Hazing as Crime: An Empirical Analysis of Criminological Antecedents
54 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2014 Last revised: 1 Aug 2017
Date Written: March 5, 2014
Recently, The Atlantic and Rolling Stone published lengthy articles on the dark side of collegiate fraternities and sororities. Part of this narrative decades of problems faced by these organizations but especially so in recent years. This is especially so with the hazing deaths of Chun “Michael” Deng at Baruch College, Robert Champion at Florida A&M University, George Desdunes at Cornell University, Donnie Wade at Prarie View A&M University, and the list goes on.
Despite what appears to be the growing criminalization of hazing — via state anti-hazing statutes, other criminal statutes, and the common law — the scholarship on the topic is almost nil. This is in part driven by the paucity of scholarship on hazing, generally, especially among legal academics. In our article — titled Hazing as Crime: An Empirical Analysis of Criminological Antecedents — my coauthors and I explore three criminological factors that may predict college fraternity and sorority hazing. Specifically, we investigate the extent to which personality, impulsivity, and awareness of sanctions predict hazing. We specifically focus our analysis on African American fraternities and sororities given the violent nature of hazing within these organizations and the number of hazing-related criminal sanctions among members over the past couple of decades.
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