. Fraternity brothers are the ones who monitor who can come in, the drinks provided, they know the way around the house and they have the power now. Drinking at fraternities is going to keep happening, and maybe legalizing sororities to carry alcohol won’t. Neither will banning fraternities as it’s so ingrained in the college life. However the way schools go about handling rapes on campus, on sexual assault, on physical abuse by these houses can change. No paying off victims outside of court, no more allowing the charged rapists to not only continue going to the school but being a part of the frat.

Society must stop rewarding criminals by letting them exit frats with an unscathed record that will lead them to be the top businessmen just because fraternity men are more likely to donate grand sums of money to their university. When it comes to women and sexual assault, it’s not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. There is no more room for excuses when it comes to dangers of campus life. The purpose of fraternities advertises that you are provided a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals and a great time, as long as you can afford it. They promise a more secure future, one where you will be better off to provide for yourself and a possible family. They say they’ll give protection no matter what. However, it seems that this is a numbers game, of money, of statistics, of girls, of booze, of connections, of excuses. Fraternities will never cease to exist, it is only with much hope can one wish to see more justice served, more accountability and safety for those involved.

Updated: Feb 18, 2024
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Toxic Fraternity Behavior in Modern Society. (2024, Feb 18). Retrieved from

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